Samuel E. Blum

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Samuel E. Blum
Born(1920-08-28)August 28, 1920
DiedJanuary 9, 2013(2013-01-09) (aged 92)
Alma materRutgers University, 1942, 1950
UCLA, 1944
AwardsInduction to National Inventors Hall of Fame, 2002
R.W. Wood Prize, 2004
Russ Prize, 2013
Scientific career
FieldsChemistry, Physics

Samuel E. Blum (August 28, 1920 – January 9, 2013)[1] was an American chemist and physicist. He was a researcher at the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, working for government and private companies. He worked with semiconductor materials, which was his specialization until his retirement from IBM Watson Research Center in 1990.[2]

Blum's most notable invention is the patent on the ultraviolet excimer laser, which is used in surgical and dental procedures, which provided the laser technology that is central in LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) surgery.[3] The co-inventors included chemist Rangaswamy Srinivasan and physicist James J. Wynne.[4] The patent was filed in December 1982 and was issued on November 15, 1988.[5] The contribution of this technology to LASIK has brought 20/20 vision and freedom from eyeglasses and contact lenses to millions of people. For this innovation, he was inducted to the National Inventors Hall of Fame (2002) and received the R. W. Wood Prize (2004) from the Optical Society of America (OSA).[3] In 2013, Blum, Srinivasan, and Wynne were awarded the Russ Prize from the National Academy of Engineering for this work.


  1. ^ "Dr. Samuel E. Blum". National Academy of Engineering. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  2. ^ Pakistan Journal of Science. Pakistan Association for the Advancement of Science. 1984. p. 91. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  3. ^ a b Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation, Incorporated. 2005. p. 227. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  4. ^ Benson, Alvin K. (2010). Great Lives from History: Lewis Howard Latimer - Charles Proteus Steinmetz. Salem PressInc. p. 1204. ISBN 978-1-58765-525-8. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  5. ^ US4784135, Samuel E. Blum, Rangaswamy Srinivasan, James J. Wynne, "Far ultraviolet surgical and dental procedures", issued 1988-11-15