Physics @ Berkeley
Physics in the News
Title: Charles Townes, Raj Reddy Receive The 2006 Vannevar Bush Award For Lifetime Contributions And Statesmanship
URL: http://nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=106921&org=olpa&from=news
Date: 04/27/2006
Publication: NSF
Editor:
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Charles Townes probably chuckles every time he sees the television ad with the cell-phone-carrying man asking, "Can you hear me now?"  And Raj Reddy may have the same reaction when he sees robots dominate the assembly lines of major car manufacturers.

For Townes, a still-active Nobel Prize-winning physicist at age 90, his invention and demonstration of the maser (microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) and its optical counterpart, the laser, kick-started a new generation of modern communications, global networks and photonic science and technology.

Now credited as the father of quantum electronics, Townes' work has led to developments such as the atomic clocks that keep the world's time and the ultra-sensitive radio receivers that were part of the first communications satellites.