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Science  06 Jan 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5757, pp. 39-40
DOI: 10.1126/science.1122755

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Beam. The Race to Make the Laser. By Jeff Hecht. Oxford University Press, New York, 2005. 284 pp. $29.95, £18.50. ISBN 0-19-514210-1.

Building on recent memoirs and his own extensive research, the author provides a balanced account of the race to develop the laser and assesses the conflicting claims surrounding the invention.