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Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1964
Charles H. Townes, Nicolay G. Basov, Aleksandr M. Prokhorov

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Charles H. Townes - Facts

Charles Hard Townes

Charles Hard Townes

Born: 28 July 1915, Greenville, SC, USA

Died: 27 January 2015, Berkeley, CA, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA

Prize motivation: "for fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser-laser principle"

Field: optical physics, quantum electrodynamics

Prize share: 1/2

Work

Stimulated emission means that a light packet, a photon, coming in contact with an atom can cause an electron to descend to a lower energy level so that an additional photon with the same amount of energy is emitted. If electrons are elevated to higher energy levels with the help of heat or light, an avalanche-like effect occurs when they fall to lower levels. In the 1950s Charles Townes, Nicolay Basov, and Aleksandr Prokhorov contributed to putting this phenomenon into practical use in masers and lasers, which produce concentrated and coherent beams of microwaves and light, respectively.

 

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MLA style: "Charles H. Townes - Facts". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 25 Jul 2016. <http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1964/townes-facts.html>

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