Milestones-Nomination talk:IEEE Milestone for the Demonstration of the First Working Laser in Malibu, CA
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|Suggestions for Laser nomination||2||18:07, 18 August 2011|
Title: Demonstration of the First Working Laser, 1960
Citation: On this site in May 1960, Theodore Maiman built and operated the first laser. A number of teams around the world were trying to construct this theoretically anticipated device from different materials, and Maiman’s was based on a ruby optically pumped with flash lamps. The laser was a transformative technology in the 20th century and continues to enjoy wide application in many fields of human endeavor.
References: I would add a secondary source to confirm that Maiman's priority is not in question. How about something like:
Although there is some controversy about the credit for the laser theory published by Arthur Schawlow and Charles Townes in Physical Review in 1958, there is complete consensus among both historians and the broader public (e.g., the National Inventors' Hall of Fame) that among all the teams seeking to build a laser based on the Schawlow-Townes paper, Maiman was the first to succeed (see Joan Lisa Bromberg, The Laser in America 1950 -1970, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1991; pp. 86 - 92)