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Theodore Harold Maiman (1927-2007), US physicist. Maiman is best known for building the first working laser in 1960. In the 1950s, several scientists had been working on applying maser (microwave-based laser) principles to optical light to achieve Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (LASER). Maiman built the first working laser while working at Hughes Research Laboratories in California. Some thirty years later, after a long legal battle, key patents were awarded to Gordon Gould, another US physicist who had proposed key ideas on how to build lasers. Maiman's awards for his laser work included the Oliver E. Buckley Prize (1966).
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