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EPS Quantum Electronics Prizes

Among its most prestigious prizes, the Quantum Electronics and Optics division (QEOD) of the European Physical Society (EPS) distributes the Quantum Electronics and Optics Prizes. These are the two senior EPS/QEOD prizes (one for fundamental, one for applied aspects) awarded for outstanding contributions to quantum electronics and optics. 

Awarded every two years, these prizes recognize the highest level of achievements in fundamental and applied research in optical physics. The awards are presented in a special Plenary Ceremony generally held on Tuesday morning, during the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe (CLEO®/Europe) and the European Quantum Electronics Conference (EQEC), held in Munich, Germany taking place in uneven years.

 Download the 2019 EPS-QEOD Quantum Electronics Prizes - Press release

Download the 2019 EPS-QEOD Prizes booklet

2019 EPS-QEOD Quantum Electronics Prize for applied aspects

The 2019 Prize for applied aspects of quantum electronics and optics is awarded to Govind P. Agrawal (University of Rochester, USA), for pioneering and groundbreaking research that underpins a wide range of current photonic technologies in the fields of semiconductor lasers, nonlinear fiber optics and optical communication systems.  


Govind P. Agrawal is an expert on nonlinear optics, silicon photonics, and optical communications. He received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi in 1971 and 1974 respectively. After holding positions at the Ecole Polytechnique, France, the City University of New York, and AT&T Bell Laboratories, Agrawal joined in 1989 the faculty of the Institute of Optics at University of Rochester, where he is currently James C. Wyant Professor of Optics. He is an author or coauthor of more than 450 research papers, and eight books. His books on Nonlinear Fiber Optics (Academic Press, 6th ed., 2019) and Fiber-Optic Communication Systems (Wiley, 4th ed., 2010) are used worldwide for research and teaching. Since January 2014, Agrawal serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the OSA journal Advances in Optics and Photonics. 

Agrawal is a Fellow of IEEE and OSA (The Optical Society) and a Life Fellow of the Optical Society of India. He is also a member of the European Physical Society. In 2012, IEEE Photonics Society honoured him with its Quantum Electronics Award. He received in 2013 Riker University Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching. Agrawal was given the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal in 2015. He is also the recipient of the 2019 Max Born Award of the OSA.


2019 EPS-QEOD Quantum Electronics Prize for fundamental aspects

The 2019 Prize for fundamental aspects of quantum electronics and optics is awarded to Anne L'Huillier (Lund University, Sweden), in recognition of her pioneering experimental and theoretical contributions to attosecond pulse trains using high harmonics, which form the basis of today's successful field of attosecond science.


Anne L'Huillier is a Swedish/French researcher in attosecond science. She was born in Paris in 1958, studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in mathematics and physics and defended her doctorat d’état ès Sciences Physiques de l'Université Paris VI, in 1986. She was then permanently employed as researcher at the Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, in Saclay, France until 1995. She was postdoctoral researcher at Chalmers Institute of Technology, Gothenburg (1986), University of Southern California (1988), and visiting scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1993). In 1995, she moved to Lund University, Sweden and became full professor in 1997. She was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2004.

Her research which includes both theory and experiment, deals with the interaction between atoms and intense laser light, and in particular the generation of high-order harmonics of the laser light, which, in the time domain, consist of trains of attosecond pulses. Currently, her research group works on attosecond source development and optimization as well as on applications, for example, concerning the measurement of photoionization dynamics in atomic systems.



Fundamental Aspects


Applied Aspects

Year 2017   
Niek van Hulst
   Victor Malka
The 2017 Prize for Fundamental Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics is awarded to Professor Niek van Hulst, ICREA research professor at ICFO, The Institute of Photonic Sciences, Barcelona, Spain.  The Prize is awarded to Professor van Hulst for pioneering contributions to nano-optics and its applications to molecular spectroscopy and to ultrafast light-matter interactions.
The 2017 Prize for Applied Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics is awarded to Prof. Victor Malka, CNRS research director at the Laboratoire d’Optique Appliquée, Palaiseau, France and Professor at the Weizmann Institute for Science, Rehovot, Israel. The Prize is awarded to Professor Malka for pioneering research using ultra-high intensity lasers for laser-plasma accelerators and their applications.
Year 2015   
Sir John Pendry
  Bahram Javidi
The 2015 Prize for Fundamental Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics is awarded to Sir John Pendry, Professor of theoretical solid-state physics at Imperial College London, United Kingdom.  The Prize is awarded to Professor Pendry for helping formulate rules on how to incorporate different kinds of materials with nanoscale structures to form larger scale metamaterials with exciting new optical properties not seen in nature.  The 2015 Prize for Applied Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics is awarded to Professor Bahram Javidi, Professor at the University of Connecticut, USA. The Prize is awarded to Professor Javidi for pioneering contributions to information optics, including 3D imaging, 3D displays, and 3D imaging of photon starved scenes.
Year 2013   
Maciej Lewenstein  Federico Capasso 


The 2013 Prize for Fundamental Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics is awarded to Professor Maciej Lewenstein, ICREA Research Professor and Head of the Quantum Optics Theory Group at The Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), Castelldefels (Barcelona), Spain. The prize is awarded to Professor Lewenstein for outstanding contributions to several areas of theoretical quantum optics and to the use of quantum gases for quantum information and to attosecond optics.  The 2013 Prize for Applied Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics is awarded to Professor Federico Capasso, Professor at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, MA, USA.  The Prize is awarded to Professor Capasso for seminal contributions to the invention and demonstration of the quantum cascade laser. 
Year 2011    
Immanuel Bloch  Ursula Keller 
EPS QEOD prize winner 2011  EPS QEOD prize winner 2011 
The 2011 Prize for Fundamental Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics is awarded to Professor Immanuel Bloch, scientific director at the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics, Garching and professor for experimental physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich, Germany. The Prize is awarded to Professor Bloch for pioneering work on exploring quantum many-body systems using ultracold quantum gases for quantum simulation and quantum information applications.

The 2011 Prize for Applied Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics is awarded to Professor Ursula Keller, Professor in the Physics Department, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
The Prize is awarded to Professor Keller for seminal contributions
to ultrafast solid-state lasers, telecommunications, metrology, and attosecond science.

Year 2009    
Alain Aspect  Thomas Ebbesen 
The 2009 Senior Prize for Fundamental Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics is awarded to Alain Aspect, French CNRS Distinguished Researcher, and Professor at the Institut d'Optique Graduate School and at the Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau near Paris. Aspect has made numerous contributions to the fields of quantum and atom optics, and it was his seminal experiments in 1982 that confirmed the counterintuitive nature of quantum entanglement to which Einstein himself had objected. These results paved the way for the modern research revolution in quantum information processing, and the development of technologies such as quantum cryptography and quantum computing. Since then he has performed numerous other pioneering studies in the fields of both quantum and atom optics, and his work has included – between 1985 and 1992 – a highly significant collaboration on laser cooling of atoms together with 1997 Nobel prize winner Claude Cohen-Tannoudji.
  The 2009 Senior Prize for Applied Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics is awarded to Thomas Ebbesen, Professor at the University of Strasbourg in France, and Director of ISIS, a multidisciplinary research institute funded both by the University and the French CNRS. Ebbesen has carried out research into a range of topics in physics and chemistry, including novel carbon materials and superconductivity. The Quantum Electronics and Optics Prize is awarded for his work carried out since the early 1990s into the novel optical properties of nanostructured metals and in particular for his discovery of how light can be efficently transmitted through subwavelength holes. His pioneering experiments have greatly contributed to the emergence of the field of surface plasmon photonics. Ebbesen’s work is at the interface of nanoscience and photonics, and impacts on numerous strategic technologies such as opto-electronics, optical communications and sensing. 


Year 2007    
Anton Zeilinger  Mordechai Segev
Universität Wien, Austria
"For his many seminal contributions to the foundations of quantum optics and quantum information science."
   Technion, Haifa, Israel
"For his pioneering contributions in the field of light propagation in nonlinear media, in particular regarding spatial solitons in photorefractive materials, incoherent solitons, and nonlinear waves in periodic structures."
Year 2005   
Ignacio Cirac
Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik,
Garching, Germany
"For groundbreaking theoretical work on quantum information processing and on quantum gases; including pioneering proposals for quantum computation, quantum repeaters, quantum simulations, and quantum phase transitions in ultra-cold atoms."
   Gerd Leuchs
Max Planck Research Group,
University of Erlangen, Germany
"For the efficient generation of optical pulses for quantum communication by fiber optics techniques at telecommunications wavelengths and very high bit rates and unprecedented quantum noise reduction and entanglement."
Year 2003   
Luigi Lugiato
Dipartimento di Scienze,
Universita dell'Insubria Como, Italia
"For pioneering theoretical contributions to the fields of optical bistability and instabilities, optical pattern formation and cavity solitons, squeezing and quantum imaging".
   Gunter Huber
Institut für Laser-Physik,
Universität Hamburg, Germany
"For his outstanding and numerous contributions to physics of solid-state lasers and spectroscopy of laser crystals".
Year 2002   
Serge Haroche
Ecole Normale Supérieure and
Collège de France
"For his pioneering investigations in Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics. Quantum Information and Decoherence".
   Wilson Sibbett
St. Andrews Univerity, Scotland

"For his major contributions to the development and application of ultrashort light pulse techniques, and in particular to the development of self-mode-locked lasers".
Year 2001   
Theodor W. Hänsch
Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik
Garching, Germany
"For his innovative contributions to laser spectroscopy, in particular regarding precision spectroscopy of hydrogen"
   Algis Petras Piskarskas
Vilnius University, Dept. of Physics,
"For his his pioneering research and development of ultrashort pulsed light sources based on optical parametric generation and oscillation".
Year 2000   
Herbert Walther
Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik
University of Munich, Munich, Germany
"For the creation of the micromaser and the realisation of ionic crystals in traps"
   David Hanna
Optoelectronics Research Centre
University of Southampton, UK
"For his outstanding and numerous contributions to solid state laser physics and non-linear optics"
Year 1998   
Vladilen Letokhov

"For pioneering and far-reaching contributions to the study of laser/matter interactions including atom optics, laser cooling, laser induced chemistry and laser analytical techniques"
   Orazio Svelto

"For pioneering and outstanding continuing activity in the fields of ultrashort laser pulses and solid state lasers".
Year 1996   
Claude Cohen-Tannoudji

"For developing the dressed-atom approach in quantum optics and for fundamental contributions to the understanding of radiative forces with ground-breaking experiments in laser cooling and trapping of atoms".
   Sune Svanberg

"For pioneering laser applications in the fields of combustion diagnostics, remote sensing and biomedicine".




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