Optical Society Selects Two New Honorary Members


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

Optical Society Selects Two New Honorary Members

Glauber and Haensch receive OSA Honorary Membership for their contributions to optics

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12—The Optical Society (OSA) Board of Directors has selected two new honorary members of the society. Roy J. Glauber and Theodor Wolfgang Haensch were chosen for their extraordinary contributions to the field of optics.  Honorary membership is the highest membership honor given by OSA.

“Honorary membership is reserved for those individuals who have had a profound and lasting influence on the optics community,” said Elizabeth Rogan, OSA executive director.  “Roy Glauber and Ted Haensch’s work represents the essence of the society’s mission – generating, promoting and disseminating the knowledge of optics and photonics worldwide.  The impact of their work will continue to have a profound effect for future generations."

Honorary membership at OSA is given to those who have made unique, seminal contributions to the field of optics.  The number of honorary members cannot exceed two-thousandths (2/1000) of the total OSA membership.  Election requires the unanimous vote of the Board of Directors, based on the recommendation of the Presidential Advisory Committee and the Awards Committee of the Board.  Details on this year’s new honorary members appear below.  For a complete listing of OSA's honorary members, visit OSA’s Web site.

Roy J. Glauber
Selected for his pioneering work on quantum optics and coherent states.

Glauber is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics at Harvard University and an adjunct professor of optical sciences at the University of Arizona. In 2005 Glauber was awarded one half of the Nobel Prize in Physics "for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence," with the other half shared by John L. Hall and Haensch. Glauber’s prizewinning work centered on his development of a theory that advanced the understanding of light by describing the behavior of light particles (light quanta, or photons). Presented in the early 1960s, the theory merged the field of optics with quantum physics, forming the basis for the development of a new field, quantum optics. Practical application of Glauber’s work included the development of highly secure codes in quantum cryptography. His research also had a central role in efforts to develop a new generation of computers, so-called quantum computers, which would be extraordinarily fast and powerful and use quantum-mechanical phenomena to process data as qubits, or quantum bits, of information.

Theodor W. Haensch
Selected for his pioneering work on laser spectroscopy and optical combs.

Haensh is the director of the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics and a Carl Friedrich von Siemens Professor at the Ludwig Maximilians University. Haensch is known for his seminal contributions in the field of laser spectroscopy. His early work includes the first narrowband tunable dye laser, the invention of commonly used techniques of Doppler-free laser spectroscopy, and the first proposal for laser cooling of atomic gases. He shared one half of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics with John L. Hall for contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique. This development allows the determination of the color of the light of atoms and molecules with extreme precision. The other half of the Nobel Prize was awarded to Glauber.

About OSA
Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, Optical Society (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 www.osa.org.