14 Facts About Ali Javan


Ali Javan was an Iranian-American physicist and inventor.


Ali Javan was the first to propose the concept of the gas laser in 1959 at the Bell Telephone Laboratories.


Ali Javan was born in Tehran to Iranian Azerbaijani parents originally from Tabriz.


Ali Javan graduated from Alborz High School, and started his university studies at the School of Science at the University of Tehran for a year.


In 1955, Javan held a position as a Post Doctoral in the Radiation Laboratory and worked with Townes on the atomic clock research, and used the microwave atom beam spectrometer to study the hyperfine structure of atoms like copper and thallium.


Ali Javan joined Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1958 shortly after he conceived the working principle of his gas discharge Helium Neon laser, and subsequently submitted his paper for publication which was reviewed by Samuel Goudsmit in 1960.


Ali Javan carried out the first demonstration of optical heterodyne beats with lasers in 1961.


Ali Javan's group repeated the Michelson-Morley experiment with a new order of accuracy by turning their lasers in different directions with respect to the earth's motion.


At MIT in the early 1960s, Ali Javan started a research project aimed at extending microwave frequency-measuring techniques into the infrared.


Ali Javan introduced the concept of an optical antenna of several wavelengths long which enables the near-complete confinement of an incident optical field coupled to it, and forming the antenna in nanoscale.


Ali Javan first worked at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an associate professor of physics in 1961 and has remained Francis Wright Davis Professor Emeritus of physics since 1964.


Ali Javan continued researching into the area of "optical electronics", which envisions scaling electronic elements in such a way that they would be capable of handling frequencies as high as visible optical radiation frequencies.


Ali Javan is survived by his wife, Marjorie, and by their two daughters, Lila and Maia.


In 2007, Ali Javan was ranked Number 12 on The Daily Telegraphs list of the "Top 100 Living Geniuses".