Georges Nomarski

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Georges (Jerzy) Nomarski (January 6, 1919 – 1997) was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and optics theoretician. Creator of Nomarski interference contrast (NIC) or differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy, the method is widely used to study live biological specimens and unstained tissues.


Born in Nowy Targ, Nomarski was educated in Warsaw and served in the Polish Resistance during World War II. Captured by German forces, he was a prisoner of war until March 1945. He finished his education in France and received his diploma from l'Ecole Supérieure d'Optique Paris (Grande Ecole). In 1950, Nomarski established the Laboratoire de Microscopie Optique de L'Institut d'Optique and became a professor of microscopy and head of the department at his alma mater. He simultaneously conducted research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), where the physicist rose to the Directorship of Research by 1965.


  • Fellow of the Optical Society of America (1972)
  • Honorary Fellow by the Royal Microscopical Society
  • Abbe Medal recipient
  • SPIE Gold Medal (1995)

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