Theodor W. Hansch

  • From:

    Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics

  • Year:


  • Subject:

    Benjamin Franklin Medal: Physics

  • Award:


  • Citation:

    For the development of tunable narrow band laser and discovery of Doppler-free saturation and polarization spectroscopy.

Theodor W. Hansch received his Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg in 1969 and came to the U.S. the following year. He joined the faculty of Stanford University in 1972, where he remained until returning to Germany in 1985. His research interests include testing basic physics laws with techniques of precise laser spectroscopy and the cooling and manipulation of atomic matter with laser light.

Dr. Hansch co-invented Doppler laser cooling and created the first tunable, highly monochromatic dye lasers. The latter devices led to the most accurate determination of the Rydberg constant, the charge radii of the proton, and other basic properties of the hydrogen atom.

Dr. Hansch was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2001.

Information as of 2001