Laser Stars

LASER HISTORY (1917-1996)

Einstein can be considered as the father of the laser. 80 years ago he postulated photons and stimulated emission and won the Nobel prize for related research on the photoelectric effect. This section discusses the historical evolution from microwave lasers to optical lasers and finally to xray lasers and lasers discovered in space.


  1. Bertolotti,M.: 1983, Masers and Lasers, an Historical Approach, Adam Hilger Ltd, Bristol.
  2. Bromberg,J.L.: 1991, The Laser in America 1950-1970, MIT Press.
  3. Hecht,J.: 1992, Laser Pioneers, Academic Press.
  4. History of Astronomy

Shawlow : ... when the first lasers were operated, I and other scientists close to the research were surprised at how easy it turned out to be. We had assumed that, since lasers had never been made, it must be very difficult. But once you knew how, it was not at all difficult. Mostly what had been lacking were ideas and concepts.
- Arthur L Schawlow, 1981 Nobel Prize for Laser Spectroscopy (Bertolotti, 1983)

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