Journal of the European Optical Society - Rapid publications, Vol 5 (2010)

Development of the physics of microwaves, and its unification with infrared and optical science

C. H. Townes


Radio waves and light for a long time seemed quite separated, one primarily a field of engineering, and the other more a field of science. Now they have come together, with engineering and basic science strongly involved in both. This change originated largely through the development of microwave physics, which led to laser oscillators and amplifiers. The whole electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to the ultraviolet and beyond, now looks like a continuous field from both a scientific and engineering point of view. The development of microwave physics, an essential part of this story, will be discussed here with its impact on masers, lasers, and optics.

© The Authors. All rights reserved. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2010.10043s]

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