Alfred Kastler, French-German physicist

Alfred Kastler, French-German physicist

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Alfred Kastler (1902-1984), French-German physicist. Kastler is most recognised for his work on atomic resonances (vibrational energy), a phenomenon that occurs when atoms are energised (excited) to a point where they emit radiation. He developed a way to make the atoms excited by using light energy, a technique known as optical pumping. This lead to other investigations such as theories on lasers and masers, where electromagnetic waves were emitted from atoms in a controlled way through optical pumping. This work in quantum mechanics gained Kastler the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1966.

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