Optica announces new "Theodor W. Hänsch Prize in Quantum Optics"

November 10, 2022

The Optica research society has announced a new scientific prize: Named after Theodor Hänsch - Director at MPQ, Professor at LMU and Nobel Laureate in Physics - the 20,000 US dollar research prize is aimed at young scientists working on innovative projects in the field of quantum technologies.

Eligible for the new "Theodor W. Hänsch Prize in Quantum Optics" are researchers in both fundamental and applied sciences whose research focuses on quantum technologies. Applications will be open from January 2023. The junior researcher prize amounts to 20,000 US dollars, which the recipient can use for research purposes at his or her discretion. Optica, formerly also known as OSA - "The Optical Society" - developed and funds the award in partnership with Hamamatsu Photonics, MenloSystems and Thorlabs.

In naming the new research award, Optica wishes to honour the outstanding achievements of Theodor Hänsch. Hänsch is best known for his groundbreaking research in the field of laser spectroscopy. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2005 for his invention of the frequency comb, which enables the precise measurement of the frequencies of light waves. After receiving his doctorate from the Ruprecht Karls University in Heidelberg, Theodor Hänsch continued his studies at Stanford University, where he obtained his own chair just a few years later. Since 1986, he has been Director at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics and Professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. 

“I have agreed to lend my name to this new prize, because my own academic career has been boosted by an early important prize," says Theodor Hänsch regarding the naming of the new researcher prize.

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