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In Memoriam: Marvin John Weber,

Mar 31, 2023

Marvin J. Weber, Optica Fellow and optical materials researcher for high-power laser systems, has passed away. He was most known for developing fluorophosphate laser glass and applying laser and scintillator materials.

Weber received bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. Upon completing his studies, he joined the Research Division at Raytheon Company as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. At Raytheon, he worked in the areas of spectroscopy and quantum electronics. Weber’s team developed new laser materials, including rare-earth-doped yttrium orthoaluminate. He also discovered bismuth germanate (BGO) luminescent properties, which today are applied as scintillators in medicine, geological explorations, nuclear physics, high energy physics, and nonlinear optical field.

In 1973, Weber joined the Laser Program at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As the Basic Materials Research and Assistant Program Leader, he worked with inertial confinement fusion (ICF) in high-power laser systems. In 1983, he left to work for the US Department of Energy and assisted in planning their advanced synchrotron radiation facilities. He then returned to LLNL under their Solid State Physics and Materials Chemistry Branch, where he was involved in particle investigations of solids using low energy standard surface analysis tools and radiation effects in metals and ceramics.

In 1984, Optica awarded him with Fellow status. He is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), the American Ceramic Society (ACerS), and the Materials Research Society. Other honors he received included the Industrial Research IR-100 Award for his Nd-doped Fluorophosphate Laser Glass, the George W. Morey Award by ACerS, and the International Conference on Luminescence Prize for his application of luminescence efficiency on laser and scintillator materials.

Weber authored several books, including the CRC Handbook of Laser Science and Technology (1982), the Handbook of Lasers (2001), and the Handbook of Optical Materials (2002).

Optica and the scientific community mourn his loss.

Awards & Distinctions

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