Representing UCF, CREOL and the Townes Laser Institute, director Martin Richardson and his wife, Kathleen attended a Memorial Service for Charles Townes at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, United Church of Christ, on February 28th, to celebrate the life and achievements of Charles Townes, after whom our Townes Laser Institute is named. Dr Townes passed away a month ago on January 27th at the age of 99. Dr Richardson met with Mrs Frances Townes and many members of the Townes family, as well as with several Berkeley colleagues of Dr Townes. It was a beautiful ceremony with many family reminiscences and stories from his colleagues. One of them was the observation that Dr Townes had very much wanted to reach the age of 100 years, and that if you counted the days from his last birthday, he was 99.501 years when he passed, which if you use the mathematical approach of 'rounding up to the nearest digit', means he reached his goal!
The picture on the right is an infrared photograph of the constellation of Orion. The bright blue dot just upper left from center is the supergiant star Betelgeuse, one of the most luminous stars in the cosmos. Townes and his group at Berkeley have been studying the size and shape of Betelgeuse with infrared interferometry for the last two decades. The insert shows the flowers sent by UCF for the Memorial.
Posted Monday, March 2, 2015