Hyatt M. Gibbs

In Memoriam: Hyatt M. Gibbs

September 03, 2012

In Memoriam: Hyatt M. Gibbs, 1938-2012

Hyatt M. Gibbs

Hyatt M. Gibbs, an OSA Fellow and a professor emeritus of optical sciences at the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences, died Monday, 3 September 2012, in France, after a long battle with mesothelioma. He was 74.

Gibbs, who earned his B.S. from North Carolina State University in 1960, graduated with a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1965. After two years at Berkeley as acting assistant professor, he joined the technical staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories (now Bell Labs), where he remained until joining the University of Arizona Optical Sciences Center (now the College of Optical Sciences) in 1980. He became Emeritus in 2011. During his time at Bell, he also served as an exchange scientist with Philips Research Laboratories (United Kingdom) and as a visiting lecturer at Princeton University.

Gibbs’ research, which he pursued with Galina Khitrova, concentrated on optical physics, including femtosecond spectroscopy and the molecular beam epitaxy machine. Their group was the first to observe true strong coupling in semiconductor cavity QED with a single quantum dot in a photonic crystal slab nanocavity, which is being optimized for telecommunications applications. He remained active in his research even after his retirement, and continued working until two days before his death.

Hyatt Gibbs earned numerous honors for his work, including the 1984 Franklin Institute Michelson Medal and the 1998 Humboldt Research Award. An OSA member since 1976, he was named a Fellow in 1981. He was also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society and the Franklin Institute. He was the sole author of Optical Bistability: Controlling Light with Light and coauthored Nonlinear Photonics with Khitrova and fellow OSC professor Nasser Peyghambarian.

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This obituary was contributed by the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences.