Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

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Maiman Theodore F1

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Maiman Theodore F1

Jeff Hecht
Image title: 
Theodore Maiman shows a cube of synthetic ruby crystal
Credit line: 
Copyright: Hughes Research Laboratories. For copies and permission to publish, please contact Hughes Research Laboratories, pubs@hrl.com, pr@hrl.com or www.hrl.com.

'Full Many a Gem of purest ray serene' has electronic-age implications never intended in Gray's Elegy as a result of man's first achievement of a 'coherent' light source, which could produce 'the purest colors ever known.' Dr. Theodore H. Maiman of Hughes Aircraft Company shows a cube of synthetic ruby crystal that forms the 'heart' of a laser (from Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation), which generates the light. The light source (at top) is used to excite the tightly-packed atoms in the ruby which then amplify the laser's light into an intense parallel beam.

Photo date: 
July 1960
Original format: 
2 photographic prints (black and white; 10 x 8 inches)
Maiman, Theodore H.