OSA members share about their work, sources of inspiration, tales from recent events, the value of OSA membership, and more.



Rasheed Azzam

The first OSA Annual Meeting that I attended was in October 1972 in San Francisco.   I presented a paper on “generalized ellipsometry” (part of my 1971 PhD dissertation at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln) in the Physical Optics III session chaired by the late Philip Baumeister of the University of Rochester.  It was also there that I first met the late Jarus Quinn, OSA’s First Executive Director.

From 1972 to 2004 I attended OSA meetings that... Continue Reading

Alan White

A couple of funny stories from the early days of the red HeNe gas laser: A high-frequency high voltage spark coil was used those days to ignite the laser discharge tube. One day in the lab with a bunch of scientists watching, Keith Pennington volunteered to ignite the laser tube so he picked up the sparker, turned it on and ignited the discharge. Instead of turning the sparker off at its switch he elected to jerk the plug out of the mains outlet by pulling on the sparker and ended up with the... Continue Reading

Damon Diehl

I met my future post-doctoral advisor, Dr. Taco Visser, in front of my poster at a presentation at the OSA Annual Meeting in Santa Clara, CA. We had friends in common, but I doubt that Taco and I would have become collaborators if he hadn’t become familiar with the mathematical modeling behind my experimental research.
Owner, DIEHL Research Grant Services Continue Reading

Eric Van Stryland, 2006 OSA President

As OSA Vice President, I served as chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and we came up with a “Centennial Goal” for 2016.  That is, “To make OSA the lifelong professional home for the worldwide optics and photonics community.”  That may have morphed in the interim, but it was/is a good goal!  The committee also set up goals for internationalization which have been carried out.  In particular, to get the leadership and committee membership... Continue Reading

Monish Chatterjee

Dedicated to OSA Fellow and my graduate advisor, Adrian Korpel

The Torchbearer
(Celebrating AK’s 80th Year)

Once you wrote about
            Turning fifty, how it no longer worried you.
Well, the decades have moved on,
                        As they always do
      And we acquire the labels- 
    ... Continue Reading

Rich Holmes

Rich Holmes

In late 1986, Allen Flusberg and I developed a theory of the polarization dependence of gain in stimulated rotational Raman scattering.  This dependence was poorly understood, because the standard polarization theory for spontaneous Raman scattering is complicated by Stokes-Anti-Stokes coupling.  The problem was (and is) also important because such scattering affects the propagation of intense lasers in the atmosphere. 
A manuscript was... Continue Reading

Michael Shur

I was very fortunate to join the A. F. Ioffe Institute in 1966, where the first heterojunction laser was invented. Dr. Alferov received the Nobel Prize for that invention, Dr. Rudolf Kazarinov of Ioffe Institute also contributed to that invention. In winter of 1973, I was attending the School of Physicists in a rest house about 70 km from Leningrad, we talked, went skiing, enjoyed life, and listened to lectures on solid state physics. In their lecture, Drs. Kazarinov and Suris proposed an... Continue Reading