Menu ☰

Back to Top

Physics History Network

Over 1000 biographies of physicists and histories of institutions with information pertaining to their lives, careers, and research.

Tip: Search within this page by using Ctrl + F or ⌘ + F


Search Our Catalogs

Archives Books

Collections

Emilio Segré Visual Archives Digital Collections Oral Histories Archival Finding Aids Physics History Network

Preservation and Support

Donating Materials Saving Archival Collections Grants to Archives Documentation Projects History Newsletters

Center for History of Physics

Scholarship & Outreach

Main Navigation

HomeAboutTopic GuidesFeedback

Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Charles H. Townes

Photo

Dates

July 28, 1915 – January 27, 2015

Authorized Form of Name

Townes, Charles H.

Additional Forms of Names

Townes, C. H. (Charles H.)

Townes, C. H. (Charles Hard), 1915-

Townes, Charles H., 1915-

Townes, Charles Hard

Townes, Charles Hard, 1915-

Biography

Abstract

BS (physics), Furman University; MA (physics), Duke University; PhD (physics), California Institute of Technology. Bell Telephone Laboratories (1933-1947); Professor and Chairman, Columbia University Department of Physics; Executive Director, Columbia Radiation Laboratory; Provost and Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; University Professor, University of California. Nobel Prize (Physics, 1964) with Nicolai Basov and Aleksandr Prokhorov.

Important Dates

July 28, 1915Birth, Greenville (S.C.).

1935Received B.S. (physics) and B.A. (modern languages), Furman University, Greenville (S.C.).

1937Received M.A., Duke University, Durham (N.C.).

1939Received Ph.D. (physics), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (Calif.).

1939 – 1947Member, Technical Staff, Bell Laboratories, New York (N.Y.).

1948 – 1961Associate Professor (1948-50); Executive Director of Columbia Radiation Laboratory (1950-52); Professor of Physics (1950-61); and Chair, Department of Physics (1952-55), Columbia University, New York (N.Y.).

1955 – 1956Fulbright Lecturer and Guggenheim Fellow, University of Paris and University of Tokyo.

1956Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1958Awarded Morris Liebmann Memorial Prize. Institute of Radio Engineers.

1958 – 1961Member, Scientific Advisory Board, United States Air Force.

1959Awarded Stuart Ballantine Medal, Franklin Institute.

1959Awarded Comstock Prize, National Academy of Sciences.

1959 – 1961Vice President and Director of Research, Institute for Defense Analyses.

1959 – 1962Member, Council, American Physical Society (APS).

1960 – 1963Member, Panel on Strategic Weapons, President's Science Advisory Committee.

1961Awarded Arnold O. Beckman Award, Instrument Society of America.

1961Awarded David Sarnoff Award, American Institute of Electrical Engineers.

1961Awarded Rumford Premium Award, American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

1961 – 1967Provost and Professor of Physics (1961-66) and Institute Professor (1966-67), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge (Mass.).

1962Awarded second Stuart Ballantine Medal, Franklin Institute.

1963Awarded Thomas Young Medal & Prize, British Institute of Physics and Physical Society.

1963Session Director, Enrico Fermi International School of Physics.

1963 – 1968Member, Board of Trustees, Salk Institute for Biologicl Studies.

1964Awarded Nobel Prize in Physics with Nicolai Basov and Aleksandr Prokhorov for their "fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser-laser principle.".

1964 – 1979Chair, Science and Technology Advisory Committee for Manned Space Flight, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

1965 – 1970Member, Advisory Committee, RAND Corporation.

1966 – 1970Member (1966-70) and Member of Panel on Strategic Weapons (1966-70), President's Science Advisory Committee.

1966 – 1970Chair, Science Advisory Committee, Apollo Lunar Landing Program, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

1966 – 1985Member, Board of Directors, Perkin-Elmer Corporation.

1967President, American Physical Society (APS).

1967 – presentUniversity Professor (1967-86) and University Professor Emeritus (1986-present), University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley (Calif.).

1968Awarded C. E. K. Mees Award, Optical Society of America (OSA).

1969 – 1973Council Member (1969-72) and Chair, Space Science Board (1970-73), National Academy of Sciences.

1971 – 1977Member, Space Program Advisory Council, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

1971 – 1978Chair, Science Advisory Committee (1971-73) and Member, Board of Directors (1973-78), General Motors Company.

1971 – 1988Member, Board of Trustees, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

1977Awarded Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy, American Physical Society (APS).

1978 – 1986Member, Board of Trustees, General Motors Cancer Research Foundation.

1978 – 1989Council Member (1978-81) and Chair, Committee on International Security and Arms Control (1980-89), National Academy of Sciences.

1979 – 1984Member, Advisory Committee, California Institute of Technology.

1982Awarded National Medal of Science.

1982 – 1986Member, Defense Science Board, U.S. Department of Defense.

1987 – 1990Member, Board of Directors, Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

1996 Awarded Frederic Ives/Jarus W. Quinn Medal, Optical Society of America (OSA).

2000Awarded Lomonosov Medal, Russian Academy of Sciences.

2005Awarded Templeton Prize.

2006Awarded Vannevar Bush Award, National Science Foundation.

January 27, 2015Death, Oakland (Calif.).

Occupation

Quantum electrodynamicist.

Places

Birth

Greenville (S.C.)

Undergraduate Education

Greenville (S.C.)

Graduate Education

Durham (N.C.)

Pasadena (Calif.)

Employment

New York (N.Y.)

Cambridge (Mass.)

Berkeley (Calif.)

Death

Oakland (Calif.)

Subjects

Astronomy.

Atomic and molecular physics.

Lasers.

Masers.

Microwave spectroscopy.

Radio astronomy.

Scientists in government.

Spectrum analysis.

Relationships

People

Family

Anderson, Ellen

Daughter.

Brown, Frances H.

Wife, married in 1941.

Kessler, Carla

Daughter.

Rosenwein, Linda

Daughter.

Schawlow, Aurelia Townes

Sister.

Townes, Ellen Hard

Mother.

Townes, Henry Keith

Father.

Townes, Holly

Daughter.

Advisors & Collaborators

Abella, Isaac D., 1934-

Advised by Townes at Columbia University in lasers.

Barrett, Alan H., (Alan Hildreth)

Advised by Townes at Columbia University on microwave spectra.

Basov, N. G. (Nikolaĭ Gennadievich), 1922-2001

Awarded 1964 Nobel Prize along with Aleksandr Prokhorov "for fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser-laser principle."

Boyd, Robert W., 1948-

Advised by Townes at University of California, Berkeley on an infrared upconverter for astronomical imaging.

Chiao, Raymond Y.

Advised by Townes at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Evans, Neal J.

Advised by Townes at University of California, Berkeley.

Giordmaine, Joseph Anthony

Advised by Townes at Columbia University.

Javan, Ali, 1926-

Advised by Townes at Columbia University on microwave absorption spectra. Both employed at Columbia University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Knight, Walter D.

Advised informally by Townes at Duke University.

Penzias, Arno A.

Advised by Townes at Columbia University.

Prokhorov, A. M. (Aleksandr Mikhaĭlovich), 1916-2002

Awarded 1964 Nobel Prize along with Nicolay Basov "for fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser-laser principle."

Sanders, T. Michael

Advised by Townes at Columbia University on microwave spectrum.

Schawlow, Arthur L., 1921-1999

Advised (post-doctoral) by Townes at Columbia University. Co-wrote "Microwave Spectroscopy."

Shulman, R. G. (Robert Gerson)

Advised by Townes at Columbia University on the Stark effects of microwave spectroscopy.

Smythe, William Ralph, 1893-

Ph.D. advisor at California Institute of Technology.

Van Vleck, J. H. (John Hasbrouck), 1899-1980

Co-wrote an article.

Werner, Michael W.

Advised (post-doctoral) by Townes at University of California, Berkeley.

Colleagues

Alvarez, Luis W., 1911-1988

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Appelbaum, J. A. (Joel A.)

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Bardeen, John

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Benedek, George Bernard, 1928-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Bialek, William S.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Birge, Raymond T. (Raymond Thayer), 1887-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Birgeneau, Robert J. (Robert Joseph), 1942-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Bitter, Francis, 1902-1967

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Bode, Hendrik W. (Hendrik Wade), 1905-1982

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Booth, Eugene

Both employed at Columbia University.

Bradbury, Norris, 1909-1997

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Brattain, Walter H. (Walter Houser), 1902-1987

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Brillouin, Léon, 1889-1969

Both employed at Columbia University.

