Roy Glauber was a theoretical physicist who modelled the characteristics of light, differentiating, for example, coherent laser light from diffuse blackbody light. His work made a major impact on the field of quantum optics, which studies the quantum electrodynamic interactions of light and matter.
Roy was also an expert in high-energy collision theory and developed a widely used technique for analysing hadron collisions and resulting particles. When he was 18 years old, he worked on the Manhattan Project at the Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico with J. Robert Oppenheimer, where he wrote 3 secret papers outlining formulations for finding the critical mass of neutron diffusion. He observed the 1945 Trinity of the neutron bomb from the top of nearby Sandia Peak.
Roy shared the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics for his ‘contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence’. He is also known for being the ‘Keeper of the Broom’ at the Ig Nobel Prizes (a parody of the Nobel Prizes), sweeping the stage of paper airplanes thrown during the event.
Professor Roy Glauber ForMemRS died on 26 December 2018.
Nobel Prize in Physics
Half of prize for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence.