Nicolaas Bloembergen

Professor Emeritus of Optical Sciences
Nicolaas Bloembergen Memoriam

Named Professor Emeritus 2013


  • Professor: The University of Arizona, Optical Sciences Center/College of Optical Sciences, 2001-2017
  • Visiting Scientist: The University of Arizona, Optical Sciences Center, 1996-1997
  • Visiting Scientist: University of Central Florida, CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics, 1995
  • Professor Emeritus: Harvard University, 1990-present
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Senior Distinguished U.S. Scientist: Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics (Germany), 1980 and 1987
  • Gerhard Gade University Professor: Harvard University, 1980-1990
  • Visiting Professor: College de France, 1980
  • Raman Visiting Professor: Indian Academy of Sciences (India), 1979
  • Director: Enrico Fermi Course on Nonlinear Spectroscopy, 1975
  • Rumford Professor of Physics: Harvard University, 1974-1980
  • Lorentz Guest Professor: University of Leiden (Netherlands), 1973
  • Visiting Professor: University of California, Berkeley, 1965.
  • Lecturer: International Summer Schools, 1962-1964, 1966, 1968-1969, 1978, 1992, 1995
  • Gordon McKay Professor: Harvard University, Division of Applied Science, Department of Applied Physics, 1957-1974
  • Visiting Professor: École Normale Supérieure (France), 1957
  • Associate Professor: Harvard University, Division of Applied Science, Department of Applied Physics,1951-1957
  • Junior Fellow: Harvard University, Society of Fellows, 1949-1951
  • Research Associate: University of Leiden (Netherlands), 1947-1948
  • Research Assistant: Harvard University, 1946-1947
  • Teaching Fellow: University of Utrecht (Netherlands), 1942-1945

Professional Affiliations and Activities: 

  • American Physical Society: President, 1991

Awards and Honors: 

  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation: Humboldt Prize, 1989
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Member
  • American Philosophical Society: Member
  • American Physical Society: Member
  • American Physical Society: Oliver E. Buckley Prize for Solid State Physics, 1958
  • California Institute of Technology: Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar, 1984
  • Franklin Institute: Stuart Ballantine Medal, 1961
  • French Academy of Sciences: Foreign Associate
  • German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina: Foreign Member
  • Harvard University: A.M. Hon., 1951
  • Harvard University: S.D. Hon., 2000
  • IEEE: Lifetime Fellow
  • IEEE: Medal of Honor, 1983
  • IEEE: Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award, 1959
  • Indian Academy of Sciences (India): Honorary Fellow
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation: Fellow, 1957
  • Laval University (Canada): Dr. Sc. Hon., 1988
  • Moscow State University (Russia): Dr. Sc. Hon., 1997
  • National Academy of Engineering: Member Emeritus
  • National Academy of Sciences: Member
  • Netherlands Club of New York: Half-Moon Trophy, 1972
  • North Carolina State University: Dr. Sc. Hon., 1998
  • The Optical Society (OSA): Honorary Member
  • The Optical Society (OSA): Frederic Ives Medal, 1979
  • Order of Orange-Nassau: Commander, 1983
  • Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences: Correspondent
  • Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences: Lorentz Medal, 1978
  • Royal Norweigian Scientific Society: Foreign Member
  • Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: Nobel Prize in Physics, 1981
  • United States of America: National Medal of Science, 1974
  • The University of Arizona: Dr. Sc. Hon, 2008
  • University of California, Berkeley: Charles M. and Martha Hitchcock Lecturer
  • University of Central Florida: Dr. Sc. Hon., 1996
  • University of Connecticut: Dr. Sc. Hon., 1989
  • University of Massachusetts, Lowell: L.H.D. Hon., 1994
  • University of New South Wales (Australia): Dirac Medal, 1983

Specific Research Interests: 

  • Nuclear and electronic magnetic resonance, solid state masers and lasers, nonlinear optics and spectroscopy.
  • Nonlinear polarizability and the extension of Maxwell's equations to include nonlinear source terms and the interaction of multiple waves in the bulk and at the boundaries of nonlinear media.
  • Extension of the laws of reflection and refraction.


  • Phil. Cand., University of Utrecht (Netherlands), 1941
  • Phil. Drs., University of Utrecht (Netherlands), 1943
  • Ph.D., University of Leiden (Netherlands), 1948