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Yariv, Amnon (Electrical Engineer, Applied Physicist)



  • Existence: 1930 - 2222


Background: Caltech Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, 1974-present; Professor of Electrical Engineering, 1964-74.


Description: Amnon Yariv was born in 1930 in Tel Aviv, Israel, to parents who had immigrated from Poland in the 1920s. Upon graduation from high school in 1948 he saw active duty in the Israeli artillery in the first Arab-Israeli war (beginning May 1948). Although he had intended to begin his study of electrical engineering at the Technion in Haifa, he decided to study in the US and received a tuition-free year at San Mateo Junior College, then transfered to Berkeley with a scholarship. He received his B.S. in 1954, his M.S. in 1956, and his PhD under J. Whinnery in 1958 with a thesis on the maser, the forerunner of the laser. He then took a position at Bell Labs (1959) to help develop the optical maser, later called the laser. Through contact with R. Gould, Yariv was offered a position at Caltech in 1964 in the electrical engineering department. He continued to do research in semiconductor lasers and began to teach laser physics, then new to Caltech. A secondary research interest became nonlinear optics. Yariv also participated in the development of the applied physics program at Caltech.


Collection Notes: Oral history, 1999: In this 79-page interview with Shirley K. Cohen, Yariv recalls his youth and early education in Palestine/Israel; his participation in the first Arab-Israeli war (1948); his undergraduate and graduate study in electrical engineering at Berkeley (1951-1958). He recounts the early stages of his career in the pioneering days of the laser at Bell Labs (1959-1963), then eventual move into academe at Caltech (1964). Discusses work at Caltech: building lab for semiconductor laser research in electrical engineering department, teaching laser physics; the establishment of Caltech's applied physics program. Discusses field of optical communcations and its applications; companies founded by his students.

Found in 9 Collections and/or Records:

Amnon Yariv Oral History Interview with Shirley K. Cohen [sound recording], 1999-11-17 - 1999-12-01

Scope and Contents Interview in three sessions in November and December 1999 with Amnon Yariv, Martin and Eileen Summerfield Professor of Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science. Dr. Yariv received his BS (1954), MS (1956), and PhD (1958) from UC Berkeley. He recalls his childhood in Tel Aviv in the British Mandate of Palestine, his parents' Polish background, and his early education, which included military training. In 1948, British occupation ends; he...
Dates: 1999-11-17 - 1999-12-01

Star Wars:Is It Starry Eyed Or Warlike?

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1987-00436

Trip The Light Fantastic

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1994-00089

Trip the Light Fantastic

 Digital Record
Identifier: 2022-01-25-000024

Trip the Light Fantastic, 1994-02-02

Scope and Contents From the Collection: The collection is arranged by chronological order. This series started in 1922, but the first recording dates back to 1971 and since it is still ongoing, the collection continues to grow, with about 9 new lectures per academic year.These lectures feature speakers from Caltech and JPL, spotlighting a small selection of the pioneering research conducted in the fields of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Engineering and Applied Science,...
Dates: 1994-02-02

Additional filters:

Unprocessed Material 5
Archival Object 3
Digital Record 1
Applied Physics 4
Watson Lecture 3
Electrical engineering 2
Conferences 1
Frontiers Of Science 1