23 October 2018—Today the American Physical Society announced JILA Fellow Jun Ye as the recipeient of the 2019 Norman F. Ramsey Prize in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, and in Precision Tests of Fundamental Laws and Symmetries. Ye was recognized for his ground-breaking contributions to precision measurements and the quantum control of atomic and molecular systems, including atomic clocks.
The Ramsey Prize is awarded annually for outstanding accomplishments in precision tests of fundamental laws and symmetries or in atomic, molecular and optical physics. Ye’s award, which recognizes his work in both precision measurement and quantum control, highlights the increasingly important connections between precision measurement and quantum state control, from which future quantum technologies will grow.
Norman Foster Ramsey, for whom this prize is named, left lasting impacts in the field of precision tests of fundamental laws and symmetries, as well as the field of atomic, molecular and optical physics. Ramsey’s inventions include the ubiquitous separated oscillatory field method and the hydrogen maser. Ramsey was also an outstanding teacher and advocate for science and technology. He carried out his research with great passion, but also in a spirit of collegiality and fairness.
While the Ramsey prize recognizes Ye’s ground-breaking contributions to precision measurement and quantum control, Ye also captures the collegial spirit practiced by Ramsey. “I think this recognition clearly belongs to the group of students, postdocs, and scientific colleagues at JILA with whom I have had the good fortune to work together,” said Ye of his prize.
The Ramsey prize was established in 2017 with contributions from the family and friends of Norman Ramsey, individual donations from members of the American Physical Society, and coporate sponsorship by TOPTICA and Thorlabs, and additional support from Menlo Systems. The Prize consists of a $10,000 check, a certificate citing accomplishments and travel support for the recipient to attend the DAMOP annual meeting at which the prize is presented.
The previous, and first, recipient of the Ramsey prize was Peter Zoller, an Adjoint Fellow of JILA and Professor of Physics at the University of Innsbruck. Zoller, who is best known for his best known for his pioneering research on quantum computing and quantum communication and for bridging quantum optics and solid state physics, was awarded the Ramsey prize in recognition for his pioneering theoretical work on quantum computation, communication, and simulation with trapped ions, atoms, and molecules.