Nobel Laureate John L. Hall Selected as Optical Society of America Honorary Member


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

Nobel Laureate John L. Hall Selected as
Optical Society of America Honorary Member

WASHINGTON, June 22—The Optical Society of America (OSA) Board of Directors elected Nobel Laureate John L. Hall as the newest honorary member of the society this week.  Hall was chosen for his pioneering work on high-precision laser metrology and fundamental optical tests of physical principles.  He is a senior fellow emeritus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and an adjoint fellow of JILA (formerly the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics), a joint institute of NIST and the University of Colorado-Boulder.

“John Hall's contributions to the optical science community have spanned more than four decades,” said Elizabeth Rogan, OSA executive director.  “His work has had a profound impact on the field and he is an inspiration to his colleagues, as well as the many physicists he has trained and mentored throughout his career.”

Hall is known as a preeminent laser experimentalist, contributing significantly to the development of the laser from a laboratory curiosity to one of the fundamental tools of modern science. Hall's work has concentrated on improving the precision and accuracy with which lasers can produce a specific frequency and the stability with which they can hold that frequency. He has won more than 20 awards for his work, including the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics with T.W. Hänsch and Roy Glauber for contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique.

Hall has been an active member of OSA since 1976 and a fellow since 1979.  He has served on numerous committees at OSA, including the Board of Directors from 1980-1982, the Nonlinear Optics Advisory Committee, the Nominating Committee and various Awards committees.  He is the winner of three OSA awards, including the Charles Hard Townes Award, the Max Born Award and the Frederic Ives Medal.  He also served as an associate editor of the journal Optics Letters.  Hall will be recognized at OSA's annual meeting, Frontiers in Optics, in September in San Jose, Calif., where he will also present as one of the meeting's plenary session speakers.

Honorary membership at OSA is reserved for individuals who have made unique, unparalleled contributions to the field of optics.  The number of honorary members can not exceed one-thousandth of the total OSA membership.   Election requires the unanimous vote of the Board of Directors, based on the recommendation of the Fellows & Honorary Members Committee and the Awards Committee of the Board.  For a complete listing of OSA's honorary members, go to:

About OSA

Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society of America (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit