Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

More than 30,000 photos of scientists and their work

Bell Labs H6

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Bell Labs H6

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Image title: 
Laser experiment setup
Credit line: 
Bell Laboratories / Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc., courtesy AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Physics Today Collection

Experimental setup used by scientists at Bell Telephone Laboratories to obtain the first chemical reaction ever stimulated by light from a laser. Dr. Yo-Han Pao and Dr. Peter Rentzepis irradiated a sample of distilled monomer styrene with a pulse of light from a ruby laser and found that they had created polystyrene. The success of their experiment may open a potentially vast area of molecular phenomena that can be explored with laser's highly intense and monochromatic beam of light.

Photo date: 
March 1965
Original format: 
1 photographic print (black and white; 10 x 8 inches)
Bell Labs Innovations