Prof. Ali Javan

Albert Einstein World Award of Science 1993
Field of Research: Optical Physics
Date: 19 December 1993
Place of Ceremony: Palacio de Bellas Artes
Host Institution: Presidencia de la República
Host Country: México City, México

Mexico, D.F., Mexico, December 1993. The World Cultural Council presented the 1993 Albert Einstein World Award of Science to Prof. Ali Javan, Francis Wright Davis Professor of Physics of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. The Official Awarding Ceremony took place at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City.

Prof. Javan was selected as the recipient of the Award as recognition to his more than 30 years of research into the physics of lasers. His work has been remarkable for his pioneering contributions to the field of stimulated emission of light, especially for his invention of the gas laser, an optical device of unparalleled applicability to scientific research and to a myriad of practical applications.

In 1917 Albert Einstein first introduced the concept of stimulated emission of light as a general principIe in light-matter interaction. In 1958, using this principIe, Prof. Javan conceived the basic idea to extract a pure colour, monochromatic, light from gaseous media by means of an electrical excitation accompanied with an enhancement process arising from interatom collisions. For the first time in 1960, his gas laser produced a continuously operating laser light.

Professor Javan’s subsequent contributions in this field, especially in uses of laser in scientific research, further evidences his impact to fundamental research, one that has found world acceptance in the study of atomic and molecular processes. His innovative contributions have extended to industrial uses of lasers, to high energy gas lasers, to coherent laser radar, to lasers in medical diagnosis applications.

Prof. Ali Javan was born in Teheran, Iran, in 1929. He entered Columbia University in 1949. He received his Ph.D. degree in Physics in 1954. In 1961 Prof. Javan entered MIT as an Associate Professor of Physics and was appointed Professor in 1964. In 1978, he was named as the Francis Wright Davis Professor of Physics.

During his productive career that includes 130 scientific papers, he has received different awards and honours among them the Stuart Ballantine Medal, Fanny and John Hertz Foundation Medal and Award, Frederick Ives Medal.

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