Obituaries

Obituaries

OSA mourns the passing of these distinguished colleagues.

Katharine Blodgett Gebbie, 1932-2016
August 17, 2016

Katharine Blodgett Gebbie, former director of the physics laboratory at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), passed away on 17 August 2016.  Gebbie’s career at NIST spanned more than 45 years, during which she served as Chief of the Quantum Physics Division, Acting Director of the Center for Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, and Director of the Physics L...


Ahmed Zewail, 1946-2016
August 02, 2016

Ahmed Zewail, a pioneer in femtochemistry and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, passed away on 2 August 2016 at the age of 70. Zewail was known for his work with femtosecond lasers, which his team utilized to monitor chemical reactions at a scale of a femtosecond, or a millionth of a billionth of a second.  Most recently, his group worked on four-dimensional microscropy, whic...


Wade Thomas Cathey, Jr., 1937-2016
July 07, 2016

Wade Thomas “Tom” Cathey, Jr., an OSA Fellow and an expert in the field of optical engineering, passed away on 7 July 2016 at the age of 78.  Cathey was known as a pioneer in wavefront coding, a technology used in optical imaging systems, and received the OSA Joseph Fraunhofer Award/Robert M. Burley Prize in 2013 for seminal contributions to the field of computational optical i...


John M. J. Madey, 1943-2016
July 05, 2016

John M. J. Madey, OSA Senior Member and pioneer of the free electron laser, passed away on 5 July 2016 at the age of 73. A free electron laser can produce very high intensity and high quality coherent electromagnetic radiation that is tunable over a wide range of frequency.  Madey’s work on the free electron laser resulted in significant discoveries in the areas of physics, chemistry...


Marcus Turowski, 1983-2016
June 19, 2016

Marcus Turowski tragically passed away on 19 June 2016 while hiking the Ventana Canyon Trail in the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, Arizona, USA.  Turowski and colleagues from Laser Zentrum Hannover (Germany) were attending The Optical Society’s Optical Interference Coating (OIC) Conference and Exhibition.  Turowski  was a member of Photonic Materials group within...


Stefan Günster, 1960-2016
June 19, 2016

Stefan Günster, PhD, tragically passed away on 19 June 2016 while hiking the Ventana Canyon Trail in the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, Arizona, USA.  Günster and colleagues from Laser Zentrum Hannover (Germany) were attending The Optical Society’s Optical Interference Coating (OIC) Conference and Exhibition.  Günster went hiking with Marcus Turowski and Marco Jupe al...


Les Allen, 1936-2016
June 16, 2016

Les Allen, an OSA Fellow and an internationally renowned expert on the properties of laser light, passed away on 16 June 2016. Allen was known as a pioneer of laser physics and spent a significant portion of his career researching laser physics and quantum optics at the University of Sussex, where he was a founding member of the department. He was 80.   Allen received four degrees from I...


Erwin G. Loewen, 1921-2016
June 08, 2016

Erwin G. Loewen, an OSA Fellow and an internationally recognized expert on diffraction gratings, passed away on 8 June 2016 at the age of 95.    Loewen was born in Germany and emigrated to the US in 1938. He received a BMechE degree from New York University in 1941 and then served in the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II, where he achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant. Follo...


Galina Khitrova, 1959-2016
June 04, 2016

Galina Khitrova, OSA Fellow and active committee volunteer, passed away on 4 June 2016 due to complications from chronic health issues. Galina was a Professor of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona, College of Optical Sciences and was internationally known for her work in the area of semiconductor optics, nonlinear optics of quantum wells and dots, and cavity quantum electrodynamics.&...


Paul R. Yoder, Jr., 1927-2016
May 26, 2016

Paul R. Yoder, Jr., an OSA Fellow and prominent engineer of optical components and instruments, passed away on 26 May 2016 in his home in Norwalk, CT, USA.  Many of the components and instruments designed by Yoder were used by the US military, NASA, and the medical community.  He was 89.   Yoder received a BS degree in physics from Juniata College in 1947 and MS in physics from...