Theodore H. Maiman created the first laser. He was nominated twice for a Nobel Prize, and his autobiography, The Laser Odyssey, was published in 2000.
Maiman worked at the Hughes Research Laboratories, where he developed the laser from it’s microwave equivalent, the maser, that was originally developed and built by Charles H. Townes and colleagues.
The laser is a device that produces monochromatic coherent light, or light in which the rays are all of the same wavelength and phase. Since then it has found numerous practical uses, ranging from delicate surgery, to measuring the distance between the Earth and Moon.
Maiman operated the first successful laser in 1960, then two years later he established the company Korad Corp. for exploiting the exciting new field of lasers. He later sold Korad and worked as a consultant at TRW, a technology corporation.
Theodore Maiman was born July 11, 1927, in Los Angeles, and died May 5, 2007, in Vancouver, B.C.