Gem of the Day 4/10: Texas A&M Prof Honored With Optical Society’s Highest Award

By: Texas A&M University Email
By: Texas A&M University Email

Dr. Marlan O. Scully, distinguished professor of physics and astronomy at Texas A&M University and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University, has been selected to receive the 2012 Frederic Ives Medal/Jarus Quinn Prize, the highest award of the Optical Society (OSA) recognizing overall distinction in optics.

Scully, a world-renowned pioneer of quantum optics and laser physics, is cited for “lifetime leadership in groundbreaking research on all aspects of quantum optics, including the quantum theory of the laser, quantum coherence effects, quantum thermodynamics and the foundation of quantum mechanics.” His award was one of 18 announced Monday (Apr. 2) by OSA to honor achievement in and commitment to the optics field.

“OSA is proud to honor these individuals for their leadership in the field of optics and photonics,” said OSA President Tony Heinz. “This year’s recipients have made major contributions to advancing the science and technology of light. Their accomplishments and commitment serve to inspire the next generation of optics researchers and educators.”

The Ives Medal/Quinn Prize, first presented in 1929, was endowed in 1928 by Herbert E. Ives, a distinguished charter member and former OSA president (1924 and 1925), to honor his father, who was noted as the inventor of modern photoengraving and for his pioneering contributions to color photography, three-color process printing and other branches of applied optics. The prize portion of the prestigious honor celebrates Jarus W. Quinn, who served 25 years as OSA’s first Executive Director, and is funded by the Jarus W. Quinn Ives Medal Endowment raised by members at the time of Quinn’s retirement to commemorate his extensive service to the organization.

As the 2012 Ives Medal winner, Scully will present a plenary address at OSA’s 96th Annual Meeting, “Frontiers in Optics 2012,” scheduled for October 14-18 in Rochester, New York.

“This is a very well-deserved honor for Marlan,” said Dr. George R. Welch, professor and head of the Texas A&M Department of Physics and Astronomy. “He is truly one of the pioneers of quantum optics. His career has been dedicated to understanding the most fundamental aspects of the quantum interactions of light and matter, and he is responsible for much of what is now taken for granted in the field. Receiving the highest honor of the Optical Society speaks volumes about how his work is valued by his colleagues. Our department is very proud for him.”

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