Dr. Robert Charles Miller (1925 - 2016)

Dr. Robert Charles Miller, who received his PhD in Physics at Columbia University (1956) and performed world-class cutting edge research related to laser light beams, past away earlier this month at his home in New Jersey.  Below is Dr. Miller's obituary.

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Robert Charles Miller
Freehold, NJ
 
Dr. Robert Charles Miller (Bob), 91, died in his sleep on Friday, December 9, 2016. He spent his final years living at Monmouth Crossing, Freehold, NJ near his son, Jeffrey.
 
Born in State College, PA on February 2, 1925, he was the youngest child of the late Lawrence Peter Miller and Eva Mae (Gross) Wiedemann. He was the stepson of Florence Flemion Miller. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 60 years, Virginia Callaghan Miller, who died on July 20, 2013. He is survived by his daughters, Robin (James) Storey and Lauren (Peter) Lynch; his son Jeffrey Miller (Cheryl Reid); grandchildren J. Robert (Kate) Storey, sarah (Brendan) McGillic and Brian Storey; Sheridan (Kendell) Burke, Reid (Andrea Riella), Benjamin (Genevieve Keenan) and Dylan lynch; Jason and Andrew Miller; great-grandchildren Carter, Chelsea, CaUie and Camden Burke; Madison Storey and Wendy Miller; his nephews Edward Pahan and Wray Blattner and his nieces Janice Pechan, lindsay Blattner and Cary Sieber. Robert was predeceased by his sister, Josephine Milter Petruzzi.
 
Robert grew up in Yonkers, NY and graduated from Charles E. Gorton High School. He was able to complete his first year at Columbia College before he was drafted in 1943. He spent three years in the United States Army in the 12th Armored Division, 23rd Tank Battalion, Company C, fighting through Rhineland, Ardennes, Alsace, and Central Europe. He was discharged in 1946 as a Corporal. He received his A.B. degree in Chemistry in 1948, his Master's in 1952 and his Ph.D. in Physics in 1956, all at Columbia University. Robert was awarded a RCA Fellowship for graduate study in 1953-54. The drum device and oven used in Miller's Ph.D. dissertation were donated to the Smithsonian Museum's Modern Science exhibit.
 
Robert joined the legendary Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ in 1954 and spent 34 years there doing world-class cutting edge research related to laser light beams. He told his children as he left the house each morning for work that he was going there to play! Dr. Miller, along with Dr. Joseph Giordmaine, built the first optical parametric oscillator, a device that made possible the generation of tunable light beams by fixed-frequency lasers. For this work, they received the R. W. Wood prize of the Optical Society of America in 1986. Much earlier, Miller had discovered the widely-used Miller "delta" rule, which predicts the capability of particular materials to generate optical harmonics of laser light. Among many other highly cited contributions, he and his colleagues in 1975 demonstrated the first semiconductor quantum well laser - a class of lasers that can efficiently generate much longer wavelengths than conventional lasers of the same material. He spent 1967-1968 as a staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses, Arlington, VA. He served as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1968-1975. He contributed numerous articles to professional journals. He retired from Bell Labs as a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in 1988.
 
Dr. Miner lived in Summit, NJ from 1963-1988 and actively enjoyed playing (and winning) platform tennis and tennis matches at the Beacon Hill Club. In his high school and army years, he excelled as a table tennis player. He enjoyed sports cars and was a member of the Sports Car Club of America, attending many races both as a spectator and as a flagging and communications volunteer. He attended Calvary Episcopal Church.
 
Virginia and Robert retired to Cotuit, MA in 1988 and spent 25 happy years on Cape Cod. He enjoyed sailing his boat, La Vie, playing tennis, cheering for the Cotuit Kettleers and traveling in France. Bob was active in the Lackawanna & Cape Cod Sail and Power Squadrons and Cotuit Bay Shores. He enjoyed being Pop to his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
 
Dr. Miller requested no services. He will be interred in the Zionsville Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery, Old Zionsville, PA.
 
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Robert's memory to the Cotuit Athletic Association (Cotuit Kettleers), P.O. Box 411, Cotuit, MA 02625, www.kettleers.org or to Columbia University and mail to Physics Department, Columbia University, Attn; Ran Zhao, Room 704 Pupin HalII, Mail Code 5255, 538 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027.
 
For verification purposes, please contact John E. Hermann Funeral Services, LLC http://www.johnehermannfuneralservice.com or 1-800-787-0990