Dobrovody, Austria–Hungary (today Russian Empire Ukraine)
|Died||17 May 1983
Auburn, Massachusetts, USA
Carl Zeiss AG
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
|Alma mater||Georg-August University of Göttingen|
|Doctoral advisor||Robert Pohl|
|Known for||anti-reflective coating|
Olexander Smakula (Ukrainian: Олександр Теодорович Смакула, Russian: Александр Теодорович Смакула) (1900, Dobrovody, Austria–Hungary, today Ukraine – 17 May 1983, Auburn, Massachusetts, USA), also described in English as Alexander Smakula, was a Ukrainian physicist known for the invention of anti-reflective lens coatings based on optical interference.
Smakula was born to a peasant family in Dobrovody village, Austria–Hungary (today Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine). After finishing his studies at the Ternopil gymnasium he applied to the Georg-August University of Göttingen from which he graduated in 1927. Afterwards he worked as an assistant of Prof. Robert Pohl. After his short stay at Odessa University, Smakula returned to Germany as head of an optics laboratory in Heidelberg. From 1934 he worked at the Carl Zeiss AG company in Jena. While at Zeiss, in 1935, Smakula invented and patented optical anti-reflective coatings, a significant advance in optical technology. During the war, he collaborated with the Nazi regime and worked on IR guidance for missiles. After the end of World War II Smakula went to the USA with other German physicists, where he first worked in Virginia investigating materials for infrared technology. In 1951 he was offered a professorship at MIT, where he mainly did research into crystalline materials. Olexander Smakula died on May 17, 1983 and is buried in Auburn, Massachusetts, USA.