H. Jeff Kimble, William L. Valentine Professor of Physics at Caltech, is the recipient of the 2013 Herbert Walther award. This award is jointly made by the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG, the German Physical Society) and the Optical Society of America (OSA), and is presented by each society in alternate years.
The award recognizes Jeff’s “pioneering experimental contributions to quantum optics, cavity quantum electrodynamics, and quantum information science“. Many of the achievements that have taken place in the Kimble group deserve their share of this prize. Among the most impacting ones are the photon antibunching, the demonstration of a quantum phase gate to perform quantum logic operations, nonlinear optics with a single atom strongly coupled to single photons in an optical cavity, the one-atom laser in the regime of strong coupling, a single photon source made by an atom inside a cavity, and entanglement between atomic ensembles.
Moreover, Prof. Kimble made significant contributions to the squeezing of light which led to the demonstration of quantum teleportation of continuous variables (Caltech press announcement) with profound connections to the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen thought experiment, the exchange of quantum states of light and matter with high accuracy for quantum repeaters, and more recently the work done on optomechanics with mechanical membranes inside optical resonators. To read the official announcement and practice your German at the same time, you may follow the link here.
This prestigious award is named after Prof. Herbert Walther who was one of the most influential pioneers in the field of cavity quantum electrodynamics with his ground-breaking experiments on the micromaser and ion trapping. Besides, Prof. Walther is one of the founders of the Max Plank institute for Quantum Optics in Garching (Germany). Sadly he left us on 2006. Three years later the two prestigious societies (DPG and OSA) honored the life and work of Prof. Walther by recognizing the significance of distinguished contributions in the fields of quantum optics and atomic physics.
Previous recipients of this award were David J. Wineland (2009), Serge Haroche (2010), Marlan O. Scully (2011) and Alain Aspect (2012). You may recognize the first two of this list as this year’s Nobel Prize recipients.
The ceremony will be held this coming May in Munich during the Laser World conference taking place there.