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Jonathan P. Dowling

In Memoriam: 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 crystals, quantum imaging, quantum metrology, and quantum information processing, and for service to OSA.

Dowling received his BS in physics from the University of Texas at Austin and went onto complete a PhD in mathematical physics at the University of Colorado Boulder.  During his career, Dowling worked at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Munich, Germany, the US Army Aviation and Missile Command in Alabama, and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.  He was one of the founders of the US Government program in quantum computing and quantum cryptography.  In 2004, Dowling joined the faculty of the Louisiana State University (LSU) Baton Rouge campus and served as the co-director of the Horace Hearne Institute of Theoretical Physics.

While at LSU, Dowling published extensively with over 200 scientific publications and over 20,000 citations at the time of his death. In addition to being a Fellow of the Optical Society, Dowling was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Physical Society. He was recognized as the 2002 recipient of the Willis Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics.  Dowling volunteered as an OSA Traveling Lecturer and also served as the Chapter Advisor at LSU Baton Rouge. Dowling was well-liked by his students and received numerous teaching accolades while at LSU including 2012 LSU Foundation Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, 2013 Undergraduate Physics & Astronomy Majors Teaching Award, and 2017 Department of Physics and Astronomy Graduate Faculty Teaching Award.

Dowling will be dearly missed by his family, colleagues, and the scientific community. OSA mourns the loss of Jonathan P. Dowling.