Cover art for podcast Distillations | Science History Institute

Distillations | Science History Institute

294 EpisodesProduced by Science History InstituteWebsite

Each episode of Distillations podcast takes a deep-dive into a moment of science-related history in order to shed light on the present.

30:02

The Man, the Myth, the Laser

They’re at the grocery checkout. They kill cancer cells. They’re in pointers that drive cats crazy and in the fiber networks that connect us to the internet. Lasers are so ubiquitous it’s hard to imagine a world without them. So you’d think we would know who the inventor was, right? Turns out it’s not so easy. There’s the guy who wrote down the initial idea, two other guys who got a patent for it, and then another guy who actually built the first laser. We spoke to Nick Taylor, author of Laser: The Inventor, the Noble Laureate, and the Thirty-Year Patent War about this story and what it tells us about how inventions happen.

Credits

Hosts: Alexis Pedrick and Elizabeth Berry Drago Senior Producer: Mariel Carr Producer and Reporter: Rigoberto Hernandez Audio Engineer: Catherine Girardeau

Music

Our theme music was composed by Zach Young. 

Additional music courtesy of the Audio Network

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