Dr. Theodore Maiman (1927-2007)

Dr. Ted Maiman

Maiman with an early laser connected to its power source.

Born in Los Angeles on July 11, 1927, Theodore Maiman received his B.S. in engineering physics from the University of Colorado and his M.S. in electrical engineering and Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University. He and a team of scientists from Hughes Research Laboratories demonstrated the ruby laser on Monday May 16, 1960.

In 1962, Maiman founded his own company, Korad Corporation, for the research, development and manufacture of lasers. He sold Korad to Union Carbide Corporation and then formed Maiman Associates in 1968. He joined TRW in 1976 and was responsible for directing the management of technology and the establishment of new high-technology ventures. Later, he was the director of Control Laser Corporation and a member of the Advisory Board of Industrial Research magazine.

Maiman was twice nominated for a Nobel Prize and was a member of both the National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Engineering. He was the recipient of the 1983 and 1984 Physics Prizes and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1984. He received the Japan Prize, the equivalent to the Nobel Prize, in 1987.

Maiman died in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2007.

About US


July 7, 1960

"For the first time in scientific history we have achieved true amplification of light waves," Maiman said at a press conference held in New York City. He predicted "the possibilities are very real for utilization of high light concentration for industrial, chemical and medical purposes." Read More (pdf) >