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OSA | Living History

Giuliano Toraldo Di Francia

OSA Awards & Distinctions



Giuliano Toraldo di Francia was born in Florence in 1916. In 1949, he joined the Faculty of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences at the University of Florence. He taught optics at the University of Rochester for two years and was then hired as a professor at the National Institute of Optics, where he remained until 1958, when he was appointed professor of optics at the University of Florence. He became Institute chair in 1963. He retired in 1991 and was named professor emeritus. Toraldo di Francia also served as director of IROE, the Institute of Research on Electromagnetic Waves of CNR (now the Institute of Applied Physics “Nello Carrara,” IFAC-CNR). He was President of the Italian Society of Physics (1968-1973) and of the International Commission for Optics (ICO) (1966-1969). He was also president of the Italian Society of Logic and Philosophy of Science, the Forum for the Problems of Peace and War, and the School of Music in Fiesole.

Toraldo di Francia wrote many books, including Onde Elettromagnetiche (1953), and The Diffraction of Light (1958). He also wrote extensively on the philosophy of science.The Investigation of the Physical World, originally published in Italian in 1976, is both a high-level popularization and a critical appraisal of the methods scientists use to investigate the physical world. Toraldo di Francia was named an OSA Fellow in 1965. In 1969, he was awarded the Institute of Physics’ Young Medal, and he received the OSA C.E.K Mees Medal in 1971.

 

Giuliano Toraldo di Francia died on 26 April 2011, please see OSA's memorial entry.



Document Created: 11 Jun 2020
Last Updated: 11 Jun 2020