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Fellows Directory

Alain Aspect

Alain Aspect

Credit: Photo Jean-François Dars

Professor Alain Aspect ForMemRS

Foreign Member

Elected: 2015


Alain Aspect is known for his experiments illuminating the most intriguing properties of quantum mechanics. His Bell's inequalities tests with pairs of entangled photons (1982) have contributed to settle a debate between Albert Einstein and Nils Bohr, started in 1935. He has also, with Philippe Grangier, given a striking demonstration of wave-particle duality for a single photon, and realized the Wheeler's delayed choice experiment.

After his contribution to the development of laser cooling of atoms, with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (1985-1992), he has switched to atom optics, where the group he has established revisits landmarks in quantum optics and develops quantum simulators of disordered materials.

A professor at the Institut d'Optique graduate school and at Ecole Polytechnique (University Paris-Saclay), he is a member of several academies (France, USA, Austria). Among the awards he has received: the CNRS gold medal (2005), the Wolf prize in Physics (2010), the Nils Bohr Gold medal and the Albert Einstein medal (2012), the Ives medal/Quinn prize of the OSA (2013), the Balzan prize in quantum information (2014).


Professional positions

Augustin Fresnel Professor, Laboratoire Charles Fabry

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Astronomy and physics
    • Quantum theory


Quantum mechanics, Quantum simulators, Quantum Atom Optics


  • Nobel Prize in Physics

    For experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science.

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