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(Left to right) James P. Gordon, Nikolai Basov, Herbert Zeiger, Alexander Prokhorov and Charles Hard Townes at the First Quantum Electronics Conference, Shawanga Lodge, September 14–16, 1959. Photo courtesy of The Regents of the University of California, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Fig. 1. (Left to right) James P. Gordon, Nikolai Basov, Herbert Zeiger, Alexander Prokhorov and Charles Hard Townes at the First Quantum Electronics Conference, Shawanga Lodge, September 14–16, 1959. Photo courtesy of The Regents of the University of California, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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A selection of Nobel Prizes related to light, masers and lasers, and applications. The descriptions are highly abridged from the formal citation, and this is of course only a partial list. Many other Nobel Prizes have involved key areas of light science. In particular, some physics Nobel Prizes in astronomy and cosmology include laser instrumentation as central components e.g. gravitational wave detection and laser interferometery (Nobel 2017) and the observation of black holes building on laser guide star adaptive optics (Nobel 2020). A printable poster version is included as Supplementary Material.

Fig. 2. A selection of Nobel Prizes related to light, masers and lasers, and applications. The descriptions are highly abridged from the formal citation, and this is of course only a partial list. Many other Nobel Prizes have involved key areas of light science. In particular, some physics Nobel Prizes in astronomy and cosmology include laser instrumentation as central components e.g. gravitational wave detection and laser interferometery (Nobel 2017) and the observation of black holes building on laser guide star adaptive optics (Nobel 2020). A printable poster version is included as Supplementary Material.

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