By Charles H. Townes
In How the Laser Happened, Nobel laureate Charles Townes presents a hugely own examine a few of the top 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 profession he has additionally been deeply engaged with matters outdoors of educational learn. He labored on utilized examine initiatives for Bell Labs; served at the board of administrators for normal automobiles; and dedicated wide attempt to advising the govt on technological know-how, coverage, and defense.
This memoir lines his multifaceted occupation from its beginnings at the family members farm in South Carolina. Spanning a long time of ground-breaking learn, the ebook offers a hands-on description of ways operating scientists and inventors get their principles. It additionally supplies a behind-the-scenes examine the medical group, displaying how scientists reply to new principles and the way they process quite a few matters, from precedence and patents to the social and political implications in their paintings. moreover, Townes touches at the sociology of technology, uncovering the various traditions and values which are invisible to an interloper.
A towering and full of life determine, Townes has explored or pioneered many of the roles on hand to the trendy scientist. as well as basic learn, he used to be actively all for the sensible makes use of of the laser and within the lawsuits to protect the patent rights. He was once a founding member of the Jasons, an influential crew of scientists that independently advises the govt on security coverage, and he performed an lively half in clinical judgements and rules from the Truman during the Reagan management. This energetic memoir, full of first-hand money owed and old anecdotes, is a useful source for a person attracted to the heritage of technology and an inspiring instance for college kids contemplating clinical careers.