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Hall of Fame - Dr. Charles Hard Townes (1915 – 2015)

Dr. Charles H. Townes

Graduating from Greenville High School in 1931, Dr. Townes went on to study physics at Furman University, Duke University and finally the California Institute of Technology. An internationally known physicist, Dr. Townes received the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics, along with Nikolay Basov and Alexander Prokhorov, for his “fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser-laser principle.” Passionate about continuing his research while working with students, Dr. Townes had professorships at Columbia University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and finally at the University of California at Berkeley, where he spent nearly 50 years. Additionally, Dr. Townes was a sought-after advisor to government serving as Vice President and Director of Research of the Institute for Defense Analyses in Washington, D.C. and as Chairman of the NASA Science Advisory Committee for Project Apollo.