Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science

This prize recognizes outstanding contributions to basic research using lasers to advance our knowledge of the fundamental physical properties of materials and their interaction with light. Some examples of relevant areas of research are: nonlinear optics, ultrafast phenomena, laser spectroscopy, squeezed states, quantum optics, multiphoton physics, laser cooling and trapping, physics of lasers, particle acceleration by lasers, and short wavelength lasers. The prize consists of $10,000 plus an allowance for travel to the meeting at which the prize is awarded and a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient. The prize will be awarded annually.

Rules and eligibility

Nominations are open to candidates who have made outstanding contributions to basic research using lasers. Nominations will be considered for three review cycles provided the nominator re-certifies the nomination before the next deadline.

Process and selection

The nomination package must include:

  • A letter of not more than 5,000 characters evaluating the qualifications of the nominee(s).

In addition, the nomination should include:

  • A biographical sketch.
  • A list of the most important publications.
  • At least two, but not more than four, seconding letters.
  • Up to five reprints or preprints.

Establishment and support

The prize was endowed by the NEC Corporation in 1991.

Recent recipients

Howard M. Milchberg

2024 recipient

For pioneering contributions in the fields of plasma optics, guiding ultra-intense laser beams, and developing compact, high-gradient laser-driven accelerators.

Demetrios Christodoulides

2023 recipient

For pioneering several areas in laser sciences, among them, the fields of parity-time non-Hermitian optics, accelerating Airy waves, and discrete solitons in periodic media.

Tony F. Heinz

2022 recipient

For ground-breaking contributions to the development and application of laser spectroscopic techniques to probe surfaces, interfaces, and nanoscale materials.

Peter J. Delfyett, Jr.

2021 recipient

For pioneering contributions to the development of ultrafast mode-locked semiconductor diode lasers, including the scientific understanding of the underlying physical processes, and their application in ultra-wide bandwidth optical communications and signal processing.

Shaul Mukamel

2020 recipient

For expanding the boundaries and understanding of nonlinear optical spectroscopy and its application to chemical, biological and material systems.

See all recipients

The membership of APS is diverse and global, and the nominees and recipients of APS Honors should reflect that diversity so that all are recognized for their impact on our community. Nominations of members belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in physics, such as women, LGBT+ scientists, scientists who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), disabled scientists, scientists from institutions with limited resources, and scientists from outside the United States, are especially encouraged.

Nominees for and holders of APS Honors (prizes, awards, and fellowship) and official leadership positions are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.

Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science

Nominations deadline
June 3, 2024
NEC Corporation
$10,000 plus an allowance for travel to the meeting at which the prize is awarded and a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient

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