Dr. Peter Milonni, a member of the Niagara University Class of 1969, presented a lecture on Monday afternoon that was titled The Role of Laser Technology in Science, Medicine and IT. The event took place in St. Vincent’s Hall and was part of a celebration of science that is taking place at NU this month, in conjunction with the ceremonial opening of the B. Thomas Golisano Center for Integrated Sciences
The first part of Dr. Milonni’s talk described important milestones in light and laser technology, which has revolutionized society through medicine and communications, entertainment and culture. He then focused attention, without equations or other technical details, on how lasers have revolutionized basic research in atomic physics, chemistry, environmental science and astronomy.
Dr. Milonni graduated summa cum laude from Niagara University in 1969 with a B.S. in physics. He then commenced graduate studies, where he completed a Ph.D. in theoretical physics in 1974. He was a research physicist at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory (1974-77), a senior staff engineer at the Perkin-Elmer Corporation (1977-80), and a professor of physics at the University of Arkansas (1980-85) before becoming at staff member (1985-2005) and a laboratory fellow (since 1994) in the Theoretical Division of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is currently a guest scientist at Los Alamos and a Research Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester.
Dr. Milonni’s primary research interests have been in quantum optics and electrodynamics, especially in connection with the quantum and fluctuation properties of electromagnetic radiation. In addition to many research papers, he has authored several books, including Lasers (1988, with J.H. Eberly); The Quantum Vacuum. An Introduction to Quantum Electrodynamics (1994); Fast Light, Slow Light, and Left-Handed Light (2005); and Laser Physics (2010, with J. H. Eberly). He has been a consultant for several corporations and a member of several advisory boards, including the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has served on the editorial boards of Physical Review and the Journal of the Optical Society of America, is presently a divisional associate editor for Physical Review Letters, and is on the editorial boards of Progress in Optics, Contemporary Physics, and Advances in Optics and Photonics.
Dr. Milonni was awarded the 2008 Max Born Award by the Optical Society of America “for exceptional contributions to the fields of theoretical optics, laser physics and quantum mechanics, and for dissemination of scientific knowledge through authorship of a series of outstanding books.”