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Clemson Names Optical Science Lab for Nobel Winner
Oct 2008
CharlesTownes.jpgClemson University in Clemson, S.C., has recognized Nobel Prize-winning physicist Charles H. Townes, credited as the father of quantum electronics, by officially naming its optical science laboratories in his honor. The sign for the Charles H. Townes Laboratories for Optical Sciences and Engineering, located at the Advanced Materials Research Laboratory in the university's Advanced Materials Center, was unveiled today by Townes, 93, and his wife, Frances. Townes received the Nobel Prize for physics in 1964 for his research on the maser (microwave amplification by stimulation emission of radiation), which led to the invention of the laser, one of the most significant scientific discoveries of the 20th century. Since 1967, Townes has been a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. The dedication follows the 2005 creation of the Townes Fellows program, a joint effort by Clemson and Furman universities to bring Furman undergraduates to Clemson to conduct optics research with the COMSET (Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies) program. John Ballato, COMSET director and associate vice president for research and economic development, spearheaded the move to name the laboratories for Townes. "Dr. Townes has spent his distinguished career committed to educating future generations," said Ballato. "We are deeply grateful that his name will be associated with our program as a daily reminder of what has been and can be achieved. Dr. Townes is the first to remind students that they too possess the ability to make the next great discovery."

An acronym for microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Predecessor to the laser, the maser or 'microwave laser' was the first device to produce coherent electromagnetic waves, and was done at microwave frequencies through amplification by stimulated emission. A laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) is a maser that works over a broader range of higher frequency photons in the ultraviolet and visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
advanced materials centerBiophotonicsCharles H. TownesClemsonCOMSETEmploymentfiber opticsFurmanJohn BallatomasernanoNews BriefsNobel PrizeOptical SciencephotonicsPhotonics Tech Briefsphysicsquantum electronicslasers

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