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Narinder Singh Kapany

Narinder Singh Kapany
Born31 October 1926
Died4 December 2020 (2020-12-05) (aged 94)
NationalityIndian,
American
Alma materAgra University
Imperial College London
Known forPioneering work on fibre optics
AwardsPravasi Bharatiya Samman
The Excellence 2000 Award
FREng[1] (1998)
Scientific career
FieldsPhysics
InstitutionsAgra University
Ordnance Factories Board
Imperial College of Science
British Royal Academy of Engineering[1]
Optical Society of America
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Professor at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC)
Stanford University

Narinder Singh Kapany (31 October 1926 – 4 December 2020) was an Indian-American physicist best known for his work on fibre optics.[2][3][4] He is credited with coining of the term fibre optics and is also considered the 'father of fibre optics'.[5][6] Fortune named him one of seven 'Unsung Heroes' in their 'Businessmen of the Century' issue in 1999.[3][7][4]

Early life and research

Kapany was born on 31 October 1926, in a Sikh family in Moga, Punjab.[8][9] He completed his schooling in Dehradun and went on to graduate from Agra University.[8] He served briefly as an Indian Ordnance Factories Service officer, before going to Imperial College London in 1952 to work on a Ph.D. degree in optics from the University of London, which he obtained in 1955.[8][10]

At Imperial College, Kapany worked with Harold Hopkins on transmission through fibres, achieving good image transmission through a large bundle of optical fibres for the first time in 1953.[11][12][13] Optical fibres had been tried for image transmission before, but Hopkins and Kapany's technique allowed much better image quality than could previously be achieved. This, combined with the almost-simultaneous development of optical cladding by Dutch scientist Bram van Heel, helped jump start the new field of fibre optics. Kapany coined the term 'fibre optics' in an article in Scientific American in 1960, wrote the first book about the new field, and was the new field's most prominent researcher, writer, and spokesperson.[11][14][15]

Kapany's research and work encompassed fibre-optics communications, lasers, biomedical instrumentation, solar energy and pollution monitoring. He had over one hundred patents, and was a member of the National Inventors Council. He was an International Fellow[1] of numerous scientific societies including the Royal Academy of Engineering,[1] the Optical Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.[10]

Career

Optical fibres

As an entrepreneur and business executive, Kapany specialized in the processes of innovation and the management of technology and technology transfer. In 1960, he founded Optics Technology Inc. and was chairman of the board, President, and Director of Research for twelve years. In 1967 the company went public with numerous corporate acquisitions and joint-ventures in the United States and abroad. In 1973, Kapany founded Kaptron Inc. and was president and CEO until 1990 when he sold the company to AMP Incorporated. For the next nine years, Kapany was an AMP Fellow, heading the Entrepreneur & Technical Expert Program and serving as Chief Technologist for Global Communications Business. He founded K2 Optronics. He also served on the boards of various companies. He was a member of the Young Presidents Organization and later a member of the World Presidents Organization.[10][16]

As an academic, Kapany taught and supervised research activity of postgraduate students. He was a Regents Professor at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) and at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). He was also Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED) at UCSC for seven years. At Stanford University, he was a Visiting Scholar in the Physics Department and Consulting Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering.[17]

As an author and lecturer, Kapany published over 100 scientific papers and four books on opto-electronics and entrepreneurship. He lectured to various national and international scientific societies. His article on fibre optics in Scientific American in 1960 established the term "fibre optics". In November 1999, Fortune magazine published profiles of seven unsung heroes who greatly influenced life in the twentieth century. Kapany was one of them.[4]

Philanthropy and art

19th century Sikh manuscripts from the Kapany collection at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

As a philanthropist, Kapany was active in education and the arts. He was the founding chairman of the Sikh Foundation and a major funder of its activities for over 50 years.[18] In collaboration with international institutions and publishers, the Foundation runs programs in publishing, academia and the arts.[19] In 1998, Kapany endowed a Chair of Sikh Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His gift in 1999 of $500,000 to the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco established a gallery in its new building displaying the works he donated from his collection of Sikh art.[20][21][22] In 1999, he endowed a Chair of Optoelectronics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Again in 2012, he established the Narinder Kapany Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship at UC Santa Cruz.[23] He was a trustee of the University of California, Santa Cruz Foundation.[24] He also served as a trustee of the Menlo School in Menlo Park, California.[16]

As an art collector, Kapany specialised in Sikh art. He provided paintings and other objects on loan for the "Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms" exhibition, which was held at London's Victoria & Albert Museum beginning in March 1999.[25] From there, the exhibition proceeded to the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (with the Sikh Foundation as a sponsor) and opened in May 2000 at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. The exhibition follows "Splendors of the Punjab: Sikh Art and Literature in 1992" organised by Kapany in collaboration with the Asian Art Museum and UC Berkeley to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Sikh Foundation.[26] As an artist, Kapany's dynoptic sculptures were displayed at the Exploratorium of the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco in 1972 and at museums and art galleries in Chicago, Monterey, Palo Alto, and Stanford.[27][28]

