Arthur Leonard Schawlow

About Arthur Leonard Schawlow

Who is it?: Physicist
Birth Day: May 05, 1921
Birth Place: Mount Vernon, New York, U.S., United States
Alma mater: University of Toronto
Known for: laser spectroscopy
Spouse(s): Aurelia Townes (m. 1951; 3 children)
Awards: Stuart Ballantine Medal (1962) Marconi Prize (1977) Nobel Prize for Physics (1981) National Medal of Science (1991)
Fields: Physics
Institutions: Bell Labs Columbia University Stanford University
Doctoral advisor: Malcolm Crawford

Arthur Leonard Schawlow

Arthur Leonard Schawlow was born on May 05, 1921 in Mount Vernon, New York, U.S., United States, is Physicist. Arthur Leonard Schawlow was an American physicist who shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics. Recognized for his work in developing the laser and laser spectroscopy, he also performed significant investigations in the areas of superconductivity and nuclear resonance. A very humble person despite his ground breaking research and achievements, he described himself as "the most uncompetitive person you ever saw" and felt that he was best suited to work as a team with other scientists. Born in the United States and raised in Canada, he developed a scientific approach to life quite early on. He tinkered with radio sets and other mechanical items he could find and read voraciously on various subjects. A brilliant student, he aspired to go to the University of Toronto to study radio engineering but the nation was still reeling under the Great Depression and his family was unable to afford the fees for his university education. However he was able to win a scholarship to study mathematics and physics at the faculty of Arts at the University of Toronto. Canada was at war when he graduated and he had to postpone his higher studies for a while. Eventually he was able to complete his research and embark on an academic career where his research focused on optics, in particular, lasers and their use in spectroscopy.
Arthur Leonard Schawlow is a member of Scientists

Does Arthur Leonard Schawlow Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Arthur Leonard Schawlow has been died on April 28, 1999(1999-04-28) (aged 77)\nPalo Alto, California, U.S..

🎂 Arthur Leonard Schawlow - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Arthur Leonard Schawlow die, Arthur Leonard Schawlow was 77 years old.

Popular As Arthur Leonard Schawlow
Occupation Scientists
Age 77 years old
Zodiac Sign Gemini
Born May 05, 1921 (Mount Vernon, New York, U.S., United States)
Birthday May 05
Town/City Mount Vernon, New York, U.S., United States
Nationality United States

🌙 Zodiac

Arthur Leonard Schawlow’s zodiac sign is Gemini. According to astrologers, Gemini is expressive and quick-witted, it represents two different personalities in one and you will never be sure which one you will face. They are sociable, communicative and ready for fun, with a tendency to suddenly get serious, thoughtful and restless. They are fascinated with the world itself, extremely curious, with a constant feeling that there is not enough time to experience everything they want to see.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Arthur Leonard Schawlow was born in the Year of the Rooster. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rooster are practical, resourceful, observant, analytical, straightforward, trusting, honest, perfectionists, neat and conservative. Compatible with Ox or Snake.

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At the age of 16, he completed high school at Vaughan Road Academy (then Vaughan Collegiate Institute), and received a scholarship in science at the University of Toronto (Victoria College). After earning his undergraduate degree, Schawlow continued in graduate school at the University of Toronto which was interrupted due to World War II. At the end of the war, he began work on his Ph.D at the university with Professor Malcolm Crawford. He then took a postdoctoral position with Charles Townes at the physics department of Columbia University in the fall of 1949.


He went on to accept a position at Bell Labs in late 1951. He left in 1961 to join the faculty at Stanford University as a professor. He remained until he retired to emeritus status in 1996.


Schawlow coauthored Microwave Spectroscopy (1955) with Charles Townes. This classic text is still being used today. Schawlow co-invented the laser with Townes in their seminal 1958 paper on Optical Masers aka lasers. This was the first published idea on the laser and the first one was built in 1960 by Ted Maiman.


Although his research focused on optics, in particular, lasers and their use in spectroscopy, he also pursued investigations in the areas of Superconductivity and nuclear resonance. Schawlow shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics with Nicolaas Bloembergen and Kai Siegbahn for their contributions to the development of laser spectroscopy.


In 1991, the NEC Corporation and the American Physical Society established a prize: the Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science. The prize is awarded annually to "candidates who have made outstanding contributions to basic research using lasers."


Schawlow and Professor Robert Hofstadter at Stanford, who also had an autistic child, teamed up to help each other find solutions to the condition. Arthur Jr. was put in a special center for autistic individuals, and later, Schawlow put together an institution to care for people with autism in Paradise, California. It was later named the Arthur Schawlow Center in 1999, shortly before his death on the 29th of April 1999.

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