User blogs

Tag search results for: "arthur l. schawlow"
Author/Compiler: Tihomir Dimitrov (; also see


Nobel Prize: Arthur Schawlow (1921–1999) co-inventor of the laser, won the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics for his contribution to the development of laser spectroscopy and for his revolutionary work in the spectroscopic analysis of the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter. Schawlow and Charles Townes hold the original patent for the laser; they are the founders of laser science.

Nationality: American

Education: Ph.D. in physics, University of Toronto, Canada, 1949

Occupation: Researcher at Columbia University and Bell Telephone Laboratories, NJ; Professor of Physics at Stanford University


1. Arthur Schawlow described the relationship between religion and science in the following way:

“Religion is founded on faith. It seems to me that when confronted with the marvels of life and the universe, one must ask why and not just how. The only possible answers are religious. For me that means Protestant Christianity, to which I was introduced as a child and which has withstood the tests of a lifetime.

But the context of religion is a great background for doing science. In the words of Psalm 19, ‘The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork’. Thus scientific research is a worshipful act, in that it reveals more of the wonders of God’s creation.” (Schawlow, as cited in Margenau and Varghese, 1997, 105-106; and in Templeton 1994).

2. “We are fortunate to have the Bible, and especially the New Testament, which tells us so much about God in widely accessible human terms.” (Schawlow, as cited in Margenau and Varghese, 1997, 107).

3. “I find a need for God in the universe and in my own life.” (Schawlow, as cited in Margenau and Varghese, 1997, 107).

4. “There are enormously different cults and religious sects, and I think it’s not unreasonable, because I think God – if He’s as wonderful as we believe – is also very complex, and that different people have to see Him differently.

You can’t expect a peasant and a philosopher to have the same picture of God. I think God is big enough to cover them all, even for science writers – they can have their picture of God.” (Schawlow 1998, Chapter I, Part 5).

5. “The imitation of Jesus is the way to save your life, I think. Beyond that I don’t know.” (Schawlow, as cited in Brian 1995, 242).

6. “The world is just so wonderful that I can’t imagine it was just having come by pure chance.” (Schawlow 1998, Chapter I, Part 5).