Emmett N. Leith

Emmett Leith (March 12, 1927 in Detroit, Michigan – December 23, 2005 in Ann Arbor, Michigan) was a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Michigan and, with Juris Upatnieks of the University of Michigan, the co-inventor of three-dimensional holography.

Leith received his B.S. in physics from Wayne State University in 1949 and his M.S. in physics in 1952. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Wayne State in 1978. Much of Leith's holographic work was an outgrowth of his research on synthetic aperture radar (SAR) performed while a member of the Radar Laboratory of the University of Michigan's Willow Run Laboratory beginning in 1952. Leith joined the University of Michigan as a research assistant and was promoted to graduate research assistant in 1955, research associate in 1956, research engineer in 1960, associate professor in 1965, and full professor in 1968.[1]

Professor Leith and his coworker Juris Upatnieks at the University of Michigan displayed the world's first three-dimensional hologram at a conference of the Optical Society of America in 1964.

He received the 1960 Frederic Ives Medal by the OSA.


  • Schwartz, John. The New York Times. January 6, 2006. Retrieved January 8, 2006.
  • Emmett N. Leith Papers, University of Michigan.

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