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OSA | Living History

Rangaswamy Srinivasan

OSA Awards & Distinctions



Rangaswamy Srinivasan earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He worked as a post-doc at Caltech and the University of Rochester before joining IBM Watson Research Center in 1961. His work there was on the action of ultraviolet light on organic matter, and once ultraviolet lasers became commercially available, he switched to pulsed excimer lasers for the same purpose. This proved highly successful when he and his colleagues discovered that this type of laser did not cause thermal damage. Shortly thereafter, he named the effect “Ablative Photodecomposititon,” and worked with surgeons to develop what would become LASIK eye surgery.

Srinivasan and his colleagues have been widely recognized for this work. He has received the Max Delbruck Prize in Biological Physics from the American Physical Society, the Prize for Industrial Applications of Physics from the American Institute of Physics, the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize, and he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the US National Inventors Hall of Fame. The team received the R. W. Wood Prize from OSA in 2004

. In 2012, the team was presented the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Barak Obama.



Document Created: 18 Feb 2021
Last Updated: 18 Feb 2021