MAR 26, 2018 12:50 PM PDT

What is a maser?

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

Invented by three scientists from Columbia University in the 1950s, a maser (microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) is a device that produces coherent electromagnetic waves through amplification by stimulated emission. 

Charles H. Townes (among the three inventors), Nikolay Basov and Alexander Prokhorov received Physics Nobel in 1964 for their theoretical basis that resulted in the construction of maser. 

Less known as compared to its sibling laser, maser has been used in some scientific applications. For example, NASA use masers to amplify the extremely weak signal received from deep space spacecraft and maintain communication. 

Most of the current maser devices require cryogenic cooling-ultra low temperature to function. A new device, made by physicists at Imperial College London, can now produce a continuous maser beam at room temperature. This improvement would allow masers to be used for more other fields that were previously restricted due to its working temperature. 

Source: Nature Video via Youtube

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
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