08 June 2018 Emil Wolf (1922-2018)

Prof. Emil Wolf (University of Rochester photo / Richard Baker)

ICFO remembers a legend in the field of optics On June 2nd, Prof. Emil Wolf, world famous physicist who co-wrote, along with Nobel Laureate Max Born, the famous textbook “Principles of Optics“ (colloquially known as “The Bible of Optics” or “The Born and Wolf”), passed away at the age of 95.

Prof. Wolf was a faculty member for over 50 years in the Physics Department at the University of Rochester, teaching thousands of graduate students and supervising many Ph.D. students. He published over 400 papers in various physics journals, wrote or co-wrote four books, edited a prominent book series on Optics, and received many awards and honorary degrees, including the Albert A. Michelson Medal of the Franklin Institute, the Max Born Award of the Optical Society of America, the Gold Medal of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences and the University of Rochester Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching.

Prof. Wolf visited ICFO’s newly inaugurated building in Castelldefels in 2005, offering a seminar on “Career Advice for Young Scientists”. He was active in teaching and publishing through his 90’s, with his final publication “Creating von Laue patterns in crystal scattering with partially coherent sources,” published in Physical Review A in 2016.

Emil Wolf led a remarkable life and will be remembered for his landmark contributions to the field of optics, but also for the indelible mark that he left on his students, colleagues and friends.