Charles Townes, physicist who invented the laser, dies at 99

January 28, 2015 7:23 AM

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Charles Townes, the Columbia University physicist who transformed modern society with his invention of the maser and the laser, receiving the 1964 Nobel Prize in physics for his effort, has died. He was 99.

Townes, who had been in failing health, died Tuesday on his way to a hospital in Berkeley, according to UC Berkeley. He had been a professor of physics there since 1967.

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