Vintage Bell Labs Film About Early Lasers

“Principles of the Optical Maser” is a 1963 Bell Laboratories educational film about optical masers, devices now more commonly known as lasers. The first functioning laser debuted in 1960.

Dr. C. G. B. Garrett of Bell Laboratories (and his prominent British accent) presents the material, which also includes lab demonstrations and animation. The Optical maser is a phrase that means the same as Laser – or Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A Laser is basically a Maser that works with photons in the light spectrum. There are optical and infrared masers, as profiled in the 1958 pioneering paper that introduced the concept to the world, written by Bell Labs scientists Charles H. Townes and Arthur L. Schawlow.