National Academies Press: OpenBook

Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future (1994)

Chapter:A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964

« Previous: Appendixes
Suggested Citation:"A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×

A
Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964

1964

Nicolai Gennediyevich Basov

Nationality: Soviet

Area of concentration: Quantum electronics

Basov played an essential role in the invention of quantum microwave amplification devices (masers) and light amplifiers (lasers), which operate on the principle of stimulated emission of radiation. He collaborated with Aleksandr Prokhorov, with whom he shared the Nobel Prize, to produce the first Soviet maser and did pioneering work on the use of semiconductors in lasers.

Aleksandr Mikhailovich Prokhorov

Nationality: Soviet

Areas of concentration: Quantum radiophysics and quantum electronics

The independent research of Prokhorov and Nicolai Basov in the Soviet Union and Charles Townes in the United States on stimulated emission of radiation in the microwave and optical regions of the spectrum led to the development of masers and lasers.

Suggested Citation:"A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×
Charles H. Townes

Nationality: American

Area of concentration: Quantum electronics

Townes's invention of the maser was a result of his investigation into the means of using stimulated emission of atoms for amplification of microwaves. An essential ingredient of Townes's discovery was the creation of an inverted population of atoms.

1966

Alfred Kastler

Nationality: French

Areas of concentration: Optical spectroscopy and Hertzian resonances

Kastler's discovery in 1950 of double resonance and his combining of this method in 1952 with the technique of optical pumping resulted in new knowledge of atomic structure and led to the development of masers and lasers between 1952 and 1958 by Townes in the United States and Prokhorov and Basov in the Soviet Union.

Robert S. Mulliken

Nationality: American

Area of concentration: Structural chemistry

Through the application of quantum mechanics, Mulliken developed the theory of molecular orbitals, which provided new insight into the structure of the chemical bond. He also studied molecular spectra and isotope separation.

1967

Ronald G.W. Norrish

Nationality: British

Areas of concentration: Photochemistry and reaction kinetics

Norrish contributed much to the maturation of the field of photochemistry and to the study of the kinetics of very fast chemical reactions. In the development of the technique of flash photolysis, he added immeasurably to the understanding of processes as diverse as polymerization and combustion. Laser spectroscopy

Suggested Citation:"A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×

methods based on this phenomenon can be applied to numerous other fields of physics and chemistry.

George Porter

Nationality: British

Areas of concentration: Photochemistry and reaction kinetics

Porter developed and refined flash photolysis, which offers a means of measuring extremely fast chemical reactions. This technique has proved valuable in studying a wide variety of important reactions throughout chemistry.

1971

Dennis Gabor

Nationality: British

Areas of concentration: Electron optics and holography

Gabor was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the principles underlying the science of holography. While his fundamental studies in the optics of holography were completed in the late 1940s, Gabor was unable to realize the potential of his theoretical work until after the invention of the laser in 1960.

Gerhard Herzberg

Nationality: Canadian

Areas of concentration: Molecular spectroscopy and structure determination

Herzberg was a leader in molecular spectroscopy, a method of study that can identify molecules and provide precise information on their electronic structure and motions. He performed pioneering work with free radicals, the highly reactive molecular fragments that occur as intermediates in chemical reactions.

1976

William N. Lipscomb, Jr.

Nationality: American

Areas of concentration: Borane chemistry and X-ray crystallography

Lipscomb, through skillful experiments and exacting calculations, delineated and organized the chemistry of boron-hydrogen compounds (boranes). His

Suggested Citation:"A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×

work on boranes is unique in its depth and scope and reveals new aspects of chemical bonding, molecular structure, and chemical reactivity that have general applicability.

1981

Nicolaas Bloembergen

Nationality: American

Areas of concentration: Optics and quantum electronics

Bloembergen's formulation of a general theory to explain the response of matter to intense laser light led to his development of the new field of nonlinear optical laser spectroscopy. Methods based on this phenomenon can be applied to numerous other fields of physics and chemistry

Kenichi Fukui

Nationality: Japanese

Areas of concentration: Electronic structure and organic reactions

Fukui discovered that of the many electronic orbitals involved in molecular structure, only those of the highest energy dominate the reaction. Fukui found that these frontier orbitals could account for many organic reactions not otherwise understood.

Roald Hoffmann

Nationality: American

Area of concentration: Electronic structure of compounds

Hoffmann recognized the importance of both the energy and the symmetry of electronic orbitals in chemical reactions. His development of the theory of orbital symmetry has become an exceedingly practical instrument for a wide variety of chemical syntheses.

