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In Memoriam: Leo Beiser, Expert in Laser Scanning

Photonics Spectra
Jan 2014
NEW YORK, Nov. 12, 2013 — Laser scanning expert Leo Beiser, an active member of SPIE since the early 1970s and a former member of its board of governors, died in July. He was an adjunct professor at the Institute of Imaging Science, Polytechnic University, in New York.

Before forming his consultation and research company, Leo Beiser Inc., in 1976, he served as staff scientist and director of the Dennis Gabor Laboratory for Advanced Image Technology at CBS Laboratories in Stamford, Conn., where he developed the first real-time laser color film recorder. He also wrote a chapter titled “Laser Scanning Systems” for the book Laser Applications, Vol. 2 (1974, Academic Press), which provided a mathematically rigorous treatise on using a coherent laser beam to provide a high-resolution 2-D display of laser-based imagery.

In 1973, Beiser received the IR-100 award (now called the R&D 100) for his Holofacet optical scanner apparatus, which is now in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

Beiser was named a fellow of SPIE in 1982 and received its George W. Goddard Award in 1991 for his contributions to the development of laser beam scanning and recording. He wrote a monthly column for SPIE’s newspaper, OE Reports, called “Laser Scanning Notebook,” which was published as a booklet and which is still available from SPIE. He also was the author of Holographic Scanning (1988) and Unified Optical Scanning Technology (2003).

Beiser received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from Hofstra University, graduated with honors from the electrical engineering programs of RCA institutes, and completed laser courses at UCLA.

He was symposium chairman of OE/LASE (forerunner to Photonics West) in 1989, and his affiliations included membership in the OSA and Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. He served as a fellow and former regional director of the Society for Information Display, which honored him in 1978 with its Special Recognition Award for outstanding contributions to laser scanning and recording. He held more than 50 patents in laser scanning technology.

He is survived by his daughter, Helene, and son, Steve. His wife, Edith, preceded him in death.


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