British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Nicolaas Bloembergen - Laser Spectroscopy

Synopsis
Nicolaas Bloembergen, USA, shared half of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1981 with Arthur Leonard Schawlow, USA "for their contributions to the development of laser spectroscopy". In this interview recorded in 2004 Bloembergen tells how he is attracted to major challenges and found physics the most challenging subject at school. He chooses the most difficult things to do - for instance sport!

He discusses the technical developments of his work on lasers and masers and gives an insight into various applications of his work eg: Distant early warning radar used to defend the USA, by Penzias and Wilson in their discovery of cosmic microwave background, the microwave mazer and microwave transmission via satellites.

He goes on to talk about the Strategic Defence Initiative (STI) set up during Regan’s administration as a defence against the Soviet Union. His advice to young scientists is to pursue something that interests you or don’t do science! He also discusses his views on religion. (8 minutes)
Series
Lindau Interviews with Nobel Prize Winners, The
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2005
Year of production
2004
Subjects
Physics
Keywords
lasers; masers; microwaves; Nobel Prize winners; religious belief and practice; Strategic Defense Initiative; laser spectroscopy

Online availability

URI
http://www.vega.org.uk/video/programme/27
Price
free
Delivery
Streamed

Credits

Contributor
Nicolaas Bloembergen

Distributor

Name

Vega Science Trust

Email
vega@vega.org.uk
Web
http://www.vega.org.uk External site opens in new window
Phone
01273 678 726
Address
Sussex Innovation Centre
Science Park Square
Brighton
BN1 9SB
Notes
Well-established maker and distributor of more than 200 programmes on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, many of which have been broadcast. Vega’s videos aim to give a fundamental understanding of principles of nature and the physical world. Outstanding scientists/communicators are directly involved with each video so that they can guide content of the programmes. Science is presented in a natural way as an intellectually challenging discipline and the videos fill the gap in TV coverage by presenting well-informed analyses on serious science-related ethical, economic, social, health and other issues. Separate series consist of interviews with eminent scientists, science video lectures, issues of current scientific concern, the Royal Institution Discourses, scientific masterclasses, and recent research projects. Programmes available for free viewing via the website and some also for sale on DVD.

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