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Maiman, Theodore Harold

laser hughes constructed laboratories

[miy man] (1927–) US physicist: constructed the first laser.

Maiman was the son of an electrical engineer and, after military service in the US Navy, he studied engineering physics at Colorado University. Later he did his doctorate in electrical engineering at Stanford and joined the Hughes Research Laboratories in Miami in 1955. The maser (producing coherent microwave radiation) had been devised and induced to work by in 1953, and Maiman improved the design of the solid-state version. He then constructed the first working laser ( Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) in the Hughes Laboratories in 1960, although Townes and had published a theoretical description. A ruby crystal with mirror-coated cut ends was used and this resonant cavity was stimulated by flashes of light to produce a coherent, highly monochromatic, pulsed laser beam. The first continuous wave (CW) laser was constructed by A Javan (1926–) of Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1961.

Since then, lasers have found use in a variety of applications, including spectroscopy, repair of retinal detachment in the eye, compact disc (CD) players and check-out scanners. Maiman left Hughes to found Korad Corporation in 1962 which became a leading developer and manufacturer of lasers; he also founded Maiman Associates in 1968 and Laser Video Corporation in 1972. In 1977 he joined TRW Electronics of California.

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