The truly revolutionary invention of holography won the Nobel Prize for Dennis Gabor decades ago. Unfortunately, the work 15 years after Gabor’s invention that brought worldwide attention to the field was overlooked, and Yuri Denisyuk and Emmett Leith were prevented from sharing Gabor’s Nobel Prize. All three men played invaluable roles in making holography what it is today. However, in the intervening 30 years, several things have become clear to all workers in optics:
1. This book’s tributees were the driving forces behind modern holography.
2. They are both wonderful human beings who are very similar and have had remarkably parallel careers.
3. Their contributions to holography continue to be innovative and insightful.
These two great men are now good friends and thought of with great affection by opticists from around the world. Therefore, it seemed altogether fitting that their ongoing contributions to holography be jointly celebrated. Only two people so vital to the field and so loved by their colleagues could have brought so many great holographers together as authors in one volume. This book is a small way for the holography community to express its thanks to them, and also stands as a wonderful record of where holography is today and where (with their leadership) it is going tomorrow.
This is the second such volume celebrating the Masters of Optics. The first celebrated Adolf Lohmann, who has a contribution here, as did they to his volume. Thanks to people like them, optics is not only a rich field but also a close-knit field.
In that regard, it is my sad duty to announce that one of the contributors—the inventor of acoustic holography and a friend to all of us—Pal Greguss died as he was completing his chapter. I judged that his chapter was complete enough for the readers to understand what he was writing, so I did not choose to finish it on his behalf. He would want to speak and write for himself. But I can speak for all the other authors in saying that we loved him immensely as a person and greatly appreciated his contributions to the field.
As this book was in proof, the holography community received word that the author of the introductory chapter, Dr. Stephen Benton, had died of a brain tumor. Steve’s many contributions to the field were very important in the science, art, and the public understanding of holography. He will be sorely missed.
This book now becomes not only a celebration of the two founders of modern
holography but also a tribute by all of us to our two colleagues taken so tragically
and prematurely from among us.
H. John Caulfield
November 12, 2003