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Beam: The Race to Make the Laser [Format Kindle]

Jeff Hecht

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Hecht tells the story of the several competing laboratories that were attempting in the late 1950s to use the phenomenon of simulated emisson to produce a coherent and monochromatic light source. The story is interesting in its own right, both to physicists and engineers interested in the intellectual climate of the time and to the general public as an example of excitement and competition within the scientific community. (CHOICE)

Présentation de l'éditeur

In 1954, Charles Townes invented the laser's microwave cousin, the maser. The next logical step was to extend the same physical principles to the shorter wavelengths of light, but the idea did not catch fire until October 1957, when Townes asked Gordon Gould about Gould's research on using light to excite thallium atoms. Each took the idea and ran with it. The independent-minded Gould sought the fortune of an independent inventor; the professorial Townes sought the fame of scientific recognition. Townes enlisted the help of his brother-in-law, Arthur Schawlow, and got Bell Labs into the race. Gould turned his ideas into a patent application and a million-dollar defense contract. They soon had company. Ali Javan, one of Townes's former students, began pulling 90-hour weeks at Bell Labs with colleague Bill Bennett. And far away in California a bright young physicist named Ted Maiman became a very dark horse in the race. While Schawlow proclaimed that ruby could never make a laser, Maiman slowly convinced himself it would. As others struggled with recalcitrant equipment and military secrecy, Maiman built a tiny and elegant device that fit in the palm of his hand. His ruby laser worked the first time he tried it, on May 16, 1960, but afterwards he had to battle for acceptance as the man who made the first laser. Beam is a fascinating tale of a remarkable and powerful invention that has become a symbol of modern technology.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 4085 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 284 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0199738718
  • Editeur : Oxford University Press (11 février 2005)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00JN66MRC
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.7 étoiles sur 5  3 commentaires
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Fun to Read 28 septembre 2006
Par RJB - Publié sur
I thought that Jeff Hecht's "City of Light" was a better book but the race became better and better when you get further into it. The writing was casual, informative and descriptive and the technical information slowly evolved (not overbearing) as progress was made by the various principals. Yes, it was a science telenovela. However, I think he should have written a Chapter 20 to give a Wikipedia-like roundup or summation of laser theory and applications. I think the author was persuasive on his remarks on Maiman missing out of the Nobel.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The missing unbiased picture 13 avril 2009
Par S. ragno - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
The story is narrated from a neutral point of view and gives a clear picture of the laser research across the various labs ( Bell, TRG, Hughes, IBM, Varian ).
This overview was previously unavailable, given that the other laser books were written by some of the actors ( Townes, Maiman ) and are not neutral.
The technical aspects are explained quite simply and the writing style keeps you entertained with the right amount of trivia.
After finishing the book I decided to home build a laser device in my basement ( probably a CO2 or He-Ne laser ) and discovered there are a lot of laser fans out there.
Well done Mr Hecht.
1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Amazing story 9 février 2010
Par Greg D'Haenens - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I appreciate the effort it took to tell this story. I was on the edge of my seat at times. There were some really special people doing some rather fantastic science. "Pushing the envelope" is the polite translation of what my dad would say. I was also told this is the most accurate version he had read.
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