Author

# Charles H. Townes

Bio: Charles H. Townes is an academic researcher from University of California, Berkeley. The author has contributed to research in topic(s): Infrared Spatial Interferometer & Interferometry. The author has an hindex of 62, co-authored 345 publication(s) receiving 19318 citation(s). Previous affiliations of Charles H. Townes include University of California & University of California, Santa Cruz.

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1,572 citations

Book
01 Jan 1958
TL;DR: In this article, it was shown that by using a resonant cavity of centimeter dimensions, having many resonant modes, maser oscillation at these wavelengths can be achieved by pumping with reasonable amounts of incoherent light.
Abstract: The extension of maser techniques to the infrared and optical region is considered. It is shown that by using a resonant cavity of centimeter dimensions, having many resonant modes, maser oscillation at these wavelengths can be achieved by pumping with reasonable amounts of incoherent light. For wavelengths much shorter than those of the ultraviolet region, maser-type amplification appears to be quite impractical. Although use of a multimode cavity is suggested, a single mode may be selected by making only the end walls highly reflecting, and defining a suitably small angular aperture. Then extremely monochromatic and coherent light is produced. The design principles are illustrated by reference to a system using potassium vapor.

1,271 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a method is developed for calculating the effects of a strong oscillating field on two states of a quantum-mechanical system which are connected by a matrix element of the field.
Abstract: A method is developed for calculating the effects of a strong oscillating field on two states of a quantum-mechanical system which are connected by a matrix element of the field. Explicit approximate solutions are obtained for a variety of special cases, and the results of numerical computations are given for others. The effect of an rf field on the $J=2\ensuremath{\rightarrow}1$ $l$-type doublet microwave absorption lines of OCS has been studied in particular both experimentally and theoretically. Each line was observed to split into two components when the frequency of the rf field was near 12.78 Mc or 38.28 Mc, which are the frequencies separating the $J=1$ and $J=2$ pairs of levels, respectively. By measuring the rf frequency, ${\ensuremath{ u}}_{0}$, at which the microwave lines are split into two equally intense components, one may determine the separation between the energy levels. The measured value of ${\ensuremath{ u}}_{0}$ depends upon the intensity of the rf field and the form of this dependence has been calculated and found to be in good agreement with the experimental results.

1,232 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, it was shown that this variation of electric field is usually simply related to the molecular electronic structure, being primarily dependent on the way in which valence electrons fill the lowest energy p-type orbits.
Abstract: Nuclear quadrupole coupling constants in molecules depend on the nuclear quadrupole moments and the variation in electrostatic field at the nucleus. It is shown that this variation of electric field is usually simply related to the molecular electronic structure, being primarily dependent on the way in which valence electrons fill the lowest‐energy p‐type orbits. Structural information which can consequently be obtained from known quadrupole coupling constants is discussed. Hybridization of the normal covalent bonds of N, Cl, and As with at least 15 percent s character is clearly shown. The alkali halides appear to be almost purely ionic; the quadrupole coupling data allow no more than 3 percent covalent character. In addition to molecular structure, some nuclear quadrupole moments are approximately evaluated by use of the theory developed here.

882 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a type of device is described which can be used as a microwave amplifier, spectrometer, or oscillator, and experimental results are given for the expected sensitivity, stability and purity of the oscillation.
Abstract: A type of device is described which can be used as a microwave amplifier, spectrometer, or oscillator. Experimental results are given. When operated as a spectrometer, the device has good sensitivity, and, by eliminating the usual Doppler broadening, a resolution of 7 kc/sec has been achieved. Operated as an oscillator, the device produced a frequency stable to at least 4 parts in ${10}^{12}$ in times of the order of a second, and stable over periods of an hour or more to at least a part in ${10}^{10}$. The device is examined theoretically, and results are given for the expected sensitivity of the spectrometer, the stability and purity of the oscillation, and the noise figure of the amplifier. Under certain conditions a noise figure approaching the theoretical limit of unity, along with reasonably high gain, should be attainable.

523 citations

##### Cited by
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[...]

08 Dec 2001-BMJ
TL;DR: There is, I think, something ethereal about i —the square root of minus one, which seems an odd beast at that time—an intruder hovering on the edge of reality.
Abstract: There is, I think, something ethereal about i —the square root of minus one. I remember first hearing about it at school. It seemed an odd beast at that time—an intruder hovering on the edge of reality. Usually familiarity dulls this sense of the bizarre, but in the case of i it was the reverse: over the years the sense of its surreal nature intensified. It seemed that it was impossible to write mathematics that described the real world in …

