Feature Post

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Inventor of Laser

Gordon Gould was born in New York in 1920. As a child he loved Thomas A. Edison and other inventors, with the encouragement of his mother mechanical mind. Later, Gould would even conceive and design one of the most important inventions in the 20th century: the laser.

In 1957, Gould was working on a doctorate in physics at Columbia University, where research in physics was booming. Among the other was Charles Townes, inventor of the maser (1951), teaching there. Gould, whose previous specialty was classical optics, doing research in microwave spectroscopy. One Saturday evening, Gould inspired "in a flash" with a revolutionary idea. "Lasers" "light amplification by stimulated radiation," or

A wave light amplifier would be much more powerful than a maser (which amplifies the microwave), since each photon of light of a hundred thousand times the energy of a photon of microwave radio. At the end of this weekend, Gould had designed a device that could predict the heat of a substance at the temperature of the sun in a millionth of a second.

Fearing competition, Gould left his doctorate in order to get his invention into production quickly. He spent 1958 refining and improving its model, but has not applied for a patent until 1959, believing they had to build a prototype before the presentation. Unfortunately, this resulted in a 20-year legal battle, Gould finally won in 1977 when the first laser of its patents were issued.

Meanwhile, laser technology, Gould was already used in many practical applications, including welding, examination and surgery. But he had not been idle during this time. As a professor at the Polytechnic Institute of New York (1967-1973), Gould founded the research lab lasers and a new department. In 1973, Gould co-founded an optical communications company, where he obtained another patent, before retiring in 1985.

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