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Happy 99th Birthday to Dr. Charles Townes!

Charles Townes in 2014 in his Birge Hall office. (UC Berkeley photo by Elena Zhukova)
Charles Townes in 2014 in his Birge Hall office. (UC Berkeley photo by Elena Zhukova)

Furman graduate and Nobel Laureate Charles H. Townes turns 99 on July 28, a day which is being celebrated in both California and South Carolina. Townes, who received the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work that led to the development of laser technology, is professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. Townes and his, wife, Frances, will attend a birthday party on the Berkeley campus, and Greenville has declared July 28 to be “Charles H. Townes Day.”

Townes, a Furman trustee emeritus, is a native of Greenville and graduated from Furman in 1935 at the age of 19, where he was member of the swim team, football band and college paper. He completed a M.A. in physics at Duke University and a Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology.  His many honors include receiving NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal, the National Medal of Science, and the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.  He was also awarded 31 honorary degrees.

Read more about the birthday celebration for Dr. Townes on the UC-Berkeley website.

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