This is True®
by Randy Cassingham
Randy Cassingham’s Honorary Unsubscribe Recognizes the Unknown, the Forgotten and the Obscure People who Had an Impact on Our Lives
Someone else had invented “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation” — better known as the laser — but Maiman, at the time an employee of Hughes Research Laboratories in southern California, won the race to actually make a working unit. “It worked the first time,” Maiman remembered later. “But to tell you the truth, I was a little numbed.... I did not appreciate the gravity of what I had done.” Newspapers didn’t know what to think: “Man Invents Death Ray” screamed one panicked headline. But realizing that they’d have many more practical applications, Maiman quit his job at Hughes to work on lasers full time. Derided by many as “a solution looking for a problem,” the laser made hundreds of new things possible from supermarket bar code scanners to CD players to advanced eye surgery. Indeed the laser has been such a big impact on society that Maiman was nominated for a Nobel Prize, was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and won the Japan Prize, the Wolf Prize in Physics, and the Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize from the American Physical Society. He died in B.C., Canada, on May 5 from systemic mastocytosis, a genetic disease affecting connective tissue. He was 79.
From This is True for 6 May 2007
New: Honorary Unsubscribe Books
The early write-ups from This is True's popular Honorary Unsubscribe feature are now available for your Kindle (or Kindle software for your smartphone, tablet, or computer) as low-cost ebooks. See details on Volume 1 (covering 1998 through 2000), Volume 2 (covering 2001 through 2003), and Volume 3 (covering 2004 through 2006). The honorees truly are the people you wish you had known.
About the HUs
About This is True
to This is True
Copyright 1998-2013 ThisIsTrue.Inc, all rights reserved. May not be copied or archived without express, prior, written permission. "This is True" is a registered trademark of ThisIsTrue.Inc, Ridgway Colorado.