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William Thomas Silfvast is an Americanphysicist well known for his contributions to gas discharge lasers, soft x-ray lasers, and as the author of the influential textbook Laser Fundamentals. and also a thriller novel "Focused to Kill, (2012). Silfvast received his PhD in Physics form the University of Utah and spent much of his career at Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey. Later he became a professor and chairman of the Physics Department at the University of Central Florida's Center for Research in Electro-Optics and Lasers (CREOL). Silfvast remains a Professor Emeritus at UCF, and is now retired and living in northern California. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, the American Physical Society, and the IEEE. In 2010 Silfvast was selected as one of 27 'Laser Luminaries' (laser pioneers) during the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the discovery of the laser.