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 EuropeanQuantum Electronics Conference (EQEC), held in Munich, Germany taking place in uneven years.

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2021 EPS-QEOD Quantum Electronics and Optics Prize

Miles Padgett is a Royal Society Research Professor and also holds the Kelvin Chair of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow in the UK. His research team, covers all things optical from the basic ways in which light behaves as it pushes and twists the world around us, to the application of new optical techniques in imaging and sensing. They are currently using the classical and quantum properties of light to explore: the laws of quantum physics in accelerating frames, microscopes that see through noise, shaped light that overcomes diffraction-limited resolution and endoscopes the width of a human hair.


The 2021 EPS-QEOD Quantum Electronics Prize for fundamental aspects is awarded to Prof. Miles Padgett, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom, for pioneering and wide ranging research on the fundamentals and applications of optical angular momentum.

2019 EPS Quantum Electronics Prizes

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

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
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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.

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

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.

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