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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Arthur L. Schawlow

Photo

Dates

May 5, 1921 – April 28, 1999

Authorized Form of Name

Schawlow, Arthur L., 1921-1999

Additional Forms of Names

Schawlow, A. L. (Arthur L.), 1921-1999

Schawlow, Arthur L.

Schawlow, Arthur Leonard

Schawlow, Arthur Leonard, 1921-1999

Shavuro, A., 1921-1999

Biography

Abstract

Physicist. Professor of Physics at Stanford University since 1961 and executive head of the Physics Department, 1966-1970; at Bell Laboratories, 1951-1961. Schawlow is best known for his work on lasers, and received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1981.

Important Dates

May 5, 1921Birth, Mount Vernon (Westchester County, N.Y.).

1941Received B.A., University of Toronto, Toronto (Ont.).

1942Received M.A., University of Toronto, Toronto (Ont.).

1944 – 1945Physicist, Microwave Development, Research Enterprises, Ltd.

1949Received Ph.D., University of Toronto, Toronto (Ont.).

1949 – 1951Fellow and Research Associate, Columbia University.

1951 – 1961Research Physicist, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill (N.J.).

1960Visiting Associate Professor, Columbia University.

1961 – 1999Professor of Physics (1961-1978); Chair, Department of Physics (1966-1970 and acting chair 1976-1974); J. G. Jackson and C. J. Wood Professor of Physics (1978-1991); and Emeritus Professor of Physics (1991-1999), Stanford University, Stanford (Calif.).

1970Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1975President, Optical Society of America (OSA).

1976Awarded Frederick Ives Medal, Optical Society of America (OSA).

1981Awarded Nobel Prize in Physics with Nicolaas Bloembergen "for their contribution to the development of laser spectroscopy".

1981President, American Physical Society (APS).

1991Awarded National Medal of Science.

April 28, 1999Death, Palo Alto (Calif.).

Occupation

Laser and optics physicist.

Places

Birth

Mount Vernon (Westchester County, N.Y.)

Undergraduate Education

Toronto (Ont.)

Graduate Education

Toronto (Ont.)

Employment

Murray Hill (N.J.)

Stanford (Calif.)

Death

Palo Alto (Calif.)

Subjects

Atomic beams.

Laser spectroscopy.

Lasers.

Masers.

Microwave spectroscopy.

Optics -- Societies, etc.

Relationships

People

Family

Schawlow, Arthur K.

Son.

Schawlow, Aurelia Townes

Wife, married in 1951.

Schawlow, Edith

Daughter.

Schawlow, Helen

Daughter.

Advisors & Collaborators

Bloembergen, N.

Shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics "for their contribution to the development of laser spectroscopy."

Crawford, Malcolm Franklin

Ph.D. advisor at University of Toronto.

Hänsch, T. W. (Theo W.), 1941-

Advised as a post-doctoral fellow by Schawlow at Stanford University and both employed at Stanford University.

Haroche, S.

Collaborated on a laser experiment.

Townes, Charles H.

Post-doctoral advisor at Columbia University. Co-wrote "Microwave Spectroscopy."

Colleagues

Adelberger, Eric G.

Both employed at Stanford University.

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

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Ashkin, Arthur, 1922-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Bardeen, John

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Bardeen, William A.

Both employed at Stanford University.

Beasley, Malcolm

Both employed at Stanford University.

Bjorken, James D.

Both employed at Stanford University.

Bloch, Felix, 1905-

Both employed at Stanford University.

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

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Booth, Eugene

Both employed at Columbia University.

Boyle, Willard S., 1924-2011

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

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

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Buchsbaum, Solomon J.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Buckley, Oliver Ellsworth, 1887-1959

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Cabrera, Blas

Both employed at Stanford University.

Chodorow, Marvin

Both employed at Stanford University.

Chu, Steven

Both employed at Stanford University.

Chynoweth, A. G.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Clogston, Albert McCavour

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Conwell, Esther M. (Esther Marley), 1922-2014

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Cutler, Cassius Chapin

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Darlington, Sidney, 1906-1997

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

David, Edward E.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Davis, Bergen, 1869-1958

Both employed at Columbia University.

Dolan, Gerald

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Dorfan, Jonathan

Both employed at Stanford University.

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

Both employed at Stanford University.

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

Both employed at Columbia University.

Fairbank, William Martin, 1917-1989

Both employed at Stanford University.

Feher, George, 1924-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Fetter, Alexander L., 1937-

Both employed at Stanford University.

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

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Foley, Henry Michael, 1917-1982

Both employed at Columbia University.

Freedman, Stuart J.

Both employed at Stanford University.

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

Both employed at Columbia University.

Galt, John Kirtland, 1920-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Geballe, Theodore H.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Glashow, Sheldon L.

Both employed at Stanford University.

Goldhaber, Gerson

Both employed at Columbia University.

Gossard, A. C.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Greene, Christopher Henry

Both employed at Stanford University.

Hagstrum, Homer D.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Herring, William Conyers, 1914-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Hofstadter, Robert, 1915-1990

Both employed at Stanford University.

Hopfield, John J.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Hughes, Vernon W.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Jaffe, Arthur, 1937-

Both employed at Stanford University.

Javan, Ali, 1926-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Kelly, Mervin Joe

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

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

Both employed at Stanford University.

Kirkpatrick, Paul

Both employed at Stanford University.

