Readership: Popular science readership interested in lasers, physics, or the history of science.
Jeff Hecht, Freelance writer and correspondent, New Scientist
Jeff Hecht has been writing about lasers and optics for thirty-five years. A correspondent for New Scientist and a contributing editor to Laser Focus World, his books include: City of Light: The Story of Fiber Optics (OUP, 1999; expanded and revised edition 2004), Understanding Lasers: An Entry-Level Guide (2008), Understanding Fiber Optics (2005), Laser: Light of a Million Uses (1998), Laser Pioneers (1992), Optics: Light for a New Age (1988), and The Laser Guidebook (1991). His web site is www.jeffhecht.com.
"Hecht tells the story of the several competing laboratories that were attempting in the late 1950s to use the phenomenon of simulated emisson to produce a coherent and monochromatic light source. The story is interesting in its own right, both to physicists and engineers interested in the intellectual climate of the time and to the general public as an example of excitement and competition within the scientific community." - CHOICE
1.: The Laser Race
2.: Microwaves Are the First Step
3.: Leaping a Few Orders of Magnitude: The Optical Maser
4.: The Outsider's Invention: The Laser
5.: Bell Labs Takes the Early Lead
6.: Stimulating the Emission of Money
7.: A Spreading Interest in the Laser Idea
8.: A Pause to Compare Notes
9.: A Dark Horse Joins the Race
10.: "Everybody Knew It Was Going to Happen Within Months"—Bell Labs Feels Safely in the Lead
11.: A Crash Program at "Pipsqueak Inc."
12.: . The Siren Call of the Laser
13.: The Critical Question of Efficiency
14.: An Idea Simpler in Theory than in Practice
15.: Triumph in the Palace of Science
16.: An Unexpected Struggle for Acceptance
17.: "We Were Astounded"—A Stunned Reaction
18.: Runners-Up Cross the Finish Line