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Jeff Hecht laser pioneer interviews, 1984-1991

Description of Collection

Repository

American Institute of Physics. Niels Bohr Library & Archives.

Papers created by

Hecht, Jeff

Size of collection

1.5 linear feet
2 manuscript boxes
1 tape/card box

Short description of collection

Audio tapes and original transcripts of interviews conducted by Jeff Hecht with pioneers of laser and laser applications research.

Language(s) of collection

English

Collection number:

AR2004597

Biographical Note

Freelance science and technology writer. Science Writing Fellowship, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, 1992. Author of Understanding Lasers (1991); Laser Pioneers (1991); The Laser Guidebook (1986); Optics: Light for a New Age (1988).

Scope and Contents of Collection

Audio tapes and original transcripts of ten interviews conducted by Jeff Hecht with pioneers of laser and laser applications research. Pioneers of laser research: Nicolaas Bloembergen, Gordon Gould (two interviews), Robert N. Hall, Ali Javan, Dennis Matthews, C. Kumar N. Patel, William Silvast, and Peter Sorokin. Pioneers of laser applications research: Emmet Leith and Francis L'Esperance. Topics include: background and education of all interviewees; nuclear magnetic resonance, nonlinear optics, spectroscopy, laser applications, American Physical Society Report on Directed Energy Weapons (Bloembergen); patents, optical communications, copper-vapor lasers, mercury-vapor lasers (Gould); semiconductor lasers, General Electric (Hall); synthetic aperture radar, Willow Run Laboratory, optical signal processing, holography, optical computing (Leith); Bell Laboratories, molecular lasers, spin-flip Raman lasers, atmospheric pollutants, spectroscopy, ozone depletion, American Physical Society Study on Directed Energy Weapons (Patel); Radio Corporation of America, helium-neon laser, classical oscillators at optical frequencies (Javan); opthamology, laser photocoagulation, diabetic retinopathy (L'Esperance); soft x-ray laser, Nova Fusion Laser, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Matthews); University of Utah, metal-vapor lasers, short-wavelength lasers, helium cadmium laser, Bell Labs (Silvast); Maiman's first laser, dye lasers, two photon lasers, and spectroscopy (Sorokin).

The collection also includes 23 issues of the journal Lasers and Applications (1985-86), containing a series of oral history interviews with researchers involved in the discovery and development of different types of lasers done in commemoration of the 25th anniversary (1985) of the first operation of the laser. Interviewees include: Nicolaas Bloembergen, William Bridges, J. J. Ewing, Gordon Gould, Robert Hall, Ralph Jacobs, Ali Javan, John Madey, Ted Maiman, C. K. N. Patel, William Silfvast, Arthur Schawlow, Peter Sorokin, Charles H. Townes. In 1986 the magazine featured a series of interviews with laser applications pioneers. Interviewees included are: Sidney Charschan, Evan Dryer, Arthur H. Guenther, Theodor W. Hansch, Al Hildebrand, Charles K. Kao, Narinder Kapany, Larry Larson, Emmett Leith, Francis L'Esperance.

Restrictions on Use and Access

Researchers must have an approved access application on file in order to access archival materials. https://www.aip.org/history-programs/niels-bohr-library/item-request.

Selected Search Terms

These papers have been indexed in the International Catalog of Sources for History of Physics and Allied Sciences (ICOS) using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.

Persons

Bloembergen, N.
Bridges, William B., 1934-
Charschan, Sidney S.
Gould, Gordon, 1920-2005
Guenther, Arthur Henry, 1931-
Hall, Robert Noel, 1919-
Hänsch, T. W. (Theo W.), 1941-
Javan, Ali, 1926-
Kao, Charles K., 1933-
L'Esperance, Francis A., 1932-
Leith, Emmett N.
Madey, J. M. J.
Maiman, Theodore H.
Matthews, Dennis L.
Patel, C. Kumar N.
Schawlow, Arthur L., 1921-1999-
Silvast, William
Sorokin, Peter P.
Townes, Charles H.

Institutions

Bell Telephone Laboratories
General Electric Company.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Radio Corporation of America.
University of Michigan. Willow Run Laboratories.
University of Utah.

Subject terms

Air. Pollution potential.
Dye lasers.
Helium-neon lasers.
Lasers.
Lasers. History
Metal vapor lasers.
Molecular gas lasers.
Nuclear magnetic resonance.
Raman spectroscopy.
Semiconductor lasers.
Spectrum analysis.
Synthetic aperature radar.
X-ray lasers.

Genre terms

Interviews.
Oral histories.
Sound recordings.
Transcripts.

Organization and Arrangement of Collection

This collection is organized into three series:

  • Series I: Transcripts and notes
  • Series II: Lasers & Applications
  • Series III: Audio tape cassettes

Transcripts and tapes are arranged alphabetically by interviewee last name, and the magazine issues are arranged chronologically.

Provenance and Acquisition Information

Gift of Jeff Hecht, 1991, 2000 and 2004.

