Optical Pump-Probe Experiments and the Higgs Field
I feel honored to participate in this Festschrift in celebration of Charles Townes’s 80th birthday. Ever since my days as a graduate student at Columbia University, Charlie has been my most admired model of a physicist. But, like the Platonic Ideal, he is a model to aspire to, although impossible to match. Even his wild speculations turn out to be right on target—take the maser, for example. The rest of us have to accept our park-bench musings as nothing more than rambling daydreams. As the reader will see later in this paper, I cannot resist some wild speculation of my own on this happy occasion.
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