Professor Alain Aspect ForMemRS

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 position

  • Augustin Fresnel Professor, Laboratoire Charles Fabry

Subject groups

  • Astronomy and physics

    Quantum theory


  • Nobel Prize in Physics

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

Professor Alain Aspect ForMemRS
Elected 2015

Credit: Photo Jean-François Dars