All Press Releases for February 11, 2021

Otis Granville Peterson Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who

Dr. Peterson has been endorsed by Marquis Who's Who as a leader in the field of physics

    LOS ALAMOS, NM, February 11, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Otis Granville Peterson with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Dr. Peterson celebrates many years' experience in his professional career, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Having accrued more than 55 years of active expertise in the field of physics, Dr. Peterson has worked 30 years for our national laboratories, 26 of those years at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, NM. At LANL he worked as a staff physicist and also served as group leader between 1982 and 1990. The group that he led specialized in the development and practical application of laser technology. During his tenure at the Laboratory, Dr. Peterson was honored to be selected to serve as the science attaché for the American Embassy in London from 1990 to 1993, which was part of an exchange program between LANL and the U.S. State Department.

Dr. Peterson became fascinated with the potential of nuclear power while he was still in grade school. His passion and desire to work in the field grew over the years and, after graduating from high school, he attended the University of Illinois, majoring in physics, from which he received a Bachelor of Science in engineering physics in 1958, a Master of Science in physics in 1960 and a Doctor of Philosophy in solid-state physics in 1965. Following the conclusion of his academic efforts, he worked for several years at the Eastman Kodak Company. At Kodak he became involved in the new field of laser technology and invented the cw (continuous wave) dye laser that became a workhorse for several fields of physics. The invention of that laser was the culmination of extensive research into the physics of laser action in organic dye molecules and the measurement or collection of all of the important physical properties of the molecules.

Because of their successes in dye laser technology, Dr. Peterson and two others from Kodak were invited to join the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California to start a program in atomic-vapor, laser isotope separation (AVLIS), where he helped establish the initial research program between 1973 and 1975. Following that he returned to industry, joining the Material Research Center at Allied Chemical in New Jersey. There he co-invented another milestone laser, the Alexandrite laser, which was a solid-state device that was wavelength tunable (the color of its output could be easily changed).

As a seasoned scientist, Dr. Peterson has made substantive contributions to several diverse fields of physics. His thesis research experimentally anchored part of the theory of elementary solid-state materials. His experimental and theoretical work on dye lasers culminated in the design and demonstration of the first cw dye laser. Dr. Peterson immortalized those accomplishments by writing a chapter Dye Lasers for "Methods of Experimental Physics, Quantum Electronics". His design and setup of the initial experiments establishing the laser isotope separation research program at LLNL led to almost 25 years of further research by that program. After retiring from LANL, his invention of the concept for a compact, transportable nuclear reactor contributed to the establishment of the new industry of Small or Modular Reactors (SMR).

He has contributed over 70 articles to various peer reviewed journals and other publications on such topics as tunable lasers and applications, solid-state physics and nuclear physics, as well as the book chapter mentioned above. His peers have appreciated his contributions as his publications have been cited over 2,500 times in various technical publications. Two of his publications have been included in the Optical Society of America's list of important milestones in laser development. His key publications have been reprinted ten times in milestone series books and journals. Additionally, Dr. Peterson's extensive studies have resulted in the creation of seven U.S. patents plus five more patent applications or disclosures.

Aligned with several industry-related organizations to remain aware of developments affecting his field, Dr. Peterson has been a member of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Optical Society of America and the American Nuclear Society. He was honored to be elected a fellow of the Optical Society of America (2003). In light of his many scientific accomplishments, Dr. Peterson received several recognitions, including two Outstanding Technology Development Awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium (2003 & 2010) and two IR100 (now R&D100) Research and Development Awards (1971 & 1980). A celebrated Marquis listee, he has been featured in the third edition of Who's Who in Science and Engineering and the 21st edition of Who's Who in the West.

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