The gas laser was the first continuous-light laser, which made its use in the telecommunications industry, specifically through fiber optics technology, invaluable. The impact of Javanís invention went beyond advancing telecommunications. It made holography practical, is used in UPC code checkout scanners, and is critical for a wide range of scientific, medical, and monitoring technologies.
Born in Tehran, Iran, Javan came to the U.S. in 1948 and earned his Ph.D. in physics from Columbia University in 1954. Javan continued his research at Bell Labs, where he conceived the gas laser principle, which led him to invent a laser composed of helium and neon.