2021 Laser Instrumentation Award Recipients Announced – OSE Alumnus, Dr. Scott Diddams Named

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Posted: October 25, 2021

The Photonics Society Laser Instrumentation Award was created to recognize key contributors to the field for developments of laser-based and electro-optical instruments, which lead to the development of innovative systems enabling major new measurements or process capabilities of relevance to applications in industrial, biomedical avionic and metrology fields.

The field(s) considered are: classical and Self-Mixing Laser Interferometry; Optical Coherence Tomography, Digital Holography; Diffraction and Interference-based Measuring Devices like Particle Size Analyzers; Laser Interferometers; Optical Gyroscopes; and Laser Doppler Velocimeters; Measurements of distance and kinematic quantities, realized in either bulk optics or integrated optics technologies. The 2021 Photonics Society Laser Instrumentation Award recipients are Scott Diddams, Andrew ‘AJ Metcalf, and Connor Fredrick, “For development, deployment, and operation of an electrooptic laser frequency comb that enables the most precise near-infrared astronomical Doppler spectroscopy.”

Scott Diddams is a Fellow of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and an Adjoint Professor at the University of Colorado, where he carries out experimental research in the fields of precision spectroscopy and metrology, nonlinear optics, microwave photonics, and ultrafast lasers. He received the Ph.D. degree from the Optical Science and Engineering Program at University of New Mexico, (UNM) in 1996. His research advisor at UNM was Professor Jean Claude Diels.* From 1996 through 2000, he did postdoctoral work at JILA, NIST, and the University of Colorado. Since 2000, Diddams has been a research physicist at NIST where he has pioneered the development of optical frequency combs and their use in optical clocks, tests of fundamental physics, novel spectroscopy in the visible and mid-infrared, and ultralow noise frequency synthesis. In recent years, special attention has been given to infrared frequency comb sources as well as high repetition rate laser-based and microresonator frequency combs, which are being explored for applications in microwave photonics and astronomy. Among many awards, Dr. Diddams received the Department of Commerce Gold and Silver Medals for “revolutionizing the way frequency is measured”, as well as the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE), and the IEEE Rabi award. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society and a Senior Member of IEEE.

Link to the Photonic Society’s Award Announcement:


*OSE Program emphasis added to highlight the acaemic unit.