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The Inventor, the Nobel Laureate, and the Thirty-Year Patent War


302 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: EPUB, Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $9.99 (US $9.99) (CA $12.99)

Publication Date: December 2019

ISBN 9781625361653

Rights: WOR

Jones Street Books (Dec 2019)


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Gordon Gould woke up one night in his Bronx, New York, apartment, opened a laboratory notebook and wrote: "Some rough calculations on the feasibility of a LASER: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation." That was November 1957, and the 37-year-old graduate student had coined the name for a world-changing invention. Before he stopped, he had written the first description of a working laser and how it could be used. What he didn't know was how to get a patent. So Gould, even as a radical background denied him a security clearance to work on his own invention, would spend the next thirty years fighting to prove he, and not the Nobel laureate Charles Townes, was the inventor. Finally, by 1988, Gould's legal war had won him four basic laser patents that upheld his claim. LASER is the dramatic story of a brilliant lone inventor who took on the establishment and triumphed in the end.

Author Biography

Nick Taylor's non-fiction books cover a wide variety of subjects, from bass fishing to the Mafia to life in a small church. The Washington Post called A Necessary End, his memoir of his parents in their final years "one of the key stories of our time." His American-Made: the Enduring Legacy of the WPA, is an award-winning history of the New Deal's signature jobs program. His collaboration with the late astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn produced John Glenn: A Memoir, a New York Times bestseller. Taylor lives with his wife in New York City.