By Charles H. Townes
In How the Laser Happened, Nobel laureate Charles Townes presents a hugely own examine many of the prime occasions in twentieth-century physics. Townes used to be inventor of the maser, of which the laser is one instance; an originator of spectroscopy utilizing microwaves; and a pioneer within the research of gasoline clouds in galaxies and round stars. all through his occupation he has additionally been deeply engaged with concerns open air of educational examine. He labored on utilized learn tasks for Bell Labs; served at the board of administrators for normal vehicles; and committed broad attempt to advising the govt on technology, coverage, and defense.
This memoir strains his multifaceted occupation from its beginnings at the relatives farm in South Carolina. Spanning a long time of ground-breaking study, the booklet offers a hands-on description of the way operating scientists and inventors get their rules. It additionally supplies a behind-the-scenes examine the medical group, exhibiting how scientists reply to new rules and the way they technique numerous concerns, from precedence and patents to the social and political implications in their paintings. furthermore, Townes touches at the sociology of technology, uncovering the various traditions and values which are invisible to an interloper.
A towering and lively determine, Townes has explored or pioneered lots of the roles on hand to the fashionable scientist. as well as primary examine, he was once actively concerned with the sensible makes use of of the laser and within the proceedings to guard the patent rights. He used to be a founding member of the Jasons, an influential workforce of scientists that independently advises the govt. on safeguard coverage, and he performed an lively half in clinical judgements and rules from the Truman during the Reagan management. This full of life memoir, choked with first-hand debts and historic anecdotes, is a useful source for a person drawn to the historical past of technological know-how and an inspiring instance for college kids contemplating clinical careers.