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Claude Cohen-Tannoudji

Claude Cohen-TannoudjiBorn: 1-Apr-1933
Birthplace: Constantine, Algeria

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist

Nationality: France
Executive summary: Trapped atoms with laser light

Military service: French Army (1957-59)

French physicist Claude Cohen-Tannoudji studied under Alfred Kastler, and building on the work of Steven Chu and William D. Phillips, refined the process of optical cooling and developed laser traps to isolate single atoms through a process called Sisyphus cooling. Also called polarization gradient cooling, this process takes advantage of the phenomenon by which atoms in certain states "climb uphill", or are optically pumped into another state, which effectively reduces the kinetic energy of the bombarded atoms and brings sub-Doppler temperatures.

Cohen-Tannoudji's work has allowed increasingly detailed study of atomic structure, and is seen as a bridge between classical and quantum physics. With Chu and Phillips, he won the 1997 Nobel Prize for Physics, and he has also studied Bose-Einstein condensation, photon correlations, quantum electrodynamics, quantum interference effects, radiative forces and corrections, and resonance fluorescence.

Brother: Gilles Cohen-Tannoudji (physicist, b. 17-Apr-1938)
Wife: Jacqueline (m. 1958)
Son: Alain (d. 1993)
Daughter: Joëlle
Son: Michel

    University: Ecole de Physique des Houches, Les Houches, France (attended, 1955)
    University: BS Physics, École Normale Supérieure (1956)
    University: PhD Physics, École Normale Supérieure (1962)
    Scholar: French National Center for Scientific Research (1960-64)
    Professor: Physics, University of Paris (1964-67)
    Professor: Physics, University of Paris (1967-73)
    Professor: Atomic and Molecular Physics, Collège de France (1973-2004)

    FPS Paul Langevin Prize 1963
    CNRS Silver Medal 1964
    IOP Thomas Young Medal 1979
    AMPERE Prize 1980
    EGU Alexander von Humboldt Medal 1991
    APS Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize 1992
    OSA Charles Hard Townes Award 1993
    Matteucci Medal 1994
    CNRS Gold Medal 1996
    EPS Quantum Electronics Prize 1996
    Technion's Leo M. Harvey Prize 1996
    Alexander M. Cruickshank Award 1997
    Nobel Prize for Physics 1997 (with Steven Chu and William D. Phillips)
    Academia Europaea 1993
    Accademia dei Lincei Foreign Member, 1996
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences Foreign Member, 1992
    American Physical Society Foreign Member, 1986
    Brazilian Academy of Sciences Foreign Member, 2003
    European Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities 1992
    French Physical Society
    Indian National Science Academy Foreign Member, 1998
    Indonesia Physics Society Foreign Member, 2002
    National Academy of Sciences Foreign Associate, 1994
    Optical Society of America Foreign Member, 2002
    Pontifical Academy of Sciences 1999
    Russian Academy of Sciences Foreign Member, 2003
    Algerian Ancestry
    French Ancestry
    Jewish Ancestry
    Spanish Ancestry

Author of books:
Quantenmechanik (Quantum Mechanics) (1973, physics; with Bernard Diu and Frank Laloë)
Photons et Atomes (Photons and Atoms) (1988, physics; with J. Dupont-Roc and G. Grynberg)
Advances in Atomic Physics: An Overview (2010, textbook; with David Guery-Odelin)

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