Gould, Gordon

Gould, Gordon

(1920–  ) physicist, inventor, manufacturer; born in New York City. After taking his B.S. from Union College (N.Y.) (1941), he did graduate work in physics at Yale, leaving to work on the atomic bomb for the Manhattan Project during World War II (1943–45). In the postwar years he worked for various private engineering firms while teaching at different institutions—City College of New York (1947–54), Columbia University (1954–57), Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute (1967–74). While working at Columbia with Charles Townes and others, he contributed to the development of the laser; Gould would claim greater credit for the laser than others have been willing to grant him, but he was named inventor of the year (1978) by the Patent Office Society for his laser amplifier, and he does hold patents on many of the laser devices used for industrial and medical applications. In 1974 he founded Optelecom Inc., which specializes in optical communications; he retired from that firm in 1985.