Theodor W. Hänsch

Theodor W. Hänsch

Theodor W. Hänsch

Theodor W. Hänsch jointly won the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics with J.L. Hall and R. Glauber. He is the director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik and the Carl Friedrich von Siemens Professor of Physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universtät in Munich, Germany. His main area of research is ultraprecise laser spectroscopy and quantum physics of ultracold atoms. Hänsch obtained his physics diploma in 1966 and his doctoral degree in 1969 from the University of Heidelberg. In 1969 he was appointed assistant professor at the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Heidelberg. He then worked at Stanford University in the U.S. from 1970 to 1986, after which he returned to Germany as the director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik.

Hänsch has received many awards over the course of his career. In addition to the 2005 Nobel in Physics, he most recently received the Stern-Gerlach Medal from the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, the Arthur L. Schawlow Award from the Laser Institute of America, the Philip Morris Research Prize, the Quantum Electronics and Optics Prize from the European Physical Society, the I. I. Rabi Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Rudolf Diesel Gold Medal from the German Institute of Interventions, the James Joyce Award from University College in Dublin, among many others.

Hänsch is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America, and a member of nine organizations including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Franklin Institute, the Laser Institute of America, the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina, the Pontifical Academy of Science, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and the European Physical Society. He is a foreign associate in the U.S. National Academy of Science, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Italy, and the Académie des Sciences–Institut de France and he is an honorary member of another eight organizations. He has served on several editorial boards. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Springer Series in Optical Sciences and Laser & Photonics Review.