Willis E. Lamb Jr. (1913-2008) was, perhaps, the most influential optical physicist of the new quantum era. Initially known for the measurement of the Lamb shift in hydrogen, a result of fundamental importance to the development of quantum electrodynamics, he also contributed to the early development of the laser. An additional momentous contribution was his prediction of the Lamb dip which became a widely used tool in the frequency stabilization of gas lasers. Towards the latter part of his career he continued to contribute to the field of quantum measurements and to elucidate the links between classical and quantum physics.
A gifted experimentalist, and theoretician, in the best Newtonian tradition, he had a deep understanding of optical physics and the physics of optical measurements. His contributions to quantum measurements, and elucidative teachings on quantum mechanics, have not yet received the attention they deserve.
Page first published on the 23th of May, 2008.
Updated on the 9th of March, 2017.