Nobel Prize in Physics 2012

Nobel Prize in Physics 2012

Author: ChemViews

The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2012 has been awarded to Serge Haroche (left), Collège de France and École Normale Supérieure, both France, and David Wineland (right), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), USA, for their ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measurement and manipulation of individual quantum systems.

Serge Haroche graduated from Ecole Normale Supérieure and received his doctorate from Paris VI University, France, in 1971. After post-doctoral research at Stanford University, USA, in the laboratory of Arthur Schawlow, he became full professor at Paris VI University in 1975. In 2001 he was appointed to his current position of Professor at Collège de France, where he holds the Chair in quantum physics.

Haroche’s research centers on Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics (Cavity QED), which is used to study the behavior of atoms interacting strongly with the field confined in a high-Q cavity. An atom-photon system isolated from the outside world by highly reflecting metallic walls gives a very simple experimental model which Haroche has used to test fundamental aspects of quantum physics such as state superposition, entanglement, complementarity, and the decoherence of mesoscopic superpositions of states, the so-called Schrödinger cat states.

David Wineland studied at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, and received his Ph.D. in 1970 from Harvard University, USA, working under Norman Ramsey. He was a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Hans Dehmelt at the University of Washington, USA, before joining the US National Bureau of Standards in 1975 where he started the ion storage group, now at NIST, in Boulder, Colorado.

Wineland’s research focuses on laser cooling and spectroscopy of trapped atomic ions, with applications to atomic clocks, quantum information processing, and precision measurements. He was one of the first to develop lasers that can cool ions to temperatures approaching absolute zero and has been instrumental in developing laser-cooled atomic clocks, the current state of the art in time and frequency standards. His group has also demonstrated the building blocks of a practical quantum computer.


Book Chapters and Papers by Serge Haroche:

Papers by David Wineland:

Book Chapters by David Wineland:

Also of interest:

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