Happy Golden 50th Anniversary to the laser
Hi, I am Marshall Jones, a principal engineer in GE’s Laser & Metrology Labs. I am one of several researchers who work on laser technologies here at GE Global Research. If you work on lasers, you know that Sunday, May 16th is a special day – the 50th anniversary of the laser. To honor this major milestone, my colleagues and I are launching this new “Laser Diode-logues” blog feature. What’s in the name, you ask?
Well, GE’s greatest laser invention and what many consider to be one of the most significant achievements in this field was retired GE scientist Robert Hall’s invention of the semiconductor (diode) laser. It’s impact in products and our everyday lives seem to have no limit.
Diode lasers help enable everything from reading CDs and DVDs to laser printing and price scanning in stores. In fact, if you watched TV today, you probably used a TV remote to change the channel on your set. Diode lasers are key to that application too … and so much more.
I had the great honor of interviewing Robert Hall this week at our Research Lab in Upstate NY. We had a great conversation about his invention of the diode laser and other memories of his time at GE and the invention of the diode laser. We also had the chance to show him the holographic data storage lab and show him one of the cool future laser applications GE is working on.
I want to thank Dr. Hall for taking the time to talk with me and hope everyone enjoys listening to his recollections of the diode laser invention, I know I did. One of the most interesting things Robert Hall told us was actually off camera. He recalled that when he actually received his patent in Washington, D.C., it was right at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. He said he went to bed the night after receiving his patent wondering if he would even wake up in the morning and if he would ever have the chance to celebrate his accomplishment. Well, I am happy to say that almost 50 years later, Robert is still celebrating the diode laser and so are we.
Enjoy the video and happy anniversary to the laser! Keep an eye on this spot for more to come from my interview with Robert.