2010 Wolf Prize Winners Announced
JERUSALEM, Feb. 16, 2010 – Three scientists will share the 2010 Wolf Foundation Prize in Physics for their contributions to the foundation of quantum physics, specifically for an increasingly sophisticated series of tests of Bell’s inequalities or extensions there of using entangled quantum states.
John Clauser of J. F. Clauser & Associates, United States; Alain Aspect, Institut d'Optique, Campus Polytechnique, France; and Anton Zeilinger, University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria, will share this prestigious scientific award for “achievements in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples, irrespective of nationality, race, color, religion, sex, or political view."
The puzzling properties of entangled quantum states, first noted by Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen, who suspected that quantum mechanics is not a complete theory, were dramatically delineated by the work of John Bell. Bell showed that certain statistical correlations between properties of two physically separated particles, which were produced in an entangled quantum state, cannot be explained by any theory of local deterministic processes even if other unobserved properties (‘hidden variables’) are allowed for.
The series of experiments on quantum correlated photons recognized by this award were initiated by the work Clauser, Aspect and Zeilinger, who showed how to apply Bell’s inequalities to a specific experimental situation, in which two entangled photons were produced and correlations between their properties measured in two separated detectors. This ground breaking experiment demonstrated an agreement with the quantum prediction and excluded any local deterministic theory. The results paved the way for research into quantum information and the development of technologies such as quantum cryptography and quantum calculation.
Since 1978, five or six prizes have been awarded annually in the fields of agriculture, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, physics and the arts. To date, a total of 253 scientists and artists from 23 countries have been honored. Laureates receive their awards from the President of the State of Israel on May 13, 2010 at the Knesset.
For more information, visit: www.wolffund.org
- A unit of energy equal to the amount of energy absorbed by one molecule of material undergoing a photochemical reaction, as determined by the Stark-Einstein law.
- quantum optics
- The area of optics in which quantum theory is used to describe light in discrete units or ‘quanta’ of energy known as photons. First observed by Albert Einstein’s photoelectric effect, this particle description of light is the foundation for describing the transfer of energy (i.e. absorption and emission) in light matter interaction.
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