1920 - Gordon Gould, born on the 17th of July in New York City. He was an American physicist who is widely but not universally credited as the inventor of the laser.
1941 - 1943 - He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics at Union College and a Master's degree at Yale University, specializing in optics and spectroscopy.
1944 - 1945 - He worked on the Manhattan Project but was dismissed due to his activities as a member of the Communist Political Association.
1949 - Went to Columbia University to work on a doctorate in optical and microwave spectroscopy.
1956 - Proposed using optical pumping to excite a maser, and discussed this idea with the maser's inventor, Charles Townes (who was also a professor at Columbia). Townes gave Gould advice on how to obtain a patent on his innovation, and agreed to act as a witness.
1957 - He ealized that one could make an appropriate optical resonator by using two mirrors in the form of a Fabry-Pérot interferometer.
1967 - Left TRG and joined the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, now the Polytechnic University of New York, as a professor.
1968 - His first laser patent was awarded, covering an obscure application—generating X-rays using a laser.
1973 - Left the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn to help found Optelecom, a company in Gaithersburg, Md. that makes fiberoptic communications equipment.
1991 - He was elected to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Gould said in his acceptance speech: "I think it's important to be self-critical.
2005 - He died on the 16th of September of natural causes. He was survived by his wife of 35 years, Marilyn Appel.
Page last updated: 11:24am, 24th May '07