Prize Recipient


Hao Shi
Rochester Institute of Technology


"Torsional Optomechanics: A Dialogue Between Spinning Photons and Twisting Oscillators."


Hao Shi received a B.S. in physics (summa cum laude) and a B.S. in mechanical engineering (summa cum laude) from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2013. As part of a year-long research project in his senior year, he studied theoretical quantum optomechanics with Prof. Mishkat Bhattacharya. Hao first studied the quantum mechanics of quadratically coupled optomechanical systems, both analytically (employing the disentanglement of exponential operators using Lie algebras) and numerically (using a master equation approach). Subsequently, he worked on torsional and rotational optomechanics involving optical Laguerre-Gaussian beams. Hao’s work resulted in four papers published in Physical Review A, the Journal of Modern Optics, the Journal of Physics B and the American Journal of Physics. Hao was first author on the first three of these papers.

Hao’s senior undergraduate thesis on nanomechanical systems was co-supervised by Dr. Edwin Hach, III. In the summer of 2011, Hao worked with Prof. Seth Hubbard on quantum dot solar cells, and in 2010 with Prof. Joel Kastner on young binary stars.

Hao was the 2012 recipient of the RIT Physics Faculty & Alumni Endowed Scholarship. Among other honors he received, Hao was an RIT College of Science Research Scholar, an RIT Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar, and a Nathaniel Rochester Scholar. Hao is currently pursuing a PhD. in physics at Cornell University, focusing on single molecule biophysics.

(More details about Hao Shi's work can be found on his webpage:

Selection Committee:

Barry Barish, Chair; R.L. Byer; A. Chodos; R. Christianson; A. Goldman; C.W. Clark; L. Santos; C. Conover