Obituaries

Obituaries

OSA mourns the passing of these distinguished colleagues.

Charles Kao, 1933-2018

September 23, 2018

Charles Kao, OSA member and Nobel Prize recipient (2009) in Physics, passed away on 23 September 2018 at the age of 84. Kao, whose seminal work on fiber optics laid the groundwork for the development of modern communications, was awarded the Nobel Prize for “groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication.”  Kao shared the 20...

Burton "Burt" McMurtry, 1935-2018

September 02, 2018

 Burton “Burt” McMurtry, Stanford volunteer leader and venture capitalist, passed away on 2 September at the age of 83. McMurtry served on the Stanford Board of Trustees for eleven years and was a major donor to the campaign to establish the Siegman International School on Lasers, in honor of 1999 OSA President Anthony E. Siegman.  McMurtry studied electrical engineering a...

Robert H. Webb, 1934-2018

August 23, 2018

Robert H. Webb, OSA Fellow and 1999 Edwin H. Land Medal recipient, passed away on 23 August 2018 at the age of 83. Webb was known for his numerous inventions, which accelerated the development of new diagnostic tools to help prevent the loss of sight. While Webb spent some time in academia at Tufts University, the majority of his career was spent with Block Engineering, Schepens Eye Research In...

Robert D. Cowan, 1919-2018

July 26, 2018

Robert Cowan, OSA Fellow and William F. Meggars Award recipient, passed away on 26 July 2018 at the age of 98.  Cowan was known for his work in the field of atomic structure and spectra and for developing computer programs for the calculation of these quantities. Cowan spent the majority of his career at the Los Alamos Scientific (later National) Laboratory, working in the Theoretical Phys...

James Harrington, 1942-2018

June 20, 2018

James Harrington, OSA Fellow and renowned expert in fiber optics and optical materials, passed away on 20 June 2018 at the age of 76.  Harrington was known for his work in specialty fiber optics, including all aspects of infrared fibers fabrication, characterization, and applications. His recent research included the development of specialty fiber optics for use in the delivery of laser po...

Emil Wolf, 1922-2018

June 02, 2018

Emil Wolf, 1978 OSA President and Honorary Member, passed away on 2 June 2018.  Wolf was known for his research in physical optics, including diffraction, coherence properties of optical fields, spectroscopy of partially coherent radiation, and the theory of direct scattering and inverse scattering. During his distinguished career, Wolf had significant influence on advancements in optics a...

Richard Fork, 1935-2018

May 16, 2018

 Richard Fork, an OSA Fellow and former professor at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, passed away on 16 May 2018 at the age of 82.  Fork was known for his work in laser science and engineering, having received a patent for a space-based system that relies on lasers to generate and deliver energy to spacecraft. Fork was a tireless advocate of using lasers in space to deliver ...

David Stoler

April 25, 2018

David Stoler, OSA Fellow Emeritus, passed away on 25 April 2018 at the age of 81. Stoler distinguished himself making many contributions to the field of theoretical quantum optics, with early work on photon antibunching.   Stoler did his undergraduate studies at the City College of New York and received his Ph.D. in Physics from Yeshiva University in New York City in 1966.  After gr...

Louise Gray Young, 1935-2018

March 02, 2018

Louise Gray Young, OSA Fellow, passed away on 2 March 2018 at the age of 82. Young distinguished herself in the area of molecular spectroscopy and spent her career as a senior scientist within the aerospace industry. She joined OSA in 1963 and became an OSA Fellow in 1976.   Young received her B.S. (1958) and M.S. degrees (1959) from the University of California at Los Angeles in enginee...

Kenneth Teegarden

February 01, 2018

Kenneth Teegarden, OSA Fellow and former Director of the Rochester Institute of Optics, passed away on 1 February 2018 at the age of 89. Teegarden was an expert in solid state physics, particularly the interaction of light with glass, semiconductors, and other materials.   Teegarden did his undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago and received his PhD in Physics in 1954 from th...