Glauber, Roy J.

views updated


GLAUBER, ROY J. (1925– ), U.S. physicist and Nobel laureate. Glauber was born in New York and gained his B.S. (1946), M.A. (1947), and Ph.D. in physics (1949) from Harvard University. He worked on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos (1944–46), at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University (1949–51), and the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (1951–52) before returning to the Harvard physics department (1952). He was professor of physics (1962–76) and the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics from 1976. His research concerned the behavior of light particles and the adaptation of quantum theory to describe the detection process irrespective of the nature of the light source. The resulting quantum theory of optical coherence helped to inspire the burgeoning field of quantum optics. It has important practical applications as a method of achieving extraordinarily precise physical measurements in fields such as chronology and the application of laser techniques for medical purposes. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics (2005) with John L. Hall and Theodor W. Hänsch. His further research concerned the behavior of matter at extreme density, conditions prevailing at the Universe's inception. Glauber is also renowned for his undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. His many honors include the Michelson Medal of the Franklin Institute (1985), the Max Born Award of the American Optical Society (1985), and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

[Michael Denman (2nd ed.)]