• 1931 July 10
    (b.) - ?


An American physicist and co-inventor of the dye laser, he and his colleague, J. R. Lankard, at IBM Research Laboratories, used a ruby laser to excite a near infrared laser dye. Their report was quickly followed by that of F. P. Sch?fer. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, he is the elder son of Pitirim Sorokin. He was educated in public schools and received his A.B. degree in 1952; his B.S. degree in 1953 from Harvard University; and received his Ph.D. in Applied Physics in 1958; also from Harvard. From 1957 to 1968 he was a Staff Physicist at IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. He is most noted for pioneering work in the development of the laser. Leading a small research group at IBM, he is credited with inventing the second and third devices of this kind and somewhat later, the dye laser and another tuneable ultraviolet device that are now used in many applications. For this work he was given a lifetime position in 1968 as an IBM Fellow; the company's highest technical honor. In addition to being named IBM Fellow, in 1974 he received the Albert A. Michelson Medal from the Franklin Institute. In 1983 he was awarded the Comstock Prize in Physics from the National Academy of Sciences and in 1984 the Harvey Prize from Israel's Technion. In 1991 he received the first Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science from the American Physical Society. He is also a Fellow of the Optical Society of America. He is the author of ?Lasers & Applications: The Second Laser and the Dye Laser," in Laser Pioneer Interviews (Torrance, CA: High Tech Publications: 1985), 101-113. He is married with two children.
  • Date of Birth:

    1931 July 10
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  • Noted For:

    Co-inventor of the dye laser which uses an organic dye as the lasing medium, usually as a liquid solution
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