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Article entitled "Discovering a Laser" by William Silfvast in Optics & Photonics News


Silfvast lines up the discharge tube of a metal vapor laser. Cadium vapor has been used for ultraviolet and blue lasers, tin vapor for red and zinc for infrared.

An article entitled "Discovering a Laser" by Emeritus professor William Silfvast appears in Optics & Photonics News.

"An enthusiastic recounting of the early days of the helium cadmium laser—a twisting path with many characters that started at the University of Utah."

"My enthusiasm for optics and photonics began in 1960, shortly after the first demonstration of the laser, and has continued to the present day. I was fortunate to work with professors in those early days who had interests in optics and lasers and were willing to share that interest with me. During that time, Professor Grant Fowles and I were very fortunate to make many interesting laser discoveries in a variety of heated metal vapors.

I like to think of the early years of my career as a scientific adventure, filled with the opportunity to observe many new visible lasers for the very first time and also taking some unusual and surprising turns. It’s a story I’d like to share with you."

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Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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