Light Moments

In honor of OSC's 50th anniversary, Tammy Orr (formerly of the Academic Programs office) has prepared a series of short, light-hearted articles about the exploits and adventures of its earliest years.

LIGHT MOMENTS ARTICLES

Simple, Yet Profound

Simple, Yet Profound

The 1971 OSA conference, held at Old Tucson (see The Optical Society Goes West, Again) was probably the first time 'lenslets' were presented to the optics community. Lenslets are still a cornerstone of wavefront sensing, and the story of how Roland Shack and Ben Platt made them is a testament to their ingenuity and scrappiness. 

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OSA Goes West, Again

The Optical Society Goes West, Again

Forty-three years ago, the Optical Society (OSA) held their meeting at the Ramada Inn Tucson West. Over 700 attendees gathered in the Old Pueblo and enjoyed some Western hospitality, including an informal dinner and show at Old Tucson. 

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Don Cowen's Chiseled Legacy

Don Cowen's Chiseled Legacy

A Light Moment that pays tribute to a man who made a huge visual impact on OSC: Don Cowen, OSC scientific illustrator, artist and sculptor.

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Good Enough Never Was

Good Enough Never Was

When it came to keeping the lab in order, Ross Potoff would let nothing stand in his way, no matter how difficult.

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Two Score and Ten More

Two Score and Ten More

A lyrical recounting of the College of Optical Science's 50 years, by Professor Emeritus Jack D. Gaskill.

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Great Scott!

Great Scot!

Professor Emeritus H. Angus Macleod and his wife, Ann, were supposed to be greeted with bagpipes when they first arrived in Tucson. But it didn't quite go as planned.

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Holy Optics, Batman!

Holy Optics, Batman!

An inside look at the alter egos of OSC's esteemed professors, uncovered in 2006 by two dedicated graduating B.S. students.

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Folding Outside the Line

Folding Outside the Straight Line

Stephen F. Jacobs explains how he began to experiment with folding along a curve, and how it led to beautiful sculptures.

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Beat Slater & Wyant

Beat Slater & Wyant"

"James Wyant recounts the "OSC Saguaro Race of 1977" and the wager it inspired to beat the duo of Slater & Wyant with a 10-man faculty relay team.

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Punch Card Turkey

When Life Gives You Punch Cards

Most are familiar with the proverb, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." But what if life gives you 46,000 useless computer punch cards? Make a turkey, of course!

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Nobel Peace Medal

The Calculating Nobel Laureates

Masud Mansuripur reflects on a dinner party in which the quick minds of Nicolaas Bloembergen and Willis Lamb were showcased when they were presented with a problem that stumped most students.

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Bill Wolfe

The Elevator Doesn't Go to the Annex

With the help of friends, Bill Wolfe uses both brains and brawn to solve a communication issue after being relocated to the OSC Annex building.

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Manny Correia leaning against his car.

Manny's Yard

Manuel "Manny" Correia was well-known for his "just do it" attitude during his time at OSC. Mike Nofziger witnessed this first-hand as Manny dealt with someone who took his parking spot.

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Professor Steve Jacobs playing with light

Roy G. Biv Visits the Union Club

In the absence of a skylight and an indoor rainstorm, how would you create a rainbow inside the UA Student Union? Find out how professor Steve Jacobs did it.

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The Joke's on Jack

The Joke's on Jack

Professor Jack Gaskill learned that using humor in the classroom is an effective way to put students at ease and activate learning. Little did Jack know that his humor arrived at OSC before he did.

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Life's a Grand Picnic

Life's a Grand Picnic

Professor Roland Shack is coerced by visiting Ukrainians into a spur-of-the-moment hike down the Grand Canyon. What hike isn't complete without a picnic basket and vodka?

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Peter and the Wolfe

Peter and the Wolfe

OSC director Peter Franken challenges professor Bill Wolfe to a racquetball game, with the unusual angle that Bill would spot Peter 19 out of the 21 points. What does Peter have up his sleeve?

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Middle School Scattering

Middle School Scattering

Scattering of light makes the sky appear blue, the clouds look white, turns the sun red at sunset and as professor Mike Nofziger found out, clears a middle school faster than the last bell before summer vacation.

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Instrument of Friendship

Instrument of Friendship

The banjo is frequently associated with country, folk, bluegrass and even classical music. Recently, I learned that it also has the power to endear one to new friends, bring together opposing camps and woo pretty young women.

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Lens Design: A Higher Power

Lens Design: A Higher Power

As a professor, Bob Shannon had a wealth of prior industry experience to pull from when formulating real-world problems and, after chatting with Janet Fender, a 1981 Ph.D. graduate, it has become clear to me that he also had a sense of humor.

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Jack and Peter

The "Event"

For anyone who was around OSC in the 1970s and 1980s the annual Saguaro Race is legendary. Supposedly, it all began in 1973 at a party when several OSCers, under the influence of a bit too much sangria, began talking about jogging and who was the fastest runner.

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