The Optical Society and DPG Name Gerd Leuchs Winner of the 2018 Herbert Walther Award

29 November 2017


The Optical Society and DPG Name Gerd Leuchs Winner of the
2018 Herbert Walther Award

Awarded for his pioneering and widespread scientific contributions in nonlinear optics

WASHINGTON — The Optical Society (OSA) and the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG) today announce that the 2018 Herbert Walther Award will be presented to Gerd Leuchs, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen and University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany. The award was given to Leuchs ‘for his pioneering and widespread scientific contributions ranging from ultrasmall focii of light to nonlinear optics, squeezed states of light and their application in metrology and quantum information, as well as for a continuing commitment to the physics community, quantum optics and his students and team members.’

“Gerd’s many research accomplishments are well known throughout the scientific community,” said Liz Rogan, CEO, The Optical Society. “Dr. Walther was known for his leadership and Gerd has modeled this quality though his effective connections with colleagues