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Alfred Kastler

Alfred KastlerBorn: 3-May-1902
Birthplace: Guebwiller, Alsace, Germany
Died: 7-Jan-1984
Location of death: Bandol, France
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Agnostic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist

Nationality: France
Executive summary: Optical pumping

French physicist Alfred Kastler studied the various radiations emitted when atoms are excited by light and radio waves. In 1950 he developed the optical pumping method of stimulating atoms, through which the light energy that stimulate the atoms is re-emitted. His decades of investigation of the atomic spectra helped launch the new field of nuclear magnetic resonance, and his optical pumping system helped lay the foundational principles of maser and laser. Kastler was honored with the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1966. He also spoke out in support of the establishment of Israel, and publicly opposed the proliferation of nuclear weapons and America's involvement in the Vietnam War.

Father: Frederic Kastler
Mother: Anna Frey
Wife: Elise Cosset (teacher, m. 1924, one daughter, two sons)
Son: Daniel (professor of physics, b. 1926)
Daughter: Mireille (ophthalmologist, b. 1928)
Son: Claude-Yves (instructor in Russian, b. 1936)

    High School: Lycée Bartholdi, Colmar, France (1921)
    University: BS Physics, École Normale Supérieure, Paris (1926)
    Teacher: Lycée of Mulhouse (1926-31)
    University: PhD Physics, University of Bordeaux (1936)
    Lecturer: Physics, Blaise Pascal University, Clermont-Ferrand, France (1936-38)
    Professor: Physics, University of Bordeaux (1938-1941)
    Teacher: Physics, École Normale Supérieure, Paris (1941-45)
    Professor: Physics, École Normale Supérieure, Paris (1945-68)
    Professor: Visiting Professor, University of Louvain (1953-54)
    Administrator: Director of Research, French National Institute for Scientific Research (1968-72)

    Knighthood (1952)
    Fernand Holweck Prize (1954)
    French Legion of Honor Commander (1957)
    Mees Medal of the Optical Society (1962)
    Nobel Prize for Physics (1966)
    Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
    French Academy of Sciences (1964)
    French Physical Society
    Optical Society of America Foreign Member
    Polish Physical Society Foreign Member
    French Ancestry

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