Kittel, Charles

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Kompfner, Rudolf, 1909-1977

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Kraichnan, Robert H., 1928-2008

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Kroll, Norman Myles, 1922-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Kusch, Polykarp, 1911-1993

Both employed at 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.

Laughlin, Robert B.

Both employed at Stanford University.

Lax, Melvin J.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Lederman, Leon M.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Linde, A. D.

Both employed at Stanford University.

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

Both employed at Columbia University.

Matthias, Bernd T., 1918-1980

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Meyerhof, Walter E. (Walter Ernst), 1922-

Both employed at Stanford University.

Nelson, Ann E. (Ann Elizabeth)

Both employed at Stanford University.

Osheroff, Douglas D.

Both employed at Stanford University.

Pake, G. E. (George Edward)

Both employed at Stanford University.

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

Both employed at Stanford University.

Patel, C. Kumar N.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Pearson, Gerald L. (Gerald Leondus)

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Pegram, George Braxton, 1876-1958

Both employed at Columbia University.

Penzias, Arno A.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Pfann, William G.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Phillips, J. C.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Press, Frank, 1924-

Both employed at Columbia University.

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

Both employed at Columbia University.

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

Both employed at Columbia University.

Raney, William P.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Richards, Paul L. (Paul Linford)

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Richter, Burton, 1931-

Both employed at Stanford University.

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

Both employed at Columbia University.

Sarachik, Myriam P.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Schiff, Leonard I. (Leonard Isaac), 1915-1971

Both employed at Stanford University.

Schwartz, Melvin, 1932-2006

Both employed at Stanford University.

Shockley, William, 1910-1989

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Smith, George E., 1930-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Smith, Neville, 1942-2006

Both employed at Stanford University and Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Sprouse, Gene D.

Both employed at Stanford University.

Steinberger, J.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Stillinger, F. H.

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Suhl, Harry

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Susskind, Leonard

Both employed at Stanford University.

Terman, Frederick Emmons, 1900-1982

Both employed at Stanford University.

Thomas, D. G. (David Gilbert), 1928-

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Thomas, Llewellyn Hilleth, 1903-1992

Both employed at Columbia University.

Turner, Michael Stanley

Both employed at Stanford University. Both employed at Stanford University. Both employed at Stanford University.

Walecka, John Dirk, 1932-

Both employed at Stanford University.

White, Robert M., 1938-

Both employed at Stanford University.

Will, Clifford M., 1946-

Both employed at Stanford University.

Wojcicki, Stanley G., 1937-

Both employed at Stanford University.

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

Both employed at Columbia University.

Yariv, Amnon

Both employed at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Additional

Armstrong, J. A. (John A.)

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

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

Cranberg, Lawrence, 1917-

DeMaria, Anthony J.

Gould, Gordon, 1920-2005

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

Landauer, Rolf William, 1927-1999

Maiman, Theodore H.

Smith, George Foster, 1922-

Institutions

Major Positions

Bell Telephone Laboratories

Research Physicist.

Columbia University. Department of Physics

Fellow; Research Associate; and Visiting Associate Professor.

Stanford University. Department of Physics

Professor of Physics; Chair, Department of Physics; J. G. Jackson and C. J. Wood Professor of Physics; and Emeritus Professor of Physics.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Academy of Arts and Sciences

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Institute of Physics

American Philosophical Society

American Physical Society

President.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Member.

Optical Society of America

President.

University of Toronto. Department of Physics

Received B.A. in 1941, M.A. in 1942, and Ph.D. in 1949.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Arthur L. Schawlow papers, 1949-1997.

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Arthur Schawlow letter to Judy Franz regarding edits to chapter 2 of -Physics in the 20th Century-, 1997 December 24.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Distinguished speakers session [sound recording] 1982 April 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

From maser to laser: talk by Arthur L. Schawlow at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory: Videorecording, 1982.

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Letter from Arthur Leonard Schawlow concerning Maiman's testimony during the Hellwarth vs Gould patent proceedings and the rejection of one of Maiman's manuscripts on masers by Physical Review Letters; and a copy of Maiman's testimony in which he discusses his work in developing ruby lasers, 1959-1984.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Letters to NBS staff on "Atomic Energy Levels," 1949-1971.

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

Panel discussion on the development of the laser and nonlinear optics [sound recording], 1982 October 20.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Press conference on receipt of Nobel Prize [video recording], October 1981.

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305, 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

What is light? [sound recording] / 1974 April 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

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

Special Collections & Archives

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA 22030-4444, USA

Jeff Hecht laser pioneer interviews, 1984-1991.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

John P. Blewett papers, 1821-2000 (bulk 1940-1995).

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Joseph Tenn notebook, 1962.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Lawrence Cranberg papers, 1962-2000.

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 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, 1991-1992.

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, 94720-6000, USA

Oral history interview with Erwin Louis Hahn, 1986 August 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with George Foster Smith, 1985 February 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 John A. Armstrong, 1984 October 17.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, 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 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 Theodor Wolfgang Hänsch, 1984 January 19.

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

Selected talks from Corporate Associates Meetings [videorecording] : 1983-1987.

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

Published Resources

Author

Lasers and light; readings from Scientific American. With introductions by Arthur L. Schawlow.

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

Subject

Arthur Leonard Schawlow Physics Today obituary.

Lasers, spectroscopy, and new ideas : a tribute to Arthur L. Schawlow / editors, W.M. Yen and M.D. Levenson.