Guoguang Mu

In Memoriam: Guoguang Mu

April 12, 2012

OSA Mourns the loss of Guoguang Mu, 1931-2012

Guoguang Mu

Guoguang Mu, an OSA Fellow who was one of the early pioneers of optics, applied optics, and optical instrumentation in China, died on 12 April 2012 in Tianjin, China. He was 81.

Professor Mu was the founder and Director of Nankai University’s Institute of Modern Optics (IMO), the first higher education institution in China that can confer Ph.D. degrees in both Optics (science) and Optical engineering programs. He served as president of Tianjin-based Nankai University from 1985-1995.

Mu was born in Jinxi (now Hu Lu Dao City), Liao Ning Province, in 1931. He graduated from the Physics Department of Nankai University in 1952. During his career, Mu made distinguished contributions to white light information processing and designed many novel optical instruments. He also introduced important concepts and technologies in pattern recognition, color image coding and decoding, and color photography. In 1983, he succeeded in using black and white film to refract color images. He was also well known as the author (with Yuan Lin Zhan) of the book “Optics,” the first classical fundamental book for optical physics and one of the most widely used optics textbooks in China.

Mu published more than 100 scientific research papers in internationally renowned optical journals and held two patents. He served as President of the Chinese Optical Society (COS) from 1993-2005, and as Vice President of the International Commission for Optics (ICO). An OSA member since 1981, Mu was named a Fellow Member of The Optical Society in 1990; he was also a Fellow of SPIE. In 1991, Mu was elected a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and in 1994 he was elected as a fellow of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World. He received three national scientific and technological prizes and the Ho Leung Ho Lee Prize for exceptional Chinese scientists.

A farewell ceremony was held in Tianjin, China on 16 April 2012.

If you would like to make a memorial donation to the OSA Foundation in honor of Guoguang Mu, please visit