Peter P. Sorokin

Peter P. Sorokin (10 July 1931 – 24 September 2015) was an American physicist and co-inventor of the dye laser.[1][2] He was born in Boston and grew up in Winchester, Massachusetts.[3][4] He attended Harvard University, receiving a BA degree in 1952 and a PhD in Applied Physics in 1958; his PhD thesis adviser was Nicolaas Bloembergen.[4]

Sorokin joined IBM in 1958.[4] Sorokin and his colleague J. R. Lankard, at IBM Research Laboratories, used a ruby laser to excite a near infrared laser dye. Their report was quickly followed by that of F. P. Schäfer. In 1974 Sorokin received the Albert A. Michelson Medal from the Franklin Institute.[5] In 1983 Sorokin was awarded the Comstock Prize in Physics from the National Academy of Sciences[6] and in 1984 the Harvey Prize from Israel's Technion.[7] In 1991 he received the first Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science from the American Physical Society.[8] Sorokin is an IBM Fellow since 1968.[9] He was also a Fellow of the Optical Society of America. Toward the end of his career he became interested in astronomy. Sorokin died at the age of 84 on 24 September 2015 from injuries incurred in a fall in August.[4][10]


  1. Schäfer, F. P. (1990). "Chapter 1: Principles of Dye Laser Operation". In Schäfer, F. P. (ed.). Dye lasers. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. OCLC 21561617.
  2. Duarte, F. J. (2015). "Introduction to lasers". Tunable Laser Optics (2nd ed.). New York: CRC Press. pp. 1–30. ISBN 978-1-4822-4529-5. OCLC 902838121.
  3. American Men and Women of Science, Thomson Gale 2004
  4. Bethune, Donald S.; Wynne, James J. (23 December 2015). "Peter Pitirimovich Sorokin: Laser pioneer dedicated to understanding, creating, and using light". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 113 (1): 12–3. Bibcode:2016PNAS..113...12B. doi:10.1073/pnas.1523215113. PMC 4711863. PMID 26699496.
  5. "Franklin Laureate Database - Albert A. Michelson Medal Laureates". Franklin Institute. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
  6. "Comstock Prize in Physics". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on 29 December 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  7. "The Harvey Prize". Technion. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  8. "Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science". American Physical Society. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  9. Manz, Jrn; Wste, Ludger, eds. (1994). Femtosecond Chemistry. doi:10.1002/9783527619436. ISBN 9783527619436. Look in chapter Contributors’ CVs and Addresses page 825.
  10. "Peter P. Sorokin, 84, physicist". Obituaries. Lewisboro Ledger. Lewisboro, New York. 28 September 2015.

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