8 November 2021

Joseph H. Eberly Named 2021 Honorary Member of Optica

WASHINGTON — Optica (formerly OSA) has named Joseph H. Eberly, Andrew Carnegie Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the School of Arts and Sciences, and jointly Professor of Optics in the Institute of Optics in the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, of the University of Rochester, USA, as the 2021 Honorary Member. Honorary Membership is the most distinguished of all Optica Member categories and is awarded to individuals who have made seminal contributions to the field of optics.

Eberly is being recognized “for his pioneering contributions to the foundations of quantum optics theory, his dedicated service to the optics community, and his visionary leadership in promoting international cooperation in optics research.” 

“Joe Eberly may have chosen a career in optics by accident but society is grateful that he did,” said Optica CEO, Elizabeth Rogan. “Joe’s research contributions to quantum optics and optical physics are numerous and impactful. His leadership as a teacher and educator in the Rochester community is long-lasting. He is a true visionary in the optical sciences and we are proud to recognize him with our 2021 Honorary Membership.”

Honorary Members are elected by unanimous vote of the Optica Board of Directors upon nomination by the Presidential Advisory Committee and a unanimous vote by the Awards Council.

Eberly received his BS in Physics from Penn State (1957) and his PhD in Physics from Stanford University (1962). He joined the  Physics and Astronomy faculty of the University of Rochester in 1967, where he is presently the Andrew Carnegie Professor of Physics. Since 1979 he has also held an adjunct faculty position as Professor of Optics in the Institute of Optics.  In 1995, with funding from the National Science Foundation, he founded the Rochester Theory Center (RTC), a research group focused on optical and quantum optical science with faculty from several UR departments.  A fellow of Optica and APS, Eberly is the recipient of the Frederick Ives Medal, the Townes Award and the Smoluchowski Medal, and has been selected for a Senior Humboldt Award, and elected a Foreign Member of the Academy of Sciences of Poland.

Eberly’s long-time research interests in quantum optics and radiation physics have led to a number of discoveries and innovations, including the initial description of the spontaneous collapse and revival effect, the first observation of Bessel beams, predictions of the recently observed non-spreading localized states of electrons in atoms and the sudden death effect in quantum entanglement.

Eberly is the founding editor of the first Open Access journal in Physics in 1997, Optics Express. Eberly served as President of the Society in 2007. In 2008, he helped lead the establishment of the Herbert Walther Award, a partnership between Optica and the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. This award recognizes distinguished contributions in quantum optics and atomic physics as well as leadership in the international scientific community. In 2016, Eberly was an instrumental co-chair of the society’s Centennial Advisory Committee which was charged with planning its 100th Anniversary. He continues today to be active on several Optica committees.

About Optica

Optica (formerly OSA), the society advancing optics and photonics worldwide, is dedicated to promoting the generation, application, archiving and dissemination of knowledge in the field. Founded in 1916, it is the leading organization for scientists, engineers, business professionals, students and others interested in the science of light. Optica’s renowned publications, meetings, online resources and in-person activities fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate scientific, technical and educational achievement.

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