From its humble beginnings in 1976, Ophir has grown to become the world leader in laser power meters and other laser measurement technology.
I spoke to Ephraim Greenfield, Ophir founder and CTO to get some insights on the origins and progression that Ophir took through the last four decades.
Here’s what he said.
What does “Ophir” mean anyway?
It’s a simple contraction, for “OPtics” and “Yerushalayim” (Hebrew for Jerusalem). It also works in Latin! Optica-Hierosolyma. Apart from that, and an obscure biblical city, there was no more meaning to it then. Now, of course, “Ophir” has come to mean many things in the optics and photonics industries.
How did Ophir Photonics get started?
When Ophir was originally founded by Doctors Yaakov Zerem, Ephraim Greenfield, and Ephraim Secemski, the focus was on optical coatings.
How then did Ophir Photonics shift into the laser measurement field?
Ephraim was catching up with Nissim ben Yosef, an old roommate from his college days, who was doing academic laser research. Nissim mentioned that they were having trouble with the coatings of their thermopiles, which they used to measure their lasers.
He said, “Ephraim, you work in coatings. Can you help us with our thermopile disk coatings?”
Ophir at that point only worked with optical lens coatings, but Ephraim said, “Sure. We’ll give it a shot.”
Ophir’s Photonics group manufactures, calibrates and sells a complete line of accurate NIST compliant instruments for analyzing and measuring laser power, energy, position, size and beam profile (Spiricon LLC & Photon brands), which are used in industrial, medical and scientific research.
Ophir Photonics group is part of MKS Instruments, Inc., a global provider of technologies that enable advanced processes and improve productivity.