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BioPhotonics
Sep 2013
Dr. James P. Gordon, co-inventor of the maser and a seminal contributor to optics and quantum electronics, died in Rumson, N.J., on June 21. He was 85. In 1954, as a student of Charles Hard Townes at Columbia University, Gordon analyzed, designed, built and successfully demonstrated the maser (microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) with Townes and Herbert Zeiger. Their ammonia maser, based on Einstein’s principle of stimulated emission, laid the groundwork for the creation of the laser. Gordon spent his entire career at AT&T Bell Labs, from 1955 until his retirement in 1996; he served as head of the Quantum Electronics Research Department from 1958 to 1980. His other contributions laid the foundation for what would become the fields of lasers and optical communications, and his broad interests also included providing the theoretical basis for optical tweezers.


James P. Gordon in February 2010, attending OSA’s LaserFest gala in Washington. Courtesy of OSA.









Charles H. Townes (left), winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize in physics, and James P. Gordon in 1955 with the first maser. Courtesy of Photonics Spectra archives.












Research institute Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) of Hannover, Germany, has restructured its management team to include a supervisory board, a board of directors and a general assembly. Dr. Horst Schrage, chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hannover, will chair the supervisory board. Under the new structure, the board of directors now includes two scientific-technical executives, Dr.-Ing. Ludger Overmeyer and Dr. Dietmar Kracht, as well as commercial executive Klaus Ulbrich. Overmeyer is head of the Institute of Transport and Automation Technology of the University of Hannover in Leibniz (LUH). German scientists and industry executives will make up the newly created Scientific Directorate and the Industrial Advisory Board. Dr. Wolfgang Ertmer of LUH will serve as chair of the Scientific Directorate; Dr. Volker Schmidt of NiedersachsenMetall has been named chair of the advisory board.


From left, Klaus Ulbrich, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ludger Overmeyer and Dr. Dietmar Kracht. Courtesy of LZH.









William Asher has been promoted to president of Princeton Instruments (PI), a Trenton, N.J.-based maker of scientific cameras, spectrographs and optics. Asher has been vice president of product development and engineering at PI for the past eight years. He previously was general manager of Balzers Optical Corp., and executive vice president of operations and engineering at Boston Advanced Technologies and On-Site Analysis.





ProPhotonix Ltd. of Salem, N.H., has appointed Philip Feeley as acting chief financial officer and announced two board appointments. Feeley has served as corporate controller of ProPhotonix since joining the company in October 2005. Before that, he was the controller for GE, General Eastern Instruments for more than 10 years. ProPhotonix also announced that Raymond Oglethorpe, lead nonexecutive director, was elected board chairman, and that Mark Weidman was appointed to fill the nonexecutive director vacancy of Dietmar Klenner. Weidman is the president of Wheelabrator Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Waste Management Inc.





Alain Couder, the chairman and CEO of laser and optical components provider Oclaro Inc. of San Jose, Calif., has retired; the board of directors has named Greg Dougherty CEO. Dougherty has been a board member since 2009 and brings substantial leadership, operations, sales, marketing and general management experience in the optical and laser industries, including previous roles as chief operating officer of JDSU and of SDL. The company also announced that board member Marissa Peterson had been elected chairwoman. Peterson has been a board member since 2011 and brings to her new position extensive knowledge in the areas of operations, strategy and customer relations as well as experience as a senior executive of a large, complex and well-respected technology company. She was formerly executive vice president of worldwide operations, services and customer advocacy at Sun Microsystems Inc., which was acquired by Oracle Corp. in 2010. From August 2008 to the present, Peterson has been a director of health care provider Humana Inc.





James Harp has been named business development strategic account manager of optical filters manufacturer Semrock Inc. of Rochester, N.Y. He will be responsible for the Idex Optics & Photonics brand’s high-volume optics business, which includes hard-coated sputtered coatings and BrightLine fluorescence filters for Raman spectroscopy, lasers and optical systems. His most recent experience includes senior sales leadership positions with PerkinElmer.


GLOSSARY
maser
An acronym for microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Predecessor to the laser, the maser or 'microwave laser' was the first device to produce coherent electromagnetic waves, and was done at microwave frequencies through amplification by stimulated emission. A laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) is a maser that works over a broader range of higher frequency photons in the ultraviolet and visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. ...
raman spectroscopy
That branch of spectroscopy concerned with Raman spectra and used to provide a means of studying pure rotational, pure vibrational and rotation-vibration energy changes in the ground level of molecules. Raman spectroscopy is dependent on the collision of incident light quanta with the molecule, inducing the molecule to undergo the change.  
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