Emmett N. Leith Medal
The medal was established in 2006 to honor Emmett N. Leith, a world-renowned scientist in holography and optical information processing.
Emmett N. Leith was an OSA member from 1961 and served on several committees. An OSA Fellow, he also received the Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus W. Quinn Prize, William F. Meggers Award and R. W. Wood Prize. Additionally, Leith and his coworker Juris Upatnieks displayed the world's first three-dimensional hologram at an OSA conference in 1964.
About Emmett N. Leith
Leith was born 12 March 1927 in Detroit, MI, USA. He attended Wayne State University where he received a BS in Physics in 1949. He continued at Wayne State and received a Master’s degree in physics in 1952 and a PhD in electrical engineering in 1978.
Leith was a pioneer of coherent optics in radar systems and is credited with developing modern holography in the early 1960s. His research began at the Radar Laboratory of the University of Michigan’s Willow Run Laboratory in 1952. Before holography, his research focused on synthetic aperture radar. In 1955, he joined the University of as a research assistant. He became a research associate in 1956, a research engineer in 1960, associate professor in 1965 and full professor in 1968.
Leith and his coworker Juris Upatnieks displayed the world's first three-dimensional hologram at an OSA conference in 1964.
In addition to the 1985 Frederic Ives Medal / Jarus W. Quinn Prize, Leith received the 1960 IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award and the 1969 Stuart Ballantine Medal. In 1979, he received the National Medal of Science from President Jimmy Carter. He died 23 December 2005 at the age of 78 in Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
University of Michigan College of Engineering
Physical Optics Corporation
James R. Fienup
G. Michael Morris