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NIST/JILA Physicist Wins Optical Society's Meggers Award

Steven Cundiff, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has received the 2011 William F. Meggers Award from the Optical Society of America (OSA).

The Meggers Award recognizes outstanding work in spectroscopy, the study and measurement of interactions between light and matter. Cundiff, a Fellow of JILA, a joint institute of NIST and the University of Colorado Boulder, is cited for "contributions to the field of ultrafast spectroscopy of semiconductors, including multidimensional Fourier transform techniques, and for contributions to the development of femtosecond frequency comb technology."

Highlights of Cundiff's recent research can be found in Tech Beat articles "Electronic 'Crowd Behavior' Revealed in Semiconductors" (July 6, 2007, "NIST/JILA 'Dark Pulse Laser' Produces Bursts of ... Almost Nothing," and  "New Wave: JILA Develops Efficient Source of Terahertz Radiation." Background on optical frequency combs is available at online.

Meggers was a prominent scientist who worked at NIST (then called the National Bureau of Standards) from 1914 to 1958 and is considered by many to be the founder of the American field of spectroscopy. More information on OSA's annual awards and medals is available online.

Previous Meggers Award winners, who include a number of NIST scientists, are listed at

Released April 12, 2011, Updated February 6, 2023