"Laser output" photo montage from Maiman laser experiment

"Laser output" photo montage from Maiman laser experiment

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Mounted on this cardboard poster are photographs recording output energy from the first laser, made by Theodore Maiman at Hughes Aircraft Co. in 1960. Maiman's ruby-crystal laser did not produce a continuous beam of light such as we're accustomed to seeing. Instead it produced a brief pulse of laser light, a pulse not easily seen with the naked eye. These photos show the energy intensity of laser pulses made by different levels of energy used to generating the pulses.
LASER stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. The "oscillation threshold" noted on the second image is the point at which laser action occurred in the ruby crystal. The first image shows the output of energy just below the level needed to generate laser action, while the three later images show the output obtained from higher levels of energy.
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Object Name
Spectrographic Chart
Date made
associated date
associated person
Henry, Joseph
Maiman, Theodore H.
Maiman, Theodore H.
Hughes Aircraft Company
place made
United States: California, Malibu
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
from Hughes Aircraft Company, thru Dr. George F. Smith
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Work and Industry: Electricity
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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