Bennett-Javan helium-neon laser, 1961

Bennett-Javan helium-neon laser, 1961

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

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Caption: Bennett-Javan helium-neon laser at Bell Laboratories, New Jeresy, USA, in 1961. US physicist William Ralph Bennett (1930-2008, left) and Iranian-US physicist Ali Javan (born 1926, right) co-invented the first gas laser in 1960. It was a helium-neon laser. Laser is an acronym formed from the phrase Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Here, the laser beam is formed from the excitation of helium and neon gas. Both continued to work on lasers. Bennett became a professor at Yale University, while Javan became a professor at MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

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