How the Laser Happened

How the Laser Happened : Adventures of a Scientist

4.08 (24 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


Charles Townes, a Nobel laureate, is one of the leading figures in twentieth-century physics, inventor of the maser and the laser, and one of the pioneers in the use of spectroscopic techniques to determine the atomic composition of stars. This book is the memoir of a life devoted to scientific research, and also to the application of this research in the public sphere.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 160.8 x 242.8 x 24.4mm | 547.41g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 13 halftones, 2 line drawings
  • 0195122682
  • 9780195122688

Table of contents

1. The Light that Shines Straight ; 2. Physics, Furman, Molecules and Me ; 3. Bell Labs and Radar, a (Fortunate) Detour from Physics ; 4. Columbia to Franklin Park and Beyond ; 5. Maser Excitement - And a Time for Reflection ; 6. From Maser to Laser ; 7. The Patent Game ; 8. On Moon Dust, and Other Science Advice ; 9. The Rains of Orion
show more

Review quote

... marvellous ... demonstrates how curiosity-driven research can have unexpected and extraordinary practical ramifications ... not only about the evolution of the laser but also serves as a brief autobiography of Charles Townes ... Although brief this book is fascinating reading. If a friend or a politician should ask you, Why does one do science and what is the benefit to society? I recommend that you give him or her a copy of How the Laser Happened. * ISIS *
show more

About Charles H. Townes

Charles Townes is one of the leading figures in twentieth-century physics, intentor of the maser, co-inventor of the laser, and a pioneer in microwave spectroscopy for molecular and nuclear physics and in the use of radio and infrared spectroscopic techniques for astronomy. A Nobel laureate, Townes was also one of the first academic scientists to accept a full-time position advising the Executive Branch during the Cold War, and was founder of the Jasons, an influential group of scientists independently advising the government. He also served on the Board of General Motors.
show more

Rating details

24 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 33% (8)
4 46% (11)
3 17% (4)
2 4% (1)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X