Roy Glauber, Physics Nobel Prize and ‘Honoris Causa’ of the Universitat, dies at the age of 93

Roy Glauber.
Roy Glauber.

Roy J. Glauber, the American physic who won the Physics Nobel Prize in 2005 for his fundamental contributions to the Quantum Optics, died on the 26th of December in Newton (Massachusetts, US) at the age of 93. Glauber was designated ‘honoris causa’ doctor for the Universitat de València in 2008.

La Universitat de València incorporated him as part to its faculty as a ‘honoris causa’ doctor in May of 2008. In the session chaired by the principal Francisco Tomás, the philologist Joan Veny was also designated ‘honoris causa’. The ‘laudatio’ of Glaber was read by Jorge Velasco. Glauber was proposed by the Faculty of Physics and by the members of the Instituto de Física Corpuscular (IFIC), Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa de la Universitat and the CSIC.


He was born in New York in 1925, and at the age of 18 when he still was a student in Harvard, he was recruited to participate in the Manhattan Project which was developed at the beginning of the 40’s in the ‘Laboratorio de Los Álamos’ (New Mexico, US). In 1946 he went back to Harvard where he graduated and achieved the doctorate in physics.


After a long time in the Institute for Advanced Study of Princeton, in 1952 Galuber went back to Harvard where he developed his entire career.  He was a pioneer to deal with the light phenomenon from the quantum physics point of view, developing a coherent description for the natural light sources, which have different frequencies and phases, and the lasers, with a frequency and phase.  His work was published in 1963 and it funded a new discipline, the Quantum Optics.


In 2005, the committee of the Nobel Prize granted Glauber half of the award for his contribution to the quantum theory of the quantum optics, granting the other half to John L. Hall and Theodor W. Hänsch for their contributions to the development of the spectroscopy based on laser.  Apart from his contributions to Quantum Optics, Glauber is also known by his works about particles, where he studied the collision of hadrons (a type of compound particle), and in statistical physics.

Besides the Nobel Prize, among his recognitions are the Marx Born Prize of the American Society of Optics (1985), and the Dennie Heineman Prize of the American Society of Physics (1996) and the Gold Metal of the CSIC, which was granted to him on the same year as the ‘honoris causa’ of the Universitat de València (2008). This recognition was made by the Instituto de Física Corpuscular, in which Glauber collaborated since the mid 80’s, especially in the group in charge by Jorge Velasco. Glauber worked to stablish models which explained the collisions with high energy between protons and antiprotons. Glauber has also great influence on the research group of Quantum Optics of the Universitat de València.

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