Innsbruck Physics Lecture - Tue, 10 Nov. 2015, 17:15 lecture hall A

Alain Aspect, Institut d'Optique Graduate School, Palaiseau, France

aa-photo-jean-francois-darsBorn in 1947, Alain Aspect is an alumni of ENS Cachan  and Université d'Orsay. After three years teaching in Cameroon, he became a lecturer at ENS Cachan, with his research at Institut d'Optique.

In 1985 he took a research position at ENS/Collège de France, with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji.

In 1992 he became a CNRS senior researcher, at Institut d'Optique  (emeritus since 2012).

He is a professor at Institut d'Optique Graduate School (Augustin Fresnel chair), and at Ecole Polytechnique, in Palaiseau.

He is a member of the Académie des Sciences (France), Académie des Technologies (France), National Academy of Sciences (USA), OAW (Austria), Académie Royale de Belgique, and Royal Society (London).
He has received many awards, among them the CNRS Gold medal (2005), the Wolf Prize in Physics (2010), the Tommasoni award (2013), the Balzan prize on quantum information (2013), the Niels Bohr Gold medal (2013), the Albert Einstein medal (2013), the Ives medal of the Optical society of America (2013).


Alain Aspect first research bore on tests of Bell's inequalities with entangled photon pairs (PhD, 1974-1983) and wave-particle duality for single photons (1984-86).

With Claude Cohen-Tannoudji he developed a new method for cooling atoms with lasers below the one photon recoil temperature (1985-1992).

Since 1992, he is with the Atom Optics group that he has established at Institut d'Optique, where research bears upon quantum atom optics, quantum degenerate gases and atom lasers, quantum simulation of disordered materials with ultra-cold atoms.

More details on: 

From the Einstein-Bohr debate to entangled qubits: a new quantum revolution


In 1935, with co-authors Podolsky and Rosen, Einstein discovered a weird quantum situation, in which particles in a pair are so strongly correlated that Schrödinger called them “entangled”. By analyzing that situation, Einstein concluded that the quantum formalism is incomplete. Niels Bohr immediately opposed that conclusion, and the debate lasted until the death of these two giants of physics. 

In 1964, John Bell discovered that it is possible to settle the debate experimentally, by testing the now celebrated "Bell's inequalities", and to show directly that the revolutionary concept of entanglement is indeed a reality. A long series of experiments, started in 1972, yield more and more precise results, in situations closer and closer to the ideal theoretical scheme.

After explaining the debate, and describing some experiments, I will also show how this conceptual discussion has prompted the emergence of the new field of quantum information and quantum technologies. 

Previous lectures

Michael Kramer - Nearly 100 years after General Relativity: Was Einstein right? >>
(04 November 2014)

Immanuel Bloch - Controlling and Exploring Quantum Matter at the Single Atom Level >>
(22 October 2013)

Wim Ubachs - Search for a variation of fundamental constants >>
(13 November 2012)

Reinhard Genzel - Massive Black Holes and Galaxies >>
(4 October 2011)