Jan 17, 2008, Mike Butler

A Spectroscopy Tale

 Just as holograms and diffractive optical elements are designed to take a monochromatic beam of light and create spatial patterns, in the early 1990s I started looking for a way to take a beam of polychromatic light and produce spectral patterns.  Creating synthetic molecular spectra lead to a DARPA program to use correlation spectroscopy for remote chemical sensing.  For this program MEMs programmable micro-diffraction gratings were used to make the spectrometer flexible.  The participants were so excited about this technology that we made the big jump and started Polychromix.  I will describe the technical path from this development in basic science to a novel spectrometer produce, the PHAZIR, a hand-held materials analyzer.

Mike Butler


Co-founder and VP Research & Development Polychromix 2001-present

Distinguished member technical staff Sandia National Labs 1975-2001

Member technical staff Bell Labs 1970-1975

PhD Physics UC Santa Barbara 1969

BS Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1964

Mike has also been involved in NMR, materials science, photo-electrochemistry, optical sensors, cold fusion, and a temporary assignment with the Department of Energy.



DINNER reservations are required by noon, January 14, 2008, the Monday of the meeting. MEETING ONLY reservations are required by noon, January 17, 2008, the day of the meeting. 

Please make reservations on line . Reservations may also be left on the answering machine at 617.584.0266. We no longer have an email address for reservations due to SPAM. When making reservation requests, please provide the following information: 

  • DINNER AND MEETING or meeting only
  • Name(s) and membership status
  • Daytime phone number where you can be reached (in case of change or cancellation)


Best Western TLC in Waltham (Map to TLC)  .

Networking—5:45 PM, Dinner—6:30, Meeting—7:30 PM.


Dinner will include fruit cup, salad, meat loaf with green beans & mashed potatoes, Boston cream pie for dessert and coffee, tea, or milk.

Vegetarian option available on request 

Dinner Prices:

Members and their guests$25.00 each
Non-members$30.00 (See NOTE Below)

General Information on NES/OSA Meetings

Cancellations and No-shows:

If the meeting must be canceled for any reason, we will try to call you at the phone number you leave with your reservation. Official notice of cancellation will be on our answering machine.

We have to pay for the dinners reserved as of the Tuesday before the meeting, so no-shows eat into our cash reserve. If you will not be able to attend, please let us know as early as possible. Otherwise, no-shows will be billed.

Membership Rates:

Regular members$15.00
Student membersfree

NOTE: The extra $5.00 of the non-member dinner fee can be used toward membership dues if the nonmember joins and pays dues for the current year at the meeting.