Brode, Robert B. (Robert Bigham), 1900-1986

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Buckley, Oliver Ellsworth, 1887-1959

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Chamberlain, O. (Owen)

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Chemla, D. S.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Chew, Geoffrey F.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Clarke, John, 1942-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Clauser, John F. (John Francis), 1942-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Clogston, Albert McCavour

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Cohen, Marvin L.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Commins, Eugene D.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Cummins, Herman Z., 1933-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Cutler, Cassius Chapin

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Darlington, Sidney, 1906-1997

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Davidson, Ronald C.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Davis, Bergen, 1869-1958

Both employed at Columbia University.

Davis, J. C. Séamus

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Davisson, Clinton Joseph, 1881-1958

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Deutsch, Martin, 1917-2002

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Devons, Samuel

Both employed at Columbia University.

Drell, Sidney D. (Sidney David), 1926-

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee.

DuBridge, Lee A. (Lee Alvin), 1901-1994

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee.

Dunning, John R. (John Ray), 1907-1975

Both employed at Columbia University.

Dynes, Robert C.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Edgerton, Harold Eugene, 1903-1990

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Enge, Harald A.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Falcone, Roger W.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Falicov, L. M. (Leopoldo Maximo), 1933-1995

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Feinberg, Gerald, 1933-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Ference, Michael, 1911-

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee.

Feshbach, Herman

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Fisk, James B. (James Brown), 1910-1981

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Fitch, Val L., 1923-2015

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee.

Fletcher, Harvey, 1884-1981

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Fletcher, James Chipman, 1919-1991

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee.

Foley, Henry Michael, 1917-1982

Both employed at Columbia University.

Freedman, Stuart J.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Friedman, Herbert, 1916-2000

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee.

Friedman, Jerome I. (Jerome Isaac), 1930-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Frosch, Robert A. (Robert Alan), 1928-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Gaillard, Mary K.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Garwin, Richard L.

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee.

Gell-Mann, Murray

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee.

Glaser, D. A.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Glimm, James

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Goldhaber, Gerson

Both employed at Columbia University and University of California, Berkeley.

Hagstrum, Homer D.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Hahn, E. L. (Erwin Louis), 1921-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Haus, Hermann A.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Haxton, Wick C.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Hellman, Frances

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Helmholz, August Carl, 1915-2003

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Henley, Ernest M.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Herring, William Conyers, 1914-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Holdren, John P.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Hughes, Vernon W.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Ives, Herbert Eugene, 1882-1953

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Jacak, Barbara

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Jackson, John David, 1925-2016

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Jeffries, C. D., 1922-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Jewett, Frank B. (Frank Baldwin), 1879-1949

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Kahn, Steven Michael

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Kelly, Mervin Joe

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Kendall, Henry W. (Henry Way), 1926-1999

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Keyes, Frederick G. (Frederick George), 1885-1976

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kinoshita, T. (Toichiro)

Both employed at Columbia University.

Kittel, Charles

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Kleppner, Daniel

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kraichnan, Robert H., 1928-2008

Both employed at Columbia University.

Kraushaar, William L.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kroll, Norman Myles, 1922-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Kusch, Polykarp, 1911-1993

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories and Columbia University.

Lamb, Willis E. (Willis Eugene), 1913-2008

Both employed at Columbia University.

Lander, James J., 1914-1996

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Lange, Andrew

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Lax, Benjamin

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Lederman, Leon M.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Lee, T. D., 1926-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Lin, C. C. (Chia-Chʻiao), 1916-2013

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Livingston, M. Stanley (Milton Stanley)

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Loeb, Leonard B. (Leonard Benedict), 1891-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Louie, Steven G., 1949-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Low, Francis E. (Francis Eugene), 1921-2007

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Columbia University.

Luttinger, Joaquin M.

Both employed at Columbia University.

MacDonald, Gordon J. (Gordon James), 1929-2002

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC).

Mandelstam, Stanley

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

McKee, Christopher, 1942-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

McMillan, Edwin M. (Edwin Mattison), 1907-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Morrison, Philip

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Morse, Philip M. (Philip McCord), 1903-1985

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Moyer, Burton J., 1912-1973

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Murnane, Margaret

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Novick, Robert

Both employed at Columbia University.

Pake, G. E. (George Edward)

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee.

Pearson, Gerald L. (Gerald Leondus)

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Pegram, George Braxton, 1876-1958

Both employed at Columbia University.

