Ali Javan

By Syed Aslam

javan-scaled-cropProf. Ali Javan was born in Teheran, Iran, in 1929. After graduating from University of Tehran he entered Columbia University in 1949  and received his PhD. degree in Physics in 1954.  Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University, he joined the research staff of Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey in September, 1958. In 1961 he joined the MIT faculty, where he has continued to teach and conduct research up to the present.

In 1917 Albert Einstein first introduced the concept of stimulated emission of light as a general principle in light-matter interaction. In 1958, using this principle, Prof. Javan conceived the basic idea to extract a pure color, monochromatic, light from gaseous media by means of an electrical excitation accompanied with an enhancement process arising from inter atom collisions. For the first time in 1960, his gas laser produced a continuously operating laser light. Prior to his work on the laser, Professor Javan developed the theory of the three level maser and showed the importance of phase coherence in this microwave device. This work introduced the concept of masers without population inversion, and he further extended this idea to the use of the stimulated Raman effect to achieve gain, a concept that subsequently led to novel extensions in the optical regime.

Professor Javan’s continued contributions over the years have advanced diverse frontiers in the field of quantum electronics. At MIT, he established a major research laboratory and developed it into the largest  laser research laboratory in the world. Many of the early breakthroughs in the scientific uses of lasers took place this laboratory. These include the many developments in laser spectroscopy at sub-Doppler resolution, which defined the field of gas phase nonlinear spectroscopy; the first use of lasers to accurately test the special theory of relativity. He    introduced   absolute frequency measurement technology into the optical region, and  developed  laser atomic clocks for the first time.

Professor Javan has continued to be active in novel areas of research, including his recent work exploring the effects of coupling light by an optical antenna into a nano scale volume of matter. A number of active fields of research have emerged from his work. His contributions have also extended to applied research areas, such as development of high energy gas lasers and multi static laser radars, controlled by accurate optical clocks and lasers for medical diagnostic use. He has supervised the doctoral thesis research of a large number of physics graduate students. In addition, he has served as an active consultant to government and industry. For his work on gas lasers,  he has earned my  awards specially  1993 Albert Einstein World award.


20th Century Scientists and Thinkers: Lotfi Asker Zadeh

By Syed Aslam

LEGANERD_037679Lotfi Asker Zadeh was born in 1921, in Baku, a city on the Caspian Sea in the  Republic of Azerbaijan.  His father, Rahim Aliasker Zadeh was a correspondent for Iranian newspapers and also an importer-exporter. Zadeh and his parents moved to Tehran, Iran in 1931. After completing his high school diploma he chose University of Tehran and graduated  with Bachelor of Science degree in  electrical engineering.

During the year after his graduation, Zadeh worked with his father supplying construction materials to the US. Army in Iran. His contacts with Americans made him to emigrate to  United States .  In the year 1944, he enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology  which awarded him an MA in electrical engineering . He entered the doctoral program at Columbia University and received his PhD in electrical engineering in the year  1949. Rising from instructor to professor of electrical engineering, he was on staff at Columbia for thirteen years, and finally  he moved on to the University of California at Berkeley where retired as a  chairman of the electrical engineering.

Lotfi Asker Zadeh, who described himself  as an American, mathematically oriented, electrical engineer of Iranian descent,  is responsible for the development of fuzzy logic and fuzzy set theory. He is also known for his research in system theory, information processing, artificial intelligence, expert systems, natural language understanding  and the theory of evidence. His fuzzy theory was enthusiastically received and applied in Japan, China, and several European countries.   Industrial applications have begun to appear in US. organizations as well. The most important application of the fuzzy theory which is developed by  AT&T is the  ‘Expert System’ on a chip.   Zadeh received the prestigious  award   to honor him for the  advancement of technology  from the Honda Foundation of Japan in the year1989. The same year Japan’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, along with almost fifty corporate sponsors, opened a laboratory for International Fuzzy Engineering Research  with a budget of approximately 40 million dollars.  Six months after its initiation, Zadeh became an advisor to  this laboratory. He is also credited,  for  pioneering the development of the z-transform method in discrete time signal processing and analysis. These methods are now standard in digital signal processing, digital control, and other discrete-time systems used in industry and research.

Zadeh’s research has earned him many honors and awards, including the Congress Award from the International Congress on Applied Systems, Research and Cybernetics (1980), the Outstanding Paper Award from the International Symposium on Multiple-valued Logic (1984), and the Berkeley Citation, from the University of California at Berkeley (1991).


Dr. Mahmoud Hessaby

By Syed Aslam

hesabiDr. Mahmoud Hessaby was born in Tehran  in 1903. His family  moved to Beirut, Lebanon  in 1907.  He received religious instructions and studied Persian literature from his devoted and learned mother.  Memorized the Holly Qur’an by heart at an early age and read the great poetry of Hafez, Sa’adi and Ferdowsi when he was just a teenager.

After completing his high school  he  chose American College of Beirut, graduating with a bachelor’s degree of  Science. He continued his studies in Civil Engineering and after receiving his degree he studied Mathematics  Astronomy and Physics. He moved to France and worked   for  French National Railway. Continued his research in Physics and received his PhD  at the age of 25 from  Sorbonne University, France   After completing his PhD returned back to Iran. Dr. Hessaby was polymath, he studied different fields and continued lecturing at University of Tehran for three working generations. He died in the year 1992  at Geneva, Switzerland  and is buried in Tafresh, Iran.

What makes him a great mind is his well-known theory of “Infinitely extended particles”.   Dr Hessaby met with Dr Albert Einstein and he was the only Iranian who closely worked with  him.  He researched on his theory in Princeton, Chicago and preformed many different experiments to verify his theory. He published the results of his research in 1946 at Princeton University. His theory “Infinitely extended particles” is well known among scientists.  Einstein once said about him that “One day he will change the direction of physics”. In 1973 the medal of “Commandeur de la Legion”, France’s greatest scientific medal was awarded to him for his great theory. One of the great things he did was the modification of Newton’s law of gravity and Columbus’ law.  In the field of Modern Physics he published 23 research papers and many  books which include, Electrodynamics, Electric Eye, Viewpoint in Physics, Magnetic Eye, Solid State Physics and Quantum View.

Dr. Hessaby can be considered a great mind because of his endless desire for knowledge that led him to study and master several fields of science.  He studied and researched in different subjects and was able to make great contributions in most of them.  He also taught different subjects at various universities and gave new and interesting ideas in each of them. Dr Hessaby was a great person both in the history of the science and for the modernization of his country, Iran.   He knew eleven different languages, such as Persian, English, French, Arabic, German, Italian and Greek. 

What makes Dr Hessaby unique is the numerous services he rendered for his country, such as establishment of Tehran University, the teachers collage, the first meteorological station and radiological center. He also founded the space research center, the geophysics institute and the satellite tracking observatory center of Iran. It is interesting to know that Dr Hessaby also mastered Persian literature, played piano and violin and established the first Iranian institute of music. Dr Hessaby’s life, his struggles, his tireless and intense interest in the quest of science as well as his deep interest in teaching the youth, and his commitment to the scientific progress of his country provides a living example and model for the students of science all over the world.

A museum has been established by his family, colleagues and students in order to value his 60 years of scientific, educational and cultural activities.