Ted Maiman and the birth of the Laser
SPIE Classics celebrates the birth of the laser -- 57 years ago this month.
In this 1983 video, Ted Maiman recalls the birth of the laser in his lab. Maiman's laser, based on a synthetic ruby crystal grown by Dr. Ralph L. Hutcheson, was first operated on 16 May 1960 at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California.
To honor the fortieth anniversary of Maiman's historic invention, SPIE's Executive Director Eugene Arthurs spoke with Maiman to hear first-hand the story of how the scientist succeeded in winning the laser race. This article is based on that conversation.