In memoriam: Jacques Ernest Ludman, 1934-2009

Jacque LudmanJacques E. Ludman, an OSA Fellow known for his contributions to holography, died on June 1, 2009, in Hollis, NH. He was 74.

Ludman received a BS from Middlebury College, Vermont, in 1956 and a PhD from Northeastern University in 1973. He was a research scientist at US Air Force, Rome Air Development Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, from 1957 until 1977, and chief of the Optical Signal Processing Section there from 1978 to 1987. He was a visiting scientist at Centre National d’√Čtudie de Telecommunication, Lanion, France, from 1977 to 1978, and a visiting scientist at MIT from 1987 to 1988.

In 1988, Ludman became president of Northeast Photosciences, Inc., where his activities were directed to holography for solar energy production and solar energy conservation. Examples of the results he attained include:

  • A holographic window with the ability to bring light deep into a room saving energy in obvious and several non obvious ways
  • A holographic solar concentrator that increases energy conversion efficiency in several ways
  • A holographic method to increase the productivity of algae farms dramatically
  • Holographic greenhouses with significant advantages over the conventional greenhouses.

He was also very proud of a nonlethal light weapon he built that cannot miss any eyes it is aimed for and can adjust automatically to control the light dose delivered.

Ludman was the author of numerous articles and publications, including Adaptive Optics and Holography for the New Millennium (with H. John Caulfield and Juanita Riccobono). He was elected as an OSA Fellow in 1982 and was also a member of SPIE and Sigma Xi.

Ludman is remembered as a caring individual who was committed to sharing his knowledge and experience with young scientists and who gave generously of his time to help fellow scientists. For a number of years he sponsored small summer workshops at his cabin at Lake Armington, NH, for scientists and their families.

Long-time colleague H. John Caulfield said, “Jacques had the ability of making hard problems easy by understanding them deeply and then translating them into easy-to-understand terms. He embodied Einstein’s rule: ‘Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.’ The number of important first-generation holographers who have died recently reads like an honor role for the field. Sadly, one more name has been added. We miss you greatly, Jacques.”

Ludman is survived by his wife, Valentina, two children and three grandchildren.

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