William H. Southwell, Ph.D., owner

  • BS Physics. Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
  • PhD Physics. Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 
Professional Experience
  • Professor of Physics. South Dakota School of Mines, Rapid City, SD
  • Optical Design and Analysis. Owens-Illinois, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Laser Physicist. Rockwell International, Southern California
  • Consultant

Dr. Southwell has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Optics, Quantum Mechanics, Math-Physics and General Physics. His specialty is numerical modeling of physical systems particularly the propagation of light and optical systems. He has developed a method of measuring the gravitational constant using pendulums using Fourier Analysis. He has worked on the problem of fitting experimental data to models where all variables have uncertainty. He has written computer programs for curve-fitting and optimization, optical ray-tracing, diffraction analysis, binary optics, and optical laser resonator analysis. Some of his research was concerned with planar optical waveguides, including geodesic lenses, gradient-index lenses, and the coupling of multiple diode lasers to a single mode fiber for optical communications. He developed the virtual source theory for unstable laser resonators. He was involved in the development of gradient-index optical interference coatings, including broad band antireflection coatings and thin film phase retarders. He is the author of the flip-flop optical coating design process and other developments leading to what is called digital thin films. Starting from basic principles he developed the coupled-wave theory of optical thin films, which enables the rapid evaluation of the reflectance of rugate filters. 

Patents and Publications

Dr. Southwell holds 27 US Patents and has authored over 60 papers published in international journals. He has delivered numerous papers at national and international conferences. He has served as Associate Editor of Applied Optics Journal and the Journal of the Optical Society of America. Click on a coresponding link to view a complete list of patents or publications.

Professional memberships