AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Charles Townes. Portrait of the American physicist Charles Hard Townes (1915-2015). Whilst at New York's Columbia University, his investigations into electrical and magnetic interactions within molecules led to his design of the maser, an intense source of microwaves and precursor to the laser. This work earned him a share of the 1964 Nobel Prize for Physics. He was also active in developing microwave and infrared astronomical techniques, and was co-discoverer of the first interstellar polyatomic molecules, in 1961.
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