Charles Townes, inventor of the maser (1998) :: Smithsonian Lemelson Center
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Oral & video history documentation

The Lemelson Center's oral and video history projects increase historical documentation on invention and innovation in the United States.
Above: Guitarist G.E. Smith is featured in the Electric Guitar Video Documentation Project. Smithsonian photo by Jeff Tinsley.

Full descriptions of the following collections may be found by searching the archives and manuscripts section of SIRIS, the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System. Unless otherwise noted, all collections are housed in the NMAH Archives Center. For further information, contact the Archives Center Reference Desk.

Oral & video history documentation is listed in alphabetical order by subject of interview. Date of interview is in parentheses.


Charles Townes, inventor of the maser (1998)

Video footage documenting the “Innovative Lives” program presented by Charles Townes, the inventor of the maser (a precursor to the laser) and the Nobel-Prize winning scientist (Physics, 1964) who conceived the theory behind the laser. The maser (which stands for Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is a device that can amplify microwaves and had practical applications in communications and other fields.

0.5 cu. ft.: 3 boxes containing original, master, and reference videos.

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