Arthur L. Schawlow

Nationality: American

Areas of concentration: Optics and laser spectroscopy

Schawlow's discovery of new techniques in high-resolution laser spectroscopy opened a new era in atomic and nuclear physics by making it possible to study optical transitions with a resolution limited only by their natural line widths.

Suggested Citation:"A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×
Kai M.B. Siegbahn

Nationality: Swedish

Area of concentration: Chemical physics

Siegbahn investigated and elucidated the binding energies of atomic electrons by dislodging the electrons with soft X-rays, developing a highly sensitive technique called electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis, or ESCA.

1986

Dudley R. Herschbach

Nationality: American

Area of concentration: Molecular reaction dynamics

Herschbach was one of a group of physical chemists who were the prime movers in the development of molecular beam machines. In part through his efforts, the molecular beam technique moved from early experiments using limited types of atoms to a modern technique capable of using any molecule. He was also instrumental in the development of the theoretical models to describe reactions.

Yuan T. Lee

Nationality: American

Areas of concentration: Molecular reaction dynamics and photochemistry

Lee helped revolutionize the field of molecular reaction dynamics through his construction of the first crossed molecular beams apparatus capable of detecting all molecules rather than select types. He conducted many experiments using these types of instruments and developed insight into the detailed mechanisms of bond formation and breaking in chemical reactions.

John C. Polanyi

Nationality: Canadian

Area of concentration: Molecular reaction dynamics

Polanyi developed the experimental method of infrared chemiluminescence, which allows chemists to look at the internal state distributions of product molecules in a chemical reaction. He performed a systematic study of the influence of potential energy surface features on the energy distributions in product molecules.

Suggested Citation:"A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×
Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer

Nationality: G. Binnig, German; H. Rohrer, Swiss

Area of concentration: Surface science

Binnig and Rohrer designed and developed the scanning tunneling microscope. In doing so, they were the first to demonstrate vacuum tunneling. Scanning tunneling microscopy is a technique that is able to image a surface on a variety of length scales and is capable of resolving individual atoms and molecules. The position and orientation of adsorbed molecules can be determined and manipulated.

1989

Hans G. Dehmelt

Nationality: American

Area of concentration: Atomic spectroscopy

Dehmelt used ion-trap spectroscopy to study electrons and other charged particles. He was the first to observe a single electron in a trap, opening the door to precise measurements of key electron properties. Similar techniques allowed Dehmelt and his collaborators to observe a quantum jump in a single ion.

Wolfgang Paul

Nationality: German

Area of concentration: Atomic physics

Paul developed an electromagnetic trap capable of holding a small number of ions for long periods of time. The so-called Paul trap and its cousin, the Penning trap, play an important role in modern spectroscopy.

Norman F. Ramsey

Nationality: American

Area of concentration: Atomic physics

Ramsey developed a technique of imposing two separate, oscillating electromagnetic fields on an atomic beam to induce energy-level transitions that forms the basis of the cesium atomic clock. He also helped develop the hydrogen maser, which is useful as a secondary time standard.

Suggested Citation:"A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×

1991

Richard R. Ernst

Nationality: Swiss

Area of concentration: Magnetic resonance imaging

Ernst improved nuclear magnetic resonance techniques, and his contributions paved the way for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a biomedical technique for depicting tissues deep within the body.

1992

Rudolph A. Marcus

Nationality: American

Area of concentration: Physical chemistry

Marcus is widely known for his theory of electron-transfer reactions. His work provided simple mathematical expressions for how energy of a molecular system is affected by changes in the structure of reacting molecules and their nearest neighbors. Electron transfer is a fundamental step in photosynthesis, metabolism, xerography, and chemical storage of electrical energy.

Suggested Citation:"A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×
This page in the original is blank.
Suggested Citation:"A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×
Page147
Suggested Citation:"A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×
Page148
Suggested Citation:"A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×
Page149
Suggested Citation:"A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×
Page150
Suggested Citation:"A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×
Page151
Suggested Citation:"A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×
Page152
Suggested Citation:"A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×
Page153
Suggested Citation:"A Nobel Prizes Awarded in AMO Science Since 1964." National Research Council. 1994. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2357.
×
Page154
Next: B Impact of AMO Science »
Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science: An Investment in the Future Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $53.00
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

This book responds to the call for a clear description of the role of basic science in meeting societal needs. It gives examples of societal benefits of atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) science in a number of key areas, including industrial technology, information technology, energy, global change, defense, health and medical technology, space technology, and transportation.

This volume highlights the role of lasers in trapping, cooling, and manipulating individual atoms and molecules to make possible ultraprecise atomic clocks, structural engineering at the atomic level (nanotechnology), and new approaches to the study of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). AMO science is shown to be a field that is both an intellectually important basic science and a powerful enabling science that supports many other areas of science and technology.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!