Ralph Jacobs, LLNL laser scientist

Jan. 1, 2009
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL; Livermore, CA) laser scientist Ralph Jacobs died on Aug. 29 at age 65, just one week after retiring from LLNL.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL; Livermore, CA) laser scientist Ralph Jacobs died on Aug. 29 at age 65, just one week after retiring from LLNL. He was also a member of the Laser Focus World Editorial Advisory Board.

Jacobs’ career at LLNL began in 1972. As a senior physicist and project manager, he helped develop laser sources for fusion and laser isotope separation. Bill Krupke, former deputy associate director for LLNL’s Laser Program, enjoyed a 36-year professional association and personal friendship with Jacobs. “I fondly remember working with Ralph on solid-state and excimer laser research topics in the earliest days of the Laser Program, during which the technical foundations for the lab’s world-acknowledged prowess in lasers was established,” said Krupke. “Ralph was an energetic and enthusiastic researcher, and it was simply fun to collaborate with him. He will be sorely missed by his many friends at the lab and in the laser community at large.”

In 1980, Jacobs left LLNL to work at Spectra-Physics (San Jose, CA), where he was involved in the development of advanced solid-state lasers. He returned to LLNL in 1990 and served as the director of the Laser Program’s New Technology Initiatives and later as the director of its Intellectual Property Office. Most recently, Jacobs was the chief technologist for LLNL’s Industrial Partnerships Office (IPO), spearheading the initiative to forge relationships with business schools in the Bay Area. Jacobs was eager to share details of the Business Plan Development Program with the laser community, writing a letter to the editor for Laser Focus World earlier this year (see www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/332934). We will miss his input to our editorial content.

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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