Remembering A.M. Prokhorov

Evgeny M. Dianov

A look, by one of his colleagues, at the long and diverse career of a laser pioneer.

figureMaser pioneers at the first conference on quantum electronics, USA, 1959. Left to right: H.J. Zeiger, N.G. Basov, J.P. Gordon, A.M. Prokhorov and C.H. Townes. [Image courtesy of Prokhorov family archives]

This year, The Optical Society (OSA) celebrated its 100th anniversary. But 2016 also included another important centennial in optics: that of the late Russian scientist and OSA Honorary Member Aleksandr Mikhailovich Prokhorov, who was born on 11 July 1916. The two events together offer an opportunity to look at Prokhorov’s rich scientific contributions, which go well beyond his Nobel Prize–winning work.

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