The Optical Society (OSA) is celebrating its centennial in 2016. OSA was established in 1916 and is one of the founding Member Societies of the American Institute of Physics (founded in 1932). At the inaugural meeting of the Rochester Association for the Advancement of Applied Optics, physicist Perley Nutting spoke about the importance of creating communities focused on the emerging field of optics. Nutting would go on to serve as the founder and first president of OSA from 1916- 1917.
Nutting and his peers proved to be correct in their predictions. Many physicists and innovations have emerged from the field of optics. Highlighted in this featured photo collection are Katharine Burr Blodgett, the first woman to be awarded a PhD in physics from the University of Cambridge, Nobel winners Charles H. Townes and Arthur Schawlow, and the OSA first female president Jean M. Bennett, appointed in 1986.