Processing Information

This collection is unprocessed.

Preferred Citation of Collection

Box [number], Folder [number], Jeff Hecht laser pioneer interviews, 1984-1991. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library & Archives, College Park, MD 20740, USA.

Administrative Information

Title

Finding Aid to the Jeff Hecht laser pioneer interviews, 1984-1991

Publisher

American Institute of Physics Niels Bohr Library & Archives

One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740
USA
nbl@aip.org

2013

Encoding Information

Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Melanie J. Mueller in 2013. Any revisions made to this finding aid occurred as part of the editing and encoding process.

Series I: Transcripts and notes

Box 1 Folder 1 Bloembergen, Nicolaas (part edit), November 1984
Folder 2 Gould, Gordon (part edit), April 1983
Folder 3 Gould, Gordon (part edit), September 1984
Folder 4 Hall, Robert (part edit), October 1984
Folder 5 Javan, Ali, 1985, 1990, 1991
Folder 6 Leith, Emmett (part edit), December 1985
Folder 7 L'Esperance, Francis, September 1983
Folder 8 Matthews, Dennis, February 1990
Folder 9 Patel, C. Kumar N. (part edit), November 1984
Folder 10 Silvast, William, 1984
Folder 11 Sorokin, Peter (part edit), September 1984

Series II: Lasers & Applications

Box 2 Folder 1 Lasers & Applications, volume 4, number 1, January 1985
Folder 2 Lasers & Applications, volume 4, number 2, February 1985
Folder 3 Lasers & Applications, volume 4, number 3, March 1985
Folder 4 Lasers & Applications, volume 4, number 4, April 1985
Folder 5 Lasers & Applications, volume 4, number 5, May 1985
Folder 6 Lasers & Applications, volume 4, number 7, July 1985
Folder 7 Lasers & Applications, volume 4, number 8, August 1985
Folder 8 Lasers & Applications, volume 4, number 9, September 1985
Folder 9 Lasers & Applications, volume 4, number 10, October 1985
Folder 10 Lasers & Applications, volume 4, number 11, November 1985
Folder 11 Lasers & Applications, volume 4, number 12, December 1985
Folder 12 Lasers & Applications, volume 5, number 1, January 1986
Folder 13 Lasers & Applications, volume 5, number 2, February 1986
Folder 14 Lasers & Applications, volume 5, number 3, March 1986
Folder 15 Lasers & Applications, volume 5, number 4, April 1986
Folder 16 Lasers & Applications, volume 5, number 5, May 1986
Folder 17 Lasers & Applications, volume 5, number 6, June 1986
Folder 18 Lasers & Applications, volume 5, number 7, July 1986
Folder 19 Lasers & Applications, volume 5, number 8, August 1986
Folder 20 Lasers & Applications, volume 5, number 9, September 1986
Folder 21 Lasers & Applications, volume 5, number 10, October 1986
Folder 22 Lasers & Applications, volume 5, number 11, November 1986
Folder 23 Lasers & Applications, volume 5, number 12, December 1986

Series III: Audio tape cassettes

Box 3 Bloembergen, Nicolaas, undated
Gould, Gordon (parts 1 and 2), undated
Gould, Gordon (parts 3 and 4), undated
Gould, Gordon (part 5), undated
Gould, Gordon (side 5) - duplicate, undated
Gould, Gordon (sides 1 and 2) - duplicate, undated
Gould, Gordon (sides 3 and 4) - duplicate, undated
Hall, Robert (sides 1 and 2) - duplicate, undated
Hall, Robert (sides 3 and 4) - duplicate, undated
Javan, Ali (sides 1 and 2), undated
Javan, Ali (sides 3 and 4), undated
Javan, Ali, September 1990
Javan, Ali, April 1991
Javan, Ali (1990 and 1991 interview duplicates) - see box 1, undated
Leith, Emmett (sides 1 and 2), undated
Leith, Emmett (sides 2 and 3), undated
Leith, Emmett (sides 1-4 duplicates) - see box 1, undated
L'Esperance, Francis (sides 1 and 2), undated
L'Esperance, Francis (sides 3 and 4), undated
Matthews, Dennis (sides 1 and 2), undated
Matthews, Dennis (side 3), undated
Matthews, Dennis (sides 1-3 duplicates) - see box 1, undated
Patel, C. Kumar N. (sides 1 and 2), undated
Patel, C. Kumar N. (sides 3 and 4), undated
Patel, C. Kumar N. (sides 5 and 6), undated
Silvast, William (sides 1 and 2), undated
Silvast, William (sides 3 and 4), undated
Sorokin, Peter (sides 1 and 2), undated
Sorokin, Peter (sides 3 and 4), undated
Sorokin, Peter (sides 5 and 6), undated
Sorokin, Peter (sides 1 and 2) - duplicate, undated
Sorokin, Peter (sides 3 and 4) - duplicate, undated
Sorokin, Peter (sides 5 and 6) - duplicate, undated