Bloembergen, Nicolaas(nē`kəläs blo͞om`bĕrgən, –bûrgən), 1920–2017, American physicist, b. Dordrecht, the Netherlands. Educated in the Netherlands, he began work at Harvard in 1946, first as a research assistant and later as a professor and then university professor (emeritus from 1990). He also was on the faculty of the Univ. of Arizona from 2001 until his death. Bloembergen is considered the father of nonlinear optics, which is the study of the interaction of high-intensity light, such as that generated by laserslaser
[acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation], device for the creation, amplification, and transmission of a narrow, intense beam of coherent light. The laser is sometimes referred to as an optical maser.
..... Click the link for more information. , with the medium through with it passes. He shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics with Arthur SchawlowSchawlow, Arthur Leonard
, 1921–99, American physicist, b. Mount Vernon, N.Y., grad. Univ. of Toronto (Ph.D. 1949). Although his research focused on optics, in particular, lasers and their use in spectroscopy, he also pursued investigations in the areas of
..... Click the link for more information. and Kai SiegbahnSiegbahn, Kai Manne Borje,
1918–2007, Swedish physicist, son of Karl Siegbahn. He earned his doctorate at the Univ. of Stockholm in 1944 and later taught at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (1951–54), and the Univ. of Uppsala (1954–84).
..... Click the link for more information. for their work in laser spectroscopy. Bloembergen and Schawlow investigated matter undetectable without lasers. He had earlier modified the maser of Charles Townes, making significant advances that contributed to the development of the laser, and also did pioneering work on nuclear magnetic resonance while in graduate school. Bloembergen became a U.S. citizen in 1958.