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Townes’s accomplishments earned him a statue in Greenville, South Carolina.

Townes’s accomplishments earned him a statue in Greenville, South Carolina.

Jason A G/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Charles Townes, pioneer of laser development, dies at 99

Charles Townes, whose research and creativity led to the development of modern lasers, died on Tuesday in Oakland, California. For his work, Townes received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1964, sharing it with two colleagues. Since then, lasers have become ubiquitous in modern life, enabling technologies ranging from barcode scanners to atomic clocks.

The New York Times as well as the University of California, Berkeley, published lengthy obituaries today. Townes is survived by his wife, four daughters, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.