09/10/2008 - Science in my life, and the unpredictability of discovery

 
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Manage episode 121133786 series 103556
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Professor Charles Townes, UC Berkeley (1964 Nobel Prize winner for Physics for the invention of the laser)
Professor Townes is the 1964 Nobel prize winner for fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser-laser principle. He is a former member of the SETI Institute board. His presentation will focus on the fact that many of the most important discoveries have been unpredicted surprises, hence we need to search intensely and hopefully. He will illustrate this with his own personal history, and other interesting examples that he knows well.
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