Having made pioneering contributions
to applied laser technology,
Ali Javan's most significant invention is the helium-neon laser. It became the most widely used
kind of laser and is still an important tool in research labs, industry, and telecommunications.
All other gas lasers that followed were outgrowths of Javan's basic concept.
in Tehran, Iran, Javan came to the U.S. in 1948 and earned his
Ph.D. in physics from Columbia University in 1954. Javan continued
his research at Bell Labs, where he conceived the gas laser principle,
which led him to invent a laser composed of helium and neon.
gas laser was the first continuous-light laser, which made its
use in the telecommunications industry, specifically through fiber
optics technology, invaluable. The impact of Javan's invention
went beyond advancing telecommunications. It made holography practical,
is used in UPC code checkout scanners, and is critical for a wide
range of scientific, medical, and monitoring technologies.
made several other important inventions and scientific breakthroughs.
He developed the first absolutely accurate measurement of the
speed of light and initiated the field of high-resolution laser
spectroscopy at unprecedented accuracy. Revered by scientists
for his advancements in laser technology, Javan was awarded the
Albert Einstein World Medal of Science in 1993.
Vinton G. Cerf
Robert E. Kahn
Robert W. Gore
Richard M. Hoe
John H. Thomas