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Optica Names Harold Metcalf the 2023 Esther Hoffman Beller Medal Recipient

Optica (formerly OSA), Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, is pleased to announce that Harold Metcalf, Stony Brook University, USA, has been selected as the 2023 recipient of the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal. Metcalf is honored for outstanding mentorship of undergraduate students in hands-on optics research and for organizing an annual symposium for students to present their work during the FiO/LS conference.

Metcalf earned his Bachelor's degree in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, and his Ph.D. in physics from Brown University, USA. He was a postdoc at Stony Brook University (SBU), USA, before joining their faculty. He is currently a Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Physics Department. Metcalf has also held several visiting appointments, including MIT, ENS Paris, France, Utrecht University, Netherlands, University of Bonn, Germany, and Beijing Institute for Modern Physics, China. 

His research is focused on optical control of atomic motion, and he was one of the leaders in the earliest experiments of Laser Cooling and Trapping. He has published three textbooks, including "Laser Cooling and Trapping."

Metcalf is a dedicated educator and mentor. He created the Laser Teaching Center (LTC) at SBU, which provides inquiry-and project-based active learning for students from high school to the graduate level. Another significant contribution to education is the annual Symposium on Undergraduate Research which takes place as part of Frontiers in Optics (FiO). During the Symposium, undergraduate students present their research in oral and poster sessions and network with leading professionals in the field.

He is a Fellow of Optica and the American Physical Society. He has also received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Established in 1993, the Beller Medal is presented for outstanding contributions to education in optical science and engineering. Consideration is given to outstanding teaching and/or original work in optics education that enhances the understanding of optics. The scope of the award is international, and candidates at every career stage are considered. It is endowed by a bequest from the estate of Esther Hoffman Beller.

About Optica

Optica (formerly OSA), Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, is the society 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. Discover more at:

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