Obituaries

Obituaries

OSA mourns the passing of these distinguished colleagues.

Arthur Ashkin, 1922-2020

September 21, 2020

Arthur Ashkin, Nobel Laureate and OSA Honorary Member, known for his pioneering work to create optical tweezers, has passed away at the age of 98. Many considered Ashkin the father of laser radiation pressure. His work in the area of optical trapping and manipulation of small dielectric particles using optical gradient forces would become the foundation for the future of physics research in ult...

Jonathan P. Dowling, 1955-2020

June 05, 2020

Jonathan Patrick Dowling, OSA Fellow and professor of theoretical physics, passed away at the age of 65. Dowling was a professor and Hearne Chair of Theoretical Physics at Louisiana State University. Dowling was known for his work in quantum electrodynamics, quantum optics, and quantum technology. He was made an OSA Fellow in 2006 for fundamental contributions to optics in the areas of photonic...

Vladimir Il’ich Talanov, 1933-2020

May 24, 2020

Vladimir Il’ich Talanov, a pioneer in optical physics, died on 24 May 2020 at age 86 in Nizhny Novgorod (formerly Gorky), Russia. He brought great understanding to the early stages of the development of non-linear optics.Shortly after the laser was discovered in 1960, second harmonic generation was observed, followed by a plethora of other discoveries in non-linear optics including stimul...

Valerian Ill’ich Tatarskii, 1929-2020

April 19, 2020

Valerian I. Tatarskii, OSA Fellow and 1994 recipient of the Max Born Prize, passed away on 19 April 2020 at the age of 90. Tatarskii was known for his pioneering research in the field of wave propagation in random media, which involves the propagation and scattering of electromagnetic and acoustic waves in a turbulent atmosphere and fluctuating ocean. Over the course of his career, Tatarskii&rs...

Gisela Eckhardt, 1926-2020

January 30, 2020

Gisela Eckhardt, a pioneer in the field of stimulated Raman scattering and inventor of the Raman laser, passed away on 30 January 2020 at the age of 93. Eckhardt was known in the optics community for her research in nonlinear optics and lasers with contributions in Raman spectroscopy and stimulated Raman scattering. Her research extended into the physics of vacuum discharges. In 2016, OSA recog...

Alexander E. Kaplan, 1938-2019

December 31, 2019

Alexander E. Kaplan, OSA Fellow and 2005 recipient of the Max Born Award, passed away on 31 December 2019 at the age of 81. Kaplan was known for his research in the areas of nonlinear optics and quantum electronics, with notable contributions to nonlinear interface and optical bistability effects, hysteretic resonances of a single electron, and physics of sub-femtosecond pulses. His other resea...

C. Harvey Palmer, 1919-2019

August 16, 2019

C. Harvey Palmer, Jr., OSA Fellow and distinguished physicist, passed away on 16 August 2019 at the age of 99.  Palmer was a professor emeritus of electrical engineering at Johns Hopkins University, specializing in optics. He was made an OSA Fellow in 1967 and became an OSA member in 1950.  Palmer was born on 8 December 1919 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, to Charles Harvey and Grace Ha...

Jürgen Kuhl, 1940-2019

July 20, 2019

Jürgen Kuhl, OSA Fellow and noted physicist, has passed away at the age of 79. Kuhl was active in OSA having served as an Editor of JOSA B from 2001-2005 and as a member of the Fundamental Science Program Committee for CLEO from 1999-2000. He was on faculty at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany. Kuhl was made an OSA Fellow in 2003 for significant and sustain...

Patricia Bath, 1942-2019

May 30, 2019

Dr. Patricia Bath, a pioneer in the field of ophthalmology and inventor of the laserphaco probe, has passed away at the age of 76. Bath was the first African-American female doctor to receive a medical patent, first woman to lead a post-graduate training program in ophthalmology, and first African-American female surgeon at the UCLA Medical Center.  Bath is known for her use of lasers for ...

Yaron Silberberg

April 21, 2019

Yaron Silberberg, OSA Fellow and recipient of the Max Born Award, passed away on 21 April 2019. Silberberg was a Professor in the Department of Physics of Complex Systems at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. He led a research group focused on combining nonlinear optics, ultrafast optics and quantum optics to study basic interactions of light and matter.Silberberg studied phy...