Observations in atomic, molecular, and optical physics have played a central role in reshaping our concepts of light and matter. The lecture will lead from historical milestones to modern frontiers, including spectroscopic precision tests of fundamental physics laws, ultraprecise clocks, and ultracold quantum matter. Large mysteries remain, and our concepts of light and matter are likely to undergo further dramatic changes in the future.
This lecture is free and open to the public.
Any questions, please contact Ping Feng at 650-723-9555
The 2016 Robert Hofstadter Memorial lecture will be given by Prof. Theodor W. Hänsch, Director of the Max-Planck Institute for Quantum Optics and Professor of Experimental Physics and laser spectroscopy at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, Germany. Professor Hänsch is the co-recipient of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics for "contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique." His work allows us to directly count the cycles of light that occur in a given interval of time, and is one of the most dramatic advances in metrology in the past century. His many other seminal contributions to laser spectroscopy include the invention of the first narrowband tunable dye laser, the first demonstrations of Doppler-free saturation, polarization, and two-photon spectroscopy, and a proposal to use the Doppler effect to cool atoms with laser light. His numerous other awards include the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, OSA's Frederic Ives Medal, IEEE's I.I. Rabi Award, and many honorary degrees. His many scientific society memberships include the European Academy of Arts and Sciences, Academia Europea, International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.