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My career in holography was “kick-started” by Prof. Emmett Leith in 1965.
I had always wanted to teach. After receiving my B.S. at Yale University and Ph.D. in nuclear physics at the University of Minnesota, I chose to take a position at a liberal arts college where teaching is emphasized. Immediately I became frustrated because teaching nuclear physics to undergraduates is such a difficult task. My research had to be pursued at the isochronous cyclotron facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, far away from my students.
In 1965, our physics department at Lake Forest College was preparing to host a conference on the new areas of physics where meaningful laboratory experiments can be made at a reasonable cost. I came upon the initial papers on holography by Leith and Upatniek and wrote a letter to Leith, explaining to him the object of our conference, and asking to borrow a hologram for demonstrations.
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