Tasoltan Tazretovich Basiev


In Memoriam: Tasoltan Tazretovich Basiev, 1947-2012


Tasoltan Tazretovich Basiev, an OSA Fellow known for his work in solid state lasers, passed away on 26 February 2012 in Moscow, Russia. He was 64.

Basiev was director of A.M. Prokhorov General Physics Institute’s Laser Materials and Photonics Department and scientific deputy director of the Institute’s Laser Materials and Technology Research Center (LMTRC).

Professor Basiev was born in Moscow, Russia in 1947. In 1972, after receiving an M.S. in electrical engineering from the Moscow Power Engineering Institute-Technical University, he was named staff research physicist at the “Monocrystal” division of the P. N. Lebedev Physical Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences, where he was actively engaged in laser spectroscopy and solid state physics.

From 1972 - 1984, Basiev progressed from staff research physicist to group leader involved in solid state selective laser spectroscopy, the area of solid state physics where his input was most outstanding. In 1977 he received a PhD in physics and mathematics from the P. N. Lebedev Physical Institute Academy of Sciences, and in 1984 he was awarded a Doctor of Science in physics and mathematics (Habilitation). He was an adjunct professor at the Moscow Physical Technical Institute from 1982-1991 and a professor in solid state physics beginning in 1991.

Basiev played a key role in the development of technology and fundamental studies of lithium fluoride color center crystals for tunable near infrared lasers.  As a result, large quantities of high figure of merit color center crystals and tunable lasers with world record output characteristics were designed and fabricated.

Professor Basiev pioneered methods for the development of new laser crystals combining gain and self-stimulated Raman scattering features. He found a relationship between optical parameters of stimulated Raman scattering and a structure of complex anion and cation groups in these crystals. These new self-Raman laser media with a record gain were the basis of a large number of developed pico- and nanosecond Raman lasers operating in various ranges of optical spectrum with energy in excess of one joule and peak power of dozens of megawatts.

With Professor Basiev’s active participation, physical-chemical methods of new middle-infrared laser (3-5 mm) media development were formulated. Sub-nanoscale complexes of rare-earth ions coherently related via quadrupole-quadrupole interaction and promising for quantum computing were developed and studied. A phenomenon of cooperative non-radiative cross-relaxation has been discovered. Nonlinear concentration relationships of fluorescence quantum yield due to multi-particle cooperative energy transfer and down-conversion were discovered and studied.

Professor Basiev initiated research on laser ceramics at General Physics Institute, RAS, resulting in the development of unique fluoride laser ceramics.

Basiev was awarded the Lenin Komsomol Prize (the USSR First National Prize for Young Scientists) in 1976, and in 1986 he received the International Prize of the USSR and Hungarian Academy of Sciences for his outstanding contributions to solid state and laser physics. Among his other awards were the General Physics Institute Prize for Scientific Research (1985, 1989, 2009); A.M. Prokhorov Academy of Engineering Sciences Gold Medal (2003); and the President’s Fellowship for Outstanding Russian Scientists (2003, 2000, 1997, 1994).

He was a member of the Russian and Moscow Optical Societies, member of the European Physical Society; Fellow of The Optical Society; Erskine Fellow of Canterbury University, NZ; member of the A.M. Prokhorov Engineering Science Academy; corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS;) and editor of the Journal of Optical Materials. Professor Basiev authored more than 400 peer-reviewed articles, three books, more than 40 reviews, and held nearly 30 patents.

Tasoltan Basiev is survived by his wife and two children.

A memorial ceremony was held on 29 February 2012 at the A.M. Prokhorov General Physics Institute.

If you would like to make a memorial donation to the OSA Foundation in honor of Tasoltan Basiev, please visit www.osa-foundation.org/give

Tributes to Tasoltan Tazretovich Basiev

Tasoltan Basiev was an innovative scientist and an international leader in the field of optical materials for laser systems. It was a privilege to work with him as a good friend and colleague. He will be greatly missed.

Richard Powell, 2001 OSA President
Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona