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Lasers & Sources

Site of Maiman laser receives historical designation

SPIE Newsroom
24 November 2010

On November 23 during an employee event at its Malibu facilities, HRL Laboratories was recognized as an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing, marking the site where the first working laser was demonstrated more than 50 years ago.

HRL received a plaque from IEEE commemorating the historic event: "On this site in May 1960 Theodore Maiman built and operated the first laser. A number of teams around the world were trying to construct this theoretically anticipated device from different materials. Maiman's was based on a ruby rod optically pumped by a flash lamp. The laser was a transformative technology in the 20th century and continues to enjoy wide application in many fields of human endeavor."

SPIE President Ralph James represented the Society at the celebration. 

Since its first demonstration, more than 55,000 patents involving the laser have been granted in the United States, according to IEEE.