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Beam: The Race to Make the Laser Paperback – May 26, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0199738717 ISBN-10: 0199738718

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (May 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199738718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199738717
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,158,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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

About the Author

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 (O.U.P., 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.

More About the Author

Jeff Hecht has been writing about lasers, optics and fiber optics for more than 35 years. After writing for industry magazine Laser Focus World for several years, he began writing books that explain laser science and technology to newcomers to the field. His books are aimed at readers from middle-school students to professionals. The New York Academy of Sciences gave his book Optics: Light for a New Age, honorable mention as one of the best children's science books in older age group in 1988. His technician-training and self-study book Understanding Fiber Optics is now in its fifth edition, with more than 100,000 copies in print.

After years of writing about new science and technology, he turned to the history of fiber optics, writing City of Light: The Story of Fiber Optics, as part of the Sloan Technology Series. More recently, he wrote BEAM: The Race to Make The Laser, describing the work that led to the world's first laser in 1960.

He continues to write extensively for magazines, covering topics from lasers to dinosaurs for New Scientist magazine, and continuing developments in lasers and photonics for Laser Focus World

Customer Reviews

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By RJB on September 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I thought that Jeff Hecht's "City of Light" was a better book but the race became better and better when you get further into it. The writing was casual, informative and descriptive and the technical information slowly evolved (not overbearing) as progress was made by the various principals. Yes, it was a science telenovela. However, I think he should have written a Chapter 20 to give a Wikipedia-like roundup or summation of laser theory and applications. I think the author was persuasive on his remarks on Maiman missing out of the Nobel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. ragno on April 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story is narrated from a neutral point of view and gives a clear picture of the laser research across the various labs ( Bell, TRG, Hughes, IBM, Varian ).
This overview was previously unavailable, given that the other laser books were written by some of the actors ( Townes, Maiman ) and are not neutral.
The technical aspects are explained quite simply and the writing style keeps you entertained with the right amount of trivia.
After finishing the book I decided to home build a laser device in my basement ( probably a CO2 or He-Ne laser ) and discovered there are a lot of laser fans out there.
Well done Mr Hecht.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Greg D'Haenens on February 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I appreciate the effort it took to tell this story. I was on the edge of my seat at times. There were some really special people doing some rather fantastic science. "Pushing the envelope" is the polite translation of what my dad would say. I was also told this is the most accurate version he had read.
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