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Thread: Inventer of the Laser Concept Dies

  1. #1
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    mixedgas is offline Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
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    Default Inventer of the Laser Concept Dies

    RIP Dr. Charles Towns, Age 99

    The device in the picture with Dr, Towns is a Ammonia Maser. Quick version: Its a weak microwave source that works on the same "Stimulated Emission" principle as the laser. While it does not have a narrow output beam like a laser, it has a single frequency locked to a molecular transition, and Coherence, two properties of Laser light. The MASER is the Laser's Daddy... Towns predicted the phenomena in the MASER could be carried over to light. While he did not build the first working Laser, he laid the groundwork for making it possible.

    MASERS are still used for providing a precise source of Timekeeping, and as the master clock for GPS systems.

    MASER = Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation
    LASER =Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

    Dr. Towns taught the PhD. who mentored me in Applied Physics, so this has a personal connection.

    I never met him, but he had an indirect impact on my life.

    Steve
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails TownsPic.jpg  

    Qui habet Christos, habet Vitam!
    I should have rented the space under my name for advertising.
    When I still could have...

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    I heard it through the ILDA mailing list.
    Rest in peace Charles Towns

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    I met him once. He was asked to vet a project by a group I work with to place an observatory on Mt Wilson near Los Angeles. He was working on a hetrodyne interferometer for that location and must have been near 80 at the time. He was a very nice guy and had a good sense of humor as well. The world, not just the laser community, has lost a great one. He'll be missed.

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    Rest in Peace...
    Will there be three phase!!!!

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    I remember reading about him for some project i cant remember, the world would indeed be different with out his work
    Polk SDA SRS, Parasound HCA 3500, Luxman M117, Onkyo 504, 7.62X39, sometimes a ball on a string is the greatest of toys for us nonhuman types. oh and some lasers, lots of lasers

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    RIP Dr. Towns. I've always been fascinated by the MASER.

  7. #7
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    I met Dr. Towns at a banquet in Houston back in 1982. We were doing "dinner beams" over the tables.
    He was a very kind and remarkable man. He sought us out at the laser projector and chatted for a few minutes, and proudly showed us a ring he wore that had one of the first laser diode chips embedded in epoxy as a stone.
    May he rest in peace

  8. #8
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    Rest in Peace Dr. Towns you will be greatly missed.

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