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In December 1960, the helium-neon (HeNe) laser, the first laser to generate a continuous beam of light at 1.15 μm, was demonstrated by Ali Javan, William Bennett Jr., and Donald Herriott of Bell Labs. In the 60 years following its invention, the continuous-wave HeNe laser has been used in telecommunications, internet data transmission, holography, barcode scanners, medical devices, and more.
Javan, who was professor emeritus at MIT when he died in 2016 at the age of 89, is also credited with developing the first method for accurately measuring the speed of light and launching the field of high-resolution laser spectroscopy.
Born in Tehran, Iran, in 1926, Javan came to the U.S. in 1949, where he studied and worked at Columbia…READ MORE