Pekeris, C. L. (Chaim Leib), 1908-1993

Both employed at Columbia University.

Pfann, William G.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Press, Frank, 1924-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Price, Paul Buford

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Purcell, Edward M.

Rabi, I. I. (Isidor Isaac), 1898-1988

Both employed at Columbia University.

Rainwater, L. James (Leo James), 1917-1986

Both employed at Columbia University.

Randall, Lisa

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Reynolds, John Hamilton, 1923-2000

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Richards, Paul L. (Paul Linford)

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Rossi, Bruno, 1905-1993

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Ruderman, Malvin A.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Sachs, Allan M. (Allan Maxwell), 1921-1989

Both employed at Columbia University.

Samios, Nicholas P.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Schwartz, Melvin, 1932-2006

Both employed at Columbia University.

Segrè, Emilio

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Serber, R. (Robert)

Both employed at Columbia University.

Shank, C. V. (Charles V.)

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Shapiro, Marjorie

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Shen, Y. R.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Shockley, William, 1910-1989

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Shull, Clifford Glenwood

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Slater, John C. (John Clarke), 1900-1976

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Slichter, Charles P.

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC).

Smoot, George

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Steinberger, J.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Steiner, Herbert M.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Stratton, Julius Adams, 1901-1994

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Stubbs, Christopher

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Tape, Gerald Frederick, 1915-2005

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee.

Teller, Edward, 1908-2003

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Thomas, Gareth, 1932-2014

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Thomas, Llewellyn Hilleth, 1903-1992

Both employed at Columbia University.

Tinkham, Michael

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Trilling, George H.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Van Harlingen, Dale J.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Watson, Kenneth M.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Weinberg, Steven, 1933-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Weiss, Rainer

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Weisskopf, Victor Frederick, 1908-2002

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Wiesner, Jerome B. (Jerome Bert), 1915-1994

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Wu, C. S. (Chien-shiung), 1912-1997

Both employed at Columbia University.

York, Herbert F. (Herbert Frank)

Both worked on President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC).

Zacharias, Jerrold Reinach, 1905-1986

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Zumino, B. (Bruno), 1923-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Additional

Anderson, P. W. (Philip W.), 1923-

Babcock, Horace W.

Bennett, William R. (William Ralph), 1904-

Bleakney, Walker, 1901-1992

Bleaney, B. (Brebis)

Bloembergen, N.

Brewer, Richard G.

Bromberg, Joan Lisa

Brossel, Jean

Cranberg, Lawrence, 1917-

DeMaria, Anthony J.

Dicke, Robert H. (Robert Henry)

DuMond, Jesse W. M. (Jesse William Monroe), 1892-1976

Field, George B., 1929-

Foster, John S., 1922-

Frauenfelder, Hans, 1922-

Frieman, E. A.

Garmire, Elsa M., 1939-

Gordon, James P.

Gould, Gordon, 1920-2005

Guenther, Arthur Henry, 1931-

Holden, Alan

Ingard, K. Uno

Landauer, Rolf William, 1927-1999

Mayer, Cornell H., 1921-2005

Nix, Foster Cary, 1905-

Oliver, J. E. (Jack Ertle), 1923-2011

Otting, William Joseph, 1919-

Panofsky, Wolfgang K. H. (Wolfgang Kurt Hermann), 1919-2007

Polanyi, J. C., 1929-

Pound, Robert V.

Ruina, J. P. (Jack P.)

Smullin, Louis Dijour, 1916-

Stern, Marvin, 1923-

Stickley, Carlisle Martin, 1933-

Strandberg, M. W. P. (Malcolm Woodrow Pershing), 1919-

Sullivan, Woodruff Turner

Wheeler, John Archibald, 1911-2008

White, Addison Hughson, 1909-

Wooldridge, Dean E.

Institutions

Major Positions

Bell Telephone Laboratories

Member, Technical staff.

Columbia University. Department of Physics

Associate Professor; Executive Director, Radiation Laboratory; Professor of Physics; and Chair of Department of physics.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics

Provost, Professor of Physics, and Institute Professor.

Tōkyō Daigaku

Fulbright Lecturer and Guggenheim Fellow.

Université de Paris

Fulbright Lecturer and Guggenheim Fellow.

University of California, Berkeley. Department of Physics

University Professor and University Professor Emeritus.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Academy of Arts and Sciences

American Astronomical Society

American Philosophical Society

American Physical Society

Council member and President.

Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Member, Board of Directors.

Brookhaven National Laboratory

California Institute of Technology. Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy

Received Ph.D. in physics in 1939. Member, Advisory Committee.

Duke University. Department of Physics

Received M.A. in physics

Furman University

Received B.S. (physics) and B.A. (modern languages).

General Motors Cancer Research Foundation

Member, Board of Trustees.

General Motors Corporation

Chair of Science Advisory Committee and member of Board of Directors.

Institute for Defense Analyses

Vice President and Director of Research.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

International School of Physics "Enrico Fermi"

Session Director.

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Council member; Chair, Space Science Board; and Chair, Committee on International Security and Arms Control.

National Research Council (U.S.)

New York Academy of Sciences

Honorary member.

Optical Society of America

Honorary member.

Perkin-Elmer Corporation

Member, Board of Directors.

Rand Corporation

Member, Advisory Committee.

Rossiiskaia akademiia nauk

Foreign member.

Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Member, Board of Trustees.

United States. Air Force

Member, Scientific Advisory Board.

United States. Defense Science Board

Member.

United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Chair, Science and Technology Advisory Committee for Manned Space Flight; Chair, Science Advisory Committee for the Apollo Lunar Landing Program; and Member, Space Program Advisory Council.

United States. National Bureau of Standards

United States. President's Science Advisory Committee

Member and Member, Panel on Strategic Weapons.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Member, Board of Trustees.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

50th anniversary session [sound recording], 1966 March 15.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

A life in physics : Bell Telephone Laboratories and World War II, Columbia University and the laser, MIT and government service, California and research in astrophysics : oral history transcript / Charles Hard Townes ; with an introduction by Arthur L. Schawlow ; interviews conducted by Suzanne B. Riess in 1991-1992. Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, 1994.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Charles H. Townes addition to papers, 1939-1992.

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA

Charles H. Townes letter to Arthur Henry Guenther concerning his opinion of Basov's view of the early history of laser development, 1985.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Charles H. Townes papers, circa 1950-1977.

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, 94720-6000, USA

Charles H. Townes, oral history interview, 1998 [videotapes]

Archives Center

Smithsonian Institution. National Museum of American History

MRC 601, 12th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

Charles Hard Townes papers, 1948-1996.

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA

Discovery and creativity in science [videorecording], 2006.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Heineman Prize Banquet [sound recording] : American Physical Society Meeting, 1967 April 26.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

International Science and Technology Journal interviews, 1962-1967.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Invited papers [sound recording], 1965 April.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Jeff Hecht laser pioneer interviews, 1984-1991.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Lemelson Center Innovative Lives Program collection, 1995-2005.

Archives Center

Smithsonian Institution. National Museum of American History

MRC 601, 12th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

Memoranda from Bell Telephone Laboratories concerning applications of microwave spectroscopy (1946); letters from Townes to Joan Bromberg regarding these memoranda and the Laser History Project, 1946-1987.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Nobel Voices Videohistory Project collection, 2000-2001.

Archives Center

Smithsonian Institution. National Museum of American History

MRC 601, 12th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

Oral history interview with Charles H. Townes, 1979 June 18 and 20.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Charles H. Townes, 1984 January 28 and 31.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Charles H. Townes, 1987 May 20 and 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Charles H. Townes, 1991-1992.

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, 94720-6000, USA

Proposal and cover letter submitted to the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for research on a maser to amplify or oscillate at infrared frequencies, 1958.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Session entitled "New useful developments derived from physics" [sound recording] American Association of Physics Teachers annual meeting, December 29, 1967.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

The effectiveness of scientific advice to government [sound recording] : a lecture series at the University of California, Santa Barbara / 1976.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

The laser: invention, development and future [videorecording] / IEEE Santa Clara Valley Chapter 30th anniversary program, 2007.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

United States of America v. American Telephone & Telegraph legal documents, 1974-1984.

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Subject

AIP Center for History of Physics responses to Laser History Project Survey, 1983.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Arno A. Penzias papers, 1931-2006 (bulk 1963-1998).

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA

Charles Hard Townes Physics Today obituary

Clarence E. Larson science and technology oral history collection, 1983-1993.

Special Collections & Archives

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA 22030-4444, USA

Cornell Mayer papers, 1940-2005 (bulk 1943-1990).

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA

Hans Frauenfelder response to survey on the impact of immigration on U.S. physics, 1999.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

History of physics audio-visual collection, circa 1918-1996, 1960-1988 (bulk)

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

J. C. Polanyi response to Laser History Survey, 1984.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Jesse W. M. DuMond papers, 1912-1976.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

1201 East California Blvd. (Mail Code 015A-74), Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Lawrence Cranberg papers, 1962-2000.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Louis Smullin papers, 1939-1952.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Murray Gell-Mann papers, 1931-2001 (bulk 1955-1993).

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

1201 East California Blvd. (Mail Code 015A-74), Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Optical Society of America annual meeting in Tucson, 1971.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview Addison Hughson White, 1976 September 30.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with A. M. Prokhorov, 1984 September 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Alan Holden, 1974 July 30 and 1976 June 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Anthony John DeMaria, 1984 April 13.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Arno A. Penzias, 2006 January 19, March 21 and 22.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Arthur L. Schawlow, 1984 January 19.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Arthur L. Schawlow, 1996 August 14 to November 26.

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, 94720-6000, USA

Oral history interview with Brebis Bleaney, 1982 January 15.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Carlisle Martin Stickley, 1984 September 22.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Cornell Henry Mayer, 1986 November 8.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Dean E. Wooldridge, 1976 August 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with E. A. Frieman, 1986 June 26.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Elsa Meints Garmire, 1985 February 4.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Foster Cary Nix, 1975 June 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with George Field, 2007 December 5.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Gordon Gould, 1983 April 8 and October 23.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Herbert F. York, 1986 February 7.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Horace W. Babcock, 1977, July 25.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Isaac D. Abella, 1985 October 22.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Jack E. Oliver, 1996 March 8 and 1997 September 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Jack P. Ruina, 1991 August 8.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with James Gordon, 1983 November 4.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with James Gordon, 1986 October 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Jean Brossel, 1983 March 3 and 8.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with John Archibald Wheeler, 1988 May 4, May 23 and November 28.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with John F. Clauser, 2002 May 20, 21 and 23.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with John S. Foster, Jr., 1991 August 7.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Joseph Giordmaine, 1984 May 31 and June 4.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Joseph Giordmaine, 1995 April 18.

IEEE History Center

Rutgers University

39 Union Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA

Oral history interview with Joseph Giordmaine, 2007 October 10.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with K. Uno Ingard, 2007 July 19.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Kenneth M. Watson, 1986 February 10.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Malcolm Woodrow Pershing Strandberg, 1983 June 15.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Marvin Stern, 1987 May 1.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Michael Werner, 2008 July 25.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

1201 East California Blvd. (Mail Code 015A-74), Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Oral history interview with Nicolaas Bloembergen, 1983 June 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Nikolai Gennadievich Basov, 1984 September 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Norman M. Kroll, 1987 March 29.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with P. W. Anderson [videorecording] : 1999-2002.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral History interview with Robert Alan Frosch, 1981 July 10, 23, August 19, September 15 and October 6.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert Henry Dicke, 1983 May 2.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Rolf William Landauer, 1984 October 17.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Sidney D. Drell, 1986 July 1.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with William R. Bennett, 1987 October 26.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral History interview with Willis E. Lamb, 1985 March 7 and May 10.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Wolfgang Kurt Hermann Panofsky, 1973 May 15 and 1974 March 6 and June 3.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Research Corporation maser and laser patents collection, 1956-1962.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Richard G. Brewer response to Laser History Project Survey, 1983.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Video Interviews with Nobel Prize Winners in Physics, 2004-2006.

Sussex Innovation Centre, Science Park Square

Vega Science Trust

Brighton BN1 9SB, England UK

William Joseph Otting response to Laser History Project Survey, 1983.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Woodruff T. Sullivan papers, 1946-2009.

Archives

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA

Published Resources

Author

How the laser happened : adventures of a scientist / Charles H. Townes.

Making waves / Charles H. Townes.

Microwave spectroscopy / [by] C.H. Townes [and] A.L. Schawlow.

Quantum electronics : a symposium / edited by Charles H. Townes.

Subject

Amazing light : a volume dedicated to Charles Hard Townes on his 80th birthday / Raymond Y. Chiao, editor.

The Galactic center : proceedings of the symposium honoring C.H. Townes, Berkeley, CA 1986 / editor, Donald C. Backer.