Scully wins prestigious APS Laser Science Award

November 4, 2005
| By: Aubrey Bloom

Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor of Physics Dr. Marlan O. Scully has been honored by the American Physical Society (APS) with the 2005 Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science. Scully is cited "for his many far-reaching contributions to quantum optics and quantum electronics and, in particular, for the quantum theory of lasers, for the theory of free-electron lasers and laser gyros, and for theoretical and experimental contributions to optical coherence effects." Scully was presented the award in conjunction with the Optical Society of America's (OSA) 89th annual meeting "Frontiers in Optics 2005" held in Tucson, Ariz. Established by the APS with an endowment from the NEC Corporation in 1991, the prize is named in honor of 1981 Nobel Prize-winning physicist Arthur L. Schawlow for his pioneering work in lasers. It is awarded annually in recognition of outstanding contributions to basic research that uses lasers to advance our knowledge of the fundamental physical properties of materials and their interaction with light. The prize consists of $10,000 and a certificate, plus an allowance for travel to the meeting. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Academe Europa and the Max-Planck Society, Scully is associate dean for external relations in the College of Science. He holds the Hershel E. Burgess '29 Chair in Physics and a distinguished research chair with the Texas Engineering Experiment Station and has multiple appointments at Texas A&M, as Distinguished Professor of Physics as well as a professor in the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Chemical Engineering. He also serves as director of both the Institute for Quantum Studies and the Center for Theoretical Physics within the College of Science. Scully, who also is a professor at Princeton, has held faculty positions at Yale University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Arizona, the University of New Mexico and the Max-Planck-Institut f?r Quantenopik. A world renowned pioneer in quantum and laser physics, he has brought distinction to Texas A&M by leading the way to many scientific breakthroughs, such as slowing the speed of light to the snail-like pace of 10 miles per hour, making revolutionary lasers without population inversion and showing how quantum mechanics can yield a class of novel quantum heat engines. A highly decorated researcher and scholar, Scully has received numerous professional honors, including the Adolph E. Lomb Medal and Charles H. Townes Award from the Optical Society of America, the Quantum Electronics Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., the Cresson Medal from the Franklin Institute and the Alexander von Humboldt Distinguished Faculty Prize. He has been an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science as well as the APS and OSA. Scully, who joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1992, received his master of science and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Yale University. He is a distinguished alumnus of the University of Wyoming, where he received his bachelor's degree in engineering physics.

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