Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Prokhorov

Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Prokhorov
(1922 - 2002)

Soviet physicist who received, jointly with Nikolay G. Basov of the Soviet Union and Charles H. Townes of the United States, the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1964 for fundamental research in quantum electronics that led to the development of the maser and laser.
After obtaining his doctorate from Leningrad State University in 1946, Prokhorov joined the P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute, Moscow, as a senior associate. In 1952 he and Basov jointly suggested the maser principle of amplifying and emitting parallel electromagnetic waves that are all in phase and all of the same wavelength. By the time they published their suggestion in 1954, Townes had built the first working maser.

In 1954 Prokhorov became head of the institute's Oscillation Laboratory and later professor at Moscow M.V. Lomonosov State University. He received the Lenin Prize in 1959 and later two Orders of Lenin and various medals. Prokhorov has written a number of fundamental works on the construction of infrared and visible light lasers and on nonlinear optics.

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