30,199 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors consider the atomic dynamics and the optical response of the medium to a continuous-wave laser and show how coherently prepared media can be used to improve frequency conversion in nonlinear optical mixing experiments.
Abstract: Coherent preparation by laser light of quantum states of atoms and molecules can lead to quantum interference in the amplitudes of optical transitions. In this way the optical properties of a medium can be dramatically modified, leading to electromagnetically induced transparency and related effects, which have placed gas-phase systems at the center of recent advances in the development of media with radically new optical properties. This article reviews these advances and the new possibilities they offer for nonlinear optics and quantum information science. As a basis for the theory of electromagnetically induced transparency the authors consider the atomic dynamics and the optical response of the medium to a continuous-wave laser. They then discuss pulse propagation and the adiabatic evolution of field-coupled states and show how coherently prepared media can be used to improve frequency conversion in nonlinear optical mixing experiments. The extension of these concepts to very weak optical fields in the few-photon limit is then examined. The review concludes with a discussion of future prospects and potential new applications.

3,732 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
01 Jan 1963
TL;DR: In this article, it was shown that the semiclassical theory, when extended to take into account both the effect of the field on the molecules and the effects of the molecules on the field, reproduces the same laws of energy exchange and coherence properties as the quantized field theory, even in the limit of one or a few quanta in the field mode.
Abstract: This paper has two purposes: 1) to clarify the relationship between the quantum theory of radiation, where the electromagnetic field-expansion coefficients satisfy commutation relations, and the semiclassical theory, where the electromagnetic field is considered as a definite function of time rather than as an operator; and 2) to apply some of the results in a study of amplitude and frequency stability in a molecular beam maser. In 1), it is shown that the semiclassical theory, when extended te take into account both the effect of the field on the molecules and the effect of the molecules on the field, reproduces almost quantitatively the same laws of energy exchange and coherence properties as the quantized field theory, even in the limit of one or a few quanta in the field mode. In particular, the semiclassical theory is shown to lead to a prediction of spontaneous emission, with the same decay rate as given by quantum electrodynamics, described by the Einstein A coefficients. In 2), the semiclassical theory is applied to the molecular beam maser. Equilibrium amplitude and frequency of oscillation are obtained for an arbitrary velocity distribution of focused molecules, generalizing the results obtained previously by Gordon, Zeiger, and Townes for a singel-velocity beam, and by Lamb and Helmer for a Maxwellian beam. A somewhat surprising result is obtained; which is that the measurable properties of the maser, such as starting current, effective molecular Q, etc., depend mostly on the slowest 5 to 10 per cent of the molecules. Next we calculate the effect of amplitude and frequency of oscillation, of small systematic perturbations. We obtain a prediction that stability can be improved by adjusting the system so that the molecules emit all their energy h Ω to the field, then reabsorb part of it, before leaving the cavity. In general, the most stable operation is obtained when the molecules are in the process of absorbing energy from the radiation as they leave the cavity, most unstable when they are still emitting energy at that time. Finally, we consider the response of an oscillating maser to randomly time-varying perturbations. Graphs are given showing predicted response to a small superimposed signal of a frequency near the oscillation frequency. The existence of "noise enhancing" and "noise quieting" modes of operation found here is a general property of any oscillating system in which amplitude is limited by nonlinearity.

3,567 citations

01 Oct 1966
TL;DR: In this method, non-linear susceptibility tensors are introduced which relate the induced dipole moment to a power series expansion in field strengths and the various experimental observations are described and interpreted in terms of this formalism.
Abstract: Recent advances in the field of nonlinear optical phenomena are reviewed with particular empphasis placed on such topics as parametric oscillation self-focusing and trapping of laser beams, and stimulated Raman, Rayleigh, and Brillouin scattering. The optical frequency radiation is treated classically in terms of the amplitudes and phases of the electromagnetic fields. The interactions of light waves in a mterial are then formulated in terms of Maxwell's equations and the electric dipole approximation. In this method, non-linear susceptibility tensors are introdueed which relate the induced dipole moment to a power series expansion in field strengths. The tensor nature and the frequency dependence of the nonlinearity coefficients are considered. The various experimental, observations are described and interpreted in terms of this formalism.

3,516 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
04 Oct 2006
TL;DR: In this paper, a review of numerical and experimental studies of supercontinuum generation in photonic crystal fiber is presented over the full range of experimentally reported parameters, from the femtosecond to the continuous-wave regime.
Abstract: A topical review of numerical and experimental studies of supercontinuum generation in photonic crystal fiber is presented over the full range of experimentally reported parameters, from the femtosecond to the continuous-wave regime. Results from numerical simulations are used to discuss the temporal and spectral characteristics of the supercontinuum, and to interpret the physics of the underlying spectral broadening processes. Particular attention is given to the case of supercontinuum generation seeded by femtosecond pulses in the anomalous group velocity dispersion regime of photonic crystal fiber, where the processes of soliton fission, stimulated Raman scattering, and dispersive wave generation are reviewed in detail. The corresponding intensity and phase stability properties of the supercontinuum spectra generated under different conditions are also discussed.

3,067 citations