Tunable Lasers - overview
Physics Accomplishment | 1966
IBM researcher: Peter Sorokin
Where the work was done: IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
What we accomplished: IBM developed novel optically pumped liquid laser that could be tuned over a wide range of wavelengths, laying the foundation for modern laser-based optical spectroscopy, which enables understanding of materials and their interactions -- capabilities useful from synthesizing and understanding compounds to crime solving to understanding astronomical understanding.
Peter Sorokin's 1966 discovery of organic dye lasers, with their continuous tunability over a broad range, led to a revolution in optical spectroscopy and nonlinear-optics, and opened a path to fundamental studies in physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine. For his discoveries, Sorokin (pictured) was honored with the Franklin Institute’s Albert A. Michelson Award, the Optical Society of America’s R. W. Wood Prize, the National Academy of Sciences’ Cyrus B. Comstock Prize, the Technion’s Harvey Prize, and the American Physical Society’s Arthur Schawlow Prize in Laser Science.
Related links: Wikipedia entry on Peter Sorokin
Image credit: ACAP