Awards and recognition

He received many awards including the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, awarded by the Government of India in 2004, and "The Excellence 2000 Award" from the USA Pan-Asian American Chamber of Commerce in 1998. In 1999, he was identified by Fortune as an "unsung hero" in the "Businessmen of the Century" issue.[29][30] He received the UC Santa Cruz Foundation Fiat Lux Award in 2008.[31][32]

Personal life

Kapany married Miss Satinder Kaur in 1954, in London.[33] He died on 4 December 2020, aged 94.[16]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "List of Fellows". Archived from the original on 8 June 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Narinder Kapany, Ph.D., Founder and Chairman, K2 Optronics, Inc". Archived from the original on 31 July 2005. Retrieved 26 March 2008.
  3. ^ a b rediff.com: Honouring the Achievers Archived 3 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Specials.rediff.com. Retrieved on 6 April 2011.
  4. ^ a b c How India missed another Nobel Prize – Rediff.com India News Archived 14 December 2019 at the Wayback Machine. News.rediff.com (12 October 2009). Retrieved on 6 April 2011.
  5. ^ "Narinder Singh Kapany Chair in Opto-electronics". University of California Santa Cruz. Archived from the original on 21 May 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2017..
  6. ^ Dharmakumar, Rohin (11 March 2011). "Lighting up the Last Mile". Forbes India. Archived from the original on 28 July 2019. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  7. ^ The Tribune, Chandigarh, India – Business Archived 15 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine. Tribuneindia.com. Retrieved on 6 April 2011.
  8. ^ a b c Sharma, Dinesh C. (15 October 2009). "Nobel Question Mark". New Delhi: India Today. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  9. ^ Service, Tribune News. "Scientist, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist". Tribuneindia News Service. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  10. ^ a b c "Narinder Singh Kapany Chair in Opto-electronics". southasia.ucsc.edu. Archived from the original on 16 November 2020. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  11. ^ a b Hecht, Jeff (2004). City of Light: The Story of Fiber Optics (revised ed.). Oxford University. pp. 55–70. ISBN 9780195162554.
  12. ^ Hopkins, H. H. & Kapany, N. S. (1954). "A flexible fibrescope, using static scanning". Nature. 173 (4392): 39–41. Bibcode:1954Natur.173...39H. doi:10.1038/173039b0.
  13. ^ Two Revolutionary Optical Technologies. Scientific Background on the Nobel Prize in Physics 2009. Nobelprize.org. 6 October 2009
  14. ^ How India missed another Nobel Prize – Rediff.com India News Archived 14 December 2019 at the Wayback Machine. News.rediff.com (12 October 2009). Retrieved on 8 February 2017.
  15. ^ "Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: The Father of Fiber Optics". Transportation History. 3 May 2017. Archived from the original on 12 June 2020. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  16. ^ a b c Service, Tribune News. "Father of fibre optics and patron of Sikh arts Narinder Singh Kapany dies at 94". Tribuneindia News Service. Archived from the original on 4 December 2020. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  17. ^ "Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: The Father of Fiber Optics". Transportation History. 3 May 2017. Archived from the original on 12 June 2020. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  18. ^ "About Us". Sikh Foundation. Archived from the original on 22 May 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  19. ^ "Sikh Arts – The Sikh Foundation International". Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  20. ^ "The Sikh Foundation – Community Profiles". www.sikhfoundation.org. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  21. ^ "Saints and Kings: Arts, Culture, and Legacy of the Sikhs | Exhibitions | Asian Art Museum". Exhibitions. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  22. ^ Reporter, SUNITA SOHRABJI/India-West Staff. "Sikh Foundation Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Exhibit at Asian Art Museum". India West. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  23. ^ Stephens, Tim. "Gift from Narinder Kapany establishes endowed chair in entrepreneurship". UC Santa Cruz News. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  24. ^ Rappaport, Scott. "Gift from Narinder Kapany will establish Sikh book collection and study room at McHenry Library". UC Santa Cruz News. Archived from the original on 12 June 2020. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  25. ^ Victoria and Albert Museum, Online Museum (11 January 2011). "The Art of the Sikh Kingdoms". www.vam.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 12 June 2020. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  26. ^ "Sikh Art and Literature". Sikh Art and Literature. Archived from the original on 12 June 2020. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  27. ^ "Sikh Art Museum mooted for BC | South Asian Post | Indo Canadian newspaper – Vancouver, Surrey, Calgary, Toronto, Brampton, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal". www.southasianpost.com. Archived from the original on 5 December 2020. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  28. ^ "The Sikh Foundation – Community Profiles". www.sikhfoundation.org. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  29. ^ Boitano, Margaret; Carvell, Tim (22 November 1999). "Unsung Heroes". Fortune Magazine: 144–146 – via EBSCO.
  30. ^ "Jewels of Punjab – Dr Narinder Singh Kapany – The Sikh Foundation International". Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  31. ^ "Fiat Lux Award". foundation.ucsc.edu. Archived from the original on 12 June 2020. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  32. ^ Stephens, Tim. "Gift from Narinder Kapany establishes endowed chair in entrepreneurship". UC Santa Cruz News. Archived from the original on 12 June 2020. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  33. ^ Service, Tribune News. "Scientist, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist". Tribuneindia News Service. Retrieved 5 December 2020.

Add another reference appropriately: https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/semiconductors/devices/historys-first-draft

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