PerspectiveApplied Physics

<H4>Also see the archival list of Science's Compass: Enhanced Perspectives</H4>APPLIED PHYSICS:Enhanced: The Maser at 50

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Science  08 Oct 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5694, pp. 236-237
DOI: 10.1126/science.1101354

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In 1954, the first device demonstrating "microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation" was demonstrated. Fifty years on, some masers are widely used as amplifiers and high-stability oscillators. Other, more novel maser designs are enabling fundamental studies of quantum mechanics and are providing sensitive tests for quantum gravity theories. In his Perspective, Walsworth reviews these recent developments. In a related Perspective, Claussen reviews the discovery and study of naturally occurring masers in astronomical objects such as star-forming regions.