Basic Physics and Biophysics

  • Frank Frank


The term laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The possibility of laser action was first suggested by Albert Einstein [1] in 1917. In 1954, Charles H. Townes [2] built the forerunner of the laser, a microwave amplifier, to which he gave the name maser, an acronym of similar derivation. At about the same time, Basov and Prokhorov [3] independently produced a maser of their own. In 1958, Townes collaborated with Schawlow on a historic paper [4] which laid the theoretical foundation for the laser, then referred to as an optical maser. All of this preliminary work culminated in 1960, when Theodore H. Maiman constructed the first working laser [5] using a rod of crystalline ruby excited by a coaxial helical flashlamp. In rather rapid succession, other lasers were built, notably: the helium-neon, by Javan, Bennett, and Herriott [6] in 1961; the argon-ion by Bridges [7] in 1964; the carbon-dioxide by Patel [8] in 1964; and the neodymium-YAG by Geusic, Marcos, and van Uitert [9] in 1964.


Laser Light Physical Review Letter Photosensitize Oxidation Coagulation Zone Optical Maser 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Frank
    • 1
  1. 1.MBB-Medizintechnik GmbH, Application ResearchMünchen 80Federal Republic of Germany

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