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Emmett Leith (March 12, 1927 in Detroit, Michigan – December 23, 2005 in Ann Arbor, Michigan) was a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Michigan and, with Juris Upatnieks of the University of Michigan, the co-inventor of three-dimensional holography.

Leith received his B.S. in physics from Wayne State University in 1949 and his M.S. in physics in 1952. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Wayne State in 1978. Much of Leith's holographic work was an outgrowth of his research on synthetic aperture radar (SAR) performed while a member of the Radar Laboratory of the University of Michigan's Willow Run Laboratory beginning in 1953.

Professor Leith and his coworker Juris Upatnieks displayed the world's first three-dimensional hologram at a conference of the Optical Society of America in 1964.

He received the 1960 IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter awarded Leith with the National Medal of Science for his research. He was awarded the 1985 Frederic Ives Medal by the OSA.




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