French physicist who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1966 for his
discovery and development of methods for observing Hertzian resonances
Kastler's Nobel-Prize-winning research facilitated the study of atomic
structures by means of the radiations that atoms emit under excitation
by light and radio waves. His method of stimulating atoms in a particular
substance so that they attain higher energy states was called "optical
pumping." Since the light energy used to stimulate the atoms was
reemitted, optical pumping marked an important step toward the development
of the maser and the laser.
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