Michael Kasha (December 6, 1920 – June 12, 2013) was an American physical chemist and molecular spectroscopist who was one of the original founders of the Institute of Molecular Biophysics at Florida State University (FSU). Born in Elizabeth, NJ to a family of Ukrainian immigrants, he earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from University of California at Berkeley in 1945, working with renowned physical chemist G.N. Lewis.
He was a Distinguished University Research Professor at FSU. He was an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (in 1971) and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (in 1963), as well as the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science.
The research in his molecular spectroscopy laboratory has maintained a strong tradition of the discovery and elucidation of excitation mechanisms, with particular application to photochemical and biophysical problems. His most important achievements include identifying triplet states as source of phosphorescence emission, formulating the Kasha rule on fluorescence, and his work on singlet molecular oxygen.
Kasha is also known for his interest in improving the sound quality and durability of the acoustic guitar and the classic string instruments. His guitar design is patented and is known as "Kasha guitar". A 30-year collaboration with luthier Richard Schneider led to a series of innovative changes to the traditional classical guitar.R. Hochstrasser, J. Saltiel. Research Career of Michael Kasha. J. Phys. Chem. A, 2003, 107 (18), pp 3161–3162
Michael Kasha - Editorial, Biographical Sketch, Summary of Research Contributions, Research Associates, and Publications list J . Phys. Chem., 1991, 95 (25), pp 10215–10220