Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

More than 30,000 photos of scientists and their work

Jacobs Stephen F4

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Jacobs Stephen F4

Stephen F. Jacobs
Image title: 
Possibly the first photograph of a laser beam
Credit line: 
Photo by Stephen Jacobs, courtesy of AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, Stephen Jacobs Collection

According to Steve Jacobs, this was probably the first photograph of a laser beam. (Phony as it was, it was better than a red spot on a screen) The experiment demonstrated for the first time that you could do with light what had been done previously at radio frequencies. It was demonstrated that you could get ideal signal-to-noise for optical communication by Laser Optical Heterodyne Detection. Photo appeared on the cover of Electronics, a McGraw-Hill Weekly on July 12, 1963.

Photo date: 
circa 1962
Original format: 
1 photographic print (color; 8.5 x 11 inches)
Jacobs, Stephen F.