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For millennia, scholars in the old and new worlds have realized that their efforts depend largely on the works of those who came before. The “eureka!” moments experienced by scientists and other observers of nature do arise, but there must exist first a foundation of knowledge that has been passed down from earlier investigators.
This has never been more true than in the world of laser technology. It would be shocking to find someone in the field who is unaware of names such as Maiman, Townes, Schawlow, and Basov, but the pioneering developments of today depend on the efforts of many more innovators who toiled at the same time, or even earlier.
Entire books have been given over to untangling the web of published papers,…READ MORE