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



Steve Jacobs

Steve Jacobs, University of Arizona

As explained in Nick Taylor's "LASER - The Inventor, The Nobel Laureate, and the Thirty-Year Patent War" [1] it took Gordon Gould 30 years to obtain the Basic Laser Patent (1987) whose value increased enormously since 1957.  Only recently (2013) was U.S.Patent Law changed from "first to the concept" to "first to the Patent Office", which is consistent with the rest of the world.

 [1... Continue Reading

Bob Maltby, OSA Emeritus Member

Two Optical Society members have influenced my optics fareer. The first was Dr. John Strong who as a consultant to LOF Glass was very thoughtful and inspiring to me and my family, including giving me an autographed copy of his Concepts of Classical Optics Book. The other was a summer student who did his first interferometer job working for me, Dr. James Wyant, who of course you know as a recent President of the Optical Society.

I am now retired having done many optics jobs... Continue Reading

Francisco Duarte

One evening, the 1st week of December, 1992, in Houston, Texas, I had the good fortune of having a long conversation with Willis E. Lamb on the subject of quantum measurements. We had been introduced by Marlan Scully and, at the time, I had initiated an N-slit laser interferometric measurement program back at the Research Laboratories of Eastman Kodak, in Rochester, NY. Quantum measurements was a favorite subject of his. I had been introduced to quantum physics via Dirac’s notation... Continue Reading

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