OSA | Living History

Michael Raymer Memoir

Michael Raymer

I was attracted to OSA as a graduate student by the high reputations of the imminent luminaries who were long-time members: people such as Emil Wolf, Leonard Mandel, Roy Glauber and Joe Eberly. My thinking then was that if I could contribute to basic science even a small fraction of what they had contributed, I would consider myself a success.

From that inspiration grew my career as an optics researcher and educator. I recall as a new Assistant Professor I co-authored one of my most significant theoretical papers, on the quantum theory of Raman scattering. Soon thereafter we learned that Roy Glauber had published a similar theory ten years earlier. My cheerful response to my co-author Jan Mostowski was, “Don’t worry. We’re gaining on them!” I felt that being behind Glauber by only ten years was not so bad!