Charles H. Townes, the pioneer of the laser, passed away recently at the age of 99.
Townes who shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for invention of the laser, was a visionary physicist and he leaves an extensive scientific legacy.
From the UC Berkeley obituary written by Robert Sanders, “The passing away of Professor Charles Townes today marks the end of an era,” said astrophysicist Reinhard Genzel, a professor of physics at UC Berkeley and director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. “He was one of the most important experimental physicists of the last century. To those who knew him as colleagues or students, he was a role model, a wonderful mentor and a deeply admired person.” Read full article here.
In the New York Times, Robert McFadden wrote, “One of the most versatile inventions of the 20th century, the laser amplifies waves of stimulated atoms that shoot out as narrow beams of light, to read CDs and bar codes, guide missiles, cut steel, perform eye surgery, make astronomical measurements and carry out myriad other tasks, from transmitting a thousand books a second over fiber optic lines to entertaining crowds with light shows.” Read the New York Times obituary of Charles H. Townes here.
The IEC Technical Committee 76: Optical radiation safety and laser equipment, is recognized as the leading body on laser standardization. Here’s more from IEC e-tech magazine.