Experimental cesium laser component

Description
In 1957 Columbia University physicist Charles Townes discussed recent maser developments with Gordon Gould, a Ph.D. student at the University. Inspired by the conversation, Gould wrote down thoughts and ideas for lasers and had the pages of his notebook notarized. Recognizing the commercial potential of lasers, Gould left Columbia and pursued laser research at TRG, a defense company founded in 1953.
Though he lost the race to make the first working laser, Gould did make several lasers using cesium in 1961. This is the cesium light source for one of the early lasers based on his designs. The extent to which Gould’s notarized ideas were his own ignited fierce debate and patent litigation that lasted into the 1990s. The result of the litigation was that Gould’s patents, based on his 1957 notebook entries, were upheld.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
laser
date made
1961
maker
Gould, Gordon
Physical Description
glass (overall material)
metal (electrodes material)
cesium (fill gas material)
Measurements
overall: 4 1/4 in x 3 1/4 in x 3/8 in; 10.795 cm x 8.255 cm x .9525 cm
ID Number
EM*330385
catalog number
330385
accession number
288761
subject
Energy & Power
Science & Mathematics
Invention
Lasers
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Lasers
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, thru Gordon Gould, Stephen Jacobs and Paul Rabinowitz
Additional Media

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