Emil Wolf, the Wilson Professor of Optical Physics and professor of physics and astronomy, has won the 2010 International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) G. G. Stokes Award. The annual prize, which includes a $2,000 honorarium, recognizes exceptional contributions to the field of optical polarization.
Wolf is honored for his lifetime of achievement in optics, including his recent book, Introduction to the Theory of Coherence and Polarization of Light, and one of the most cited science books of the 20th century, Principles of Optics, which he co-authored with Nobel Laureate Max Born, now in its seventh edition. Specifically, SPIE recognized Wolf's contributions in "formulating the modern theories of coherence and polarization of optical fields."
"Virtually everyone who has studied optics in the last several decades has been influenced by Emil," says Nick Bigelow, the Lee A. DuBridge Chair in Physics and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. "He is known throughout the world as an intellectual giant in the field of optics, and known to his students as an extraordinary educator."
Wolf is the recipient of numerous awards for his scientific contributions and is an honorary member of the Optical Society of America (OSA), of which he was president in 1978. He is also an honorary member of the Optical Societies of India and Australia and is the recipient of seven honorary degrees from universities in the Netherlands, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Canada, Denmark, and France. Some of his many honors include the Frederick Ives Medal and the Max Born Medal from the OSA, the Michelson Medal of the Franklin Institute, and the Marconi Medal of the Italian National Research Council. He received his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from the University of Bristol and a doctor of science degree from the University of Edinburgh.
Wolf is the editor of Progress in Optics, an ongoing series of volumes of review articles on optics and related subjects. Fifty volumes have been published in this series to date, all under his editorship.
SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The society annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. The G. G. Stokes Award is sponsored by ITT Industries, Hinds Instruments, Meadowlark Optics, L3 Communications, Polaris Sensor Technologies, and individual contributions from Russell Chipman.