The European Physical Society (EPS) will award its most prestigious prize in quantum electronics and optics to Federico Capasso, Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The prizes are awarded only once every two years, and recognize the very highest level of achievements in applied and fundamental research in optical physics. The awards will be presented in a special plenary ceremony on May 14, 2013, during the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) Europe, held during the World of Photonics Congress in Munich, Germany.

Capasso joined Harvard University in 2003 after 27 years at Bell Labs where he was member of technical staff, department head and vice president for physical research.

In announcing the 2013 Prize for Applied Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics, EPS cited Capasso’s “seminal contributions to the invention and demonstration of the quantum cascade laser.”

His research has also focused on nanoscale science and technology encompassing a broad range of topics including band-structure engineering of semiconductor nanostructures and quantum devices, the investigation of attractive and repulsive Casimir forces, plasmonics, and flat optics based on metasurfaces.

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