The book opens with special greetings from Tony Siegman, the former president of the Optical Society of America and Benjamin Bederson, the Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Physical Review. A long time friend, Ali Javan, dating back to Marlan's MIT days, highlights some of Marlan's scientific contributions.
Heidi Fearn's poems humanize physical phenomena and set the stage for the more personal reminiscences to come.
Friends and colleagues of Marlan from the various stages of his scientific life shed some light on his human side. These stories reflect the admiration and respect the quantum physics community holds for Marlan and bring out many humorous anecdotes of their interactions with him. Judy Scully, his wife, takes us through Marlan's youth and college years in Wyoming. Leon Cohen illuminates the Yale days and Marlan's interactions with Willis E. Lamb. Pierre Meystre describes his arrival in Tucson from
Switzerland for his first postdoctoral position with Marlan. The move from Tucson to Albuquerque is one of Suhail Zubairy's memories. Herbert Walther shines light on the impact of the multi-national Marlan and in particular, on the Max-Planck-Institut fü Quantenoptik. Wolfgang Schleich looks at his mentor
Marlan from a graduate student's point of view and opens the arena for Reesor Woodling's description of Marlan's cattle business. We conclude the trail by the article of Thomas Walther, Ed Fry and George Welsch, who bring us up to date with Marlan's activities in Texas A & M.
The actual birthday party and scientific celebration took place as a special two-day colloquium on Modern Trends in Quantum Optics at the Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptic in Garching, Germany on June 29-30, 1999. Included in this book is the program of this meeting, as wel as some excerpts from the celebration, such as, the after dinner speech by Roy J. Glauber followed by a photo album of Marlan's life. The poems by Olga Kocharovskaya poetically describe Marlan's scientific achievements. The concluding talk by Bruce Shore, given at this meeting, begins the connection to the papers by Don Kobe, Danny Greenberger and Mark Hillary, and Shi-Yao Zhu et al. covering topics from gauge invariance via unbreakable codes to photonic band gaps. The articles from the special issue of Optics Communications conclude this Festschrift.