October 9, 2012
2012 Nobel Prize for Physics:
Pioneering Work on Quantum Mechanics of Trapped Photons and Ions Recognized
Serge Haroche • David Wineland
COLLEGE PARK, MD – The 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics has been awarded to two American Physical Society Fellows who performed experiments exploring aspects of the quantum mechanics of photons and electrically charged atoms known as ions. The Nobel committee recognized the physicists for “ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems".
“Haroche and Wineland have both done beautiful research vital to the technology that truly makes this the century of the quantum,” said APS president Robert Byer. “Modern telecommunications rely on quantum technology, and things like the GPS system so many people use on a daily basis wouldn’t be possible without ultra-precise clocks that exploit quantum effects of the type these two researchers explored. Someday, computers built with quantum mechanical systems, much like those in the labs of Haroche and Wineland, may solve problems far beyond the capabilities of even the most advanced of today’s computers. It's certainly amazing work these physicists have done, and continue to do, and well worth the Nobel committee's recognition.”
Serge Haroche of the Collège de France has focused primarily on trapping photons and studying their interactions with atoms, while David Wineland of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, CO studies the quantum mechanics of ions cooled and manipulated with lasers. The work of the 2012 Laureates is crucial to studying and confirming the often counterintuitive nature of quantum mechanical systems.
Wineland has also won two of the Society’s prestigious prizes: the 2001 Schawlow Prize in Laser Science, and the 1990 Davisson-Germer Prize in Atomic or Surface Physics. Haroche was recognized as a 2008 Outstanding Referee for his active participation in the physics peer review process.
Influential Physical Review Papers by Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland
APS is very pleased that much of this seminal work noted by the Nobel committee has been published in the APS journals: Physical Review Letters, Physical Review A, and Reviews of Modern Physics. To honor these laureates and their collaborators, we have made freely available five of their many APS publications that demonstrate some of the key insights of their pioneering work.
Observation of Quantum Jumps in a Single Atom
J. C. Bergquist, Randall G. Hulet, Wayne M. Itano, and D. J. Wineland
Phys. Rev. Lett. 57, 1699 – Published 6 October 1986
Quantum Rabi Oscillation: A Direct Test of Field Quantization in a Cavity
M. Brune, F. Schmidt-Kaler, A. Maali, J. Dreyer, E. Hagley, J. M. Raimond, and S. Haroche
Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 1800 (1996) – Published 11 March 1996
Observing the Progressive Decoherence of the “Meter” in a Quantum Measurement
M. Brune, E. Hagley, J. Dreyer, X. Maître, A. Maali, C. Wunderlich, J. M. Raimond, and S. Haroche
Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 4887 – Published 9 December 1996
Demonstration of a Fundamental Quantum Logic Gate
C. Monroe, D. M. Meekhof, B. E. King, W. M. Itano, and D. J. Wineland
Phys. Rev. Lett. 75, 4714 – Published 18 December 1995
Manipulation of photons in a cavity by dispersive atom-field coupling: Quantum-nondemolition measurements and generation of “Schrödinger cat” states
M. Brune, S. Haroche, J. M. Raimond, L. Davidovich, and N. Zagury
Phys. Rev. A 45, 5193 – Published April 1992
Moving Traps Offer Fast Delivery of Cold Ions
Physics Viewpoint, August 2012
Essay: Fifty Years of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Physical Review Letters, October 13, 2008, Serge Haroche
Laser Cooling of Atoms
Physics Focus (Landmarks), April 2008
Quantum Leap Reported for Entangled Photons
APS News, May 2007
2001 Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science
David J. Wineland
1990 Davisson-Germer Prize in Atomic or Surface Physics
David J. Wineland
The American Physical Society is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 53,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, D.C.