Douglas Stone Is Honored for His Work on Optics, General Laser Theory

A. Douglas Stone, the Carl A. Morse Professor of Applied Physics and chair of applied physics, has been elected as a fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA).

Stone is one of 63 fellows who were elevated to the rank for 2010. He was awarded the honor “for contributions to the understanding of complex, disordered and wave-chaotic optical media and cavities, and to general laser theory.”

The OSA was founded in 1916 to increase knowledge of both pure and applied optics, the branch of physics having to do with light, including its properties and behavior as well as the technology used to detect it. Research in optics has led to a broad range of applications, from fiber optics and telecommunications to medical imaging and cancer research.

Stone’s own research in optical physics uses quantum theory and chaos theory as applied to nanoscale electronics, micro-lasers and other optical devices. He recently helped develop a theory that explains the properties of both conventional and non-conventional lasers. His work has led to four patented inventions related to lasers.

“This recognition by the OSA is very meaningful to me because a little over a decade ago, I left the familiar confines of my Ph.D. discipline — solid state physics — to pursue my curiosity about how lasers would work in complex settings,” Stone says. “It is reassuring to find out that card-carrying optical physicists appreciate my contributions.”

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