Rubin Braunstein

Professor Emeritus Rubin Braunstein passed away on June 9, 2018. He was 96 years old.

Rubin Braunstein earned his doctorate in physics at Syracuse University in 1954, specializing in experimental condensed matter.  He reported on infrared emission from gallium arsenide and other semiconductor alloys in 1955. Two years later, he demonstrated that rudimentary devices could be used for non-radio communication across a short distance. He was credited with the invention of the first LED, developed when he worked for RCA (Radio Corporation of America) in the late 1950s.

After joining UCLA Professor Braunstein studied band structures and lattice dynamics of semiconductors,  metals and insulators, both crystalline and amorphous. The linear as well as the nonlinear optical interactions of coherent radiation with matter were part of his focus, as well as the surface properties using a range of electron spectroscopies. 

Professor Braunstein used unique techniques to study light scattering in multiple scattering media.  He also employed spectroscopic techniques to study local defects caused by strand breaks and altered bases in DNA. Material systems studied conisted of crystalline and amorphous semiconductors, insulating glasses and high temperature superconductors, and macro-molecules of biological interest.

Professor Braunstein was a member of the APS, the American Physical Society, American Association of University Professors, and the New York Academy of Sciences.