The historical development of masers and lasers has been well documented in several books. It is not my purpose here to recapitulate or improve on those accounts, which focus on the roles individual scientists, industry and funding agencies played in the evolution of the laser.

1.
J. L. Bromberg, The Laser in America, 1950–1970, MIT P., Cambridge, Mass. (1991).
M. Bertolotti, Masers and Lasers: A Historical Approach, Adam Hilger, Bristol, UK (1983).
J. Hecht, Laser Pioneer Interviews, High Tech Publications, Torrance, Calif. (1985).
2.
J. P.
Gordon
,
H. J.
Zeiger
,
C. H.
Townes
,
Phys. Rev.
95
,
282
(
1954
).
3.
J. P.
Gordon
,
H. J.
Zeiger
,
C. H.
Townes
,
Phys. Rev.
99
,
1164
(
1955
).
4.
F.
Bloch
,
Phys. Rev.
70
,
450
(
1946
).
F.
Bloch
,
W. W.
Hansen
,
M.
Packard
,
Phys. Rev.
70
,
474
(
1946
).
5.
E. M.
Purcell
,
R. V.
Pound
,
Phys. Rev.
81
,
279
(
1951
).
6.
See, for example,
H. Y.
Carr
,
E. M.
Purcell
,
Phys. Rev.
94
,
630
(
1954
).
7.
N.
Bloembergen
,
Phys. Rev.
104
,
205
(
1956
).
8.
H. E. D.
Scovil
,
G.
Feher
,
H.
Seidel
,
Phys. Rev.
105
,
209
(
1957
).
9.
G. Klauminzer, Laser Focus, May 1983, p. 8.
10.
A. L.
Schawlow
,
C. H.
Townes
,
Phys. Rev.
112
,
1940
(
1958
).
11.
S. A.
Goudsmit
,
Phys. Rev. Lett.
3
,
125
(
1959
).
12.
T. H.
Maiman
,
Phys. Rev. Lett.
4
,
565
(
1960
).
13.
T. H.
Maiman
,
Nature
187
,
493
(
1960
).
14.
T. H.
Maiman
,
Phys. Rev.
123
,
1145
(
1961
).
T. H.
Maiman
,
R. H.
Hoskins
,
I. J.
d'Haenens
,
C. K.
Asawa
,
V.
Evtuhov
,
Phys. Rev.
123
,
1151
(
1961
).
15.
R. J.
Collins
,
D. F.
Nelson
,
A. L.
Schawlow
,
W.
Bond
,
G. C. B.
Garrett
,
W.
Kaiser
,
Phys. Rev. Lett.
5
,
303
(
1960
).
16.
P. P.
Sorokin
,
M. J.
Stevenson
,
Phys. Rev. Lett.
5
,
557
(
1960
).
17.
A.
Javan
,
W. R.
Bennet
Jr
,
D. R.
Herriott
,
Phys. Rev. Lett.
6
,
106
(
1961
).
18.
A.
Javan
,
Phys. Rev. Lett.
3
,
87
(
1959
).
19.
P. A.
Franken
,
A. E.
Hill
,
C. W.
Peters
,
G.
Weinrich
,
Phys. Rev. Lett.
7
,
118
(
1961
).
20.
R. N.
Hall
,
G. E.
Fenner
,
J. D.
Kingsley
,
T. J.
Soltys
,
R. O.
Carlson
,
Phys. Rev. Lett.
9
,
366
(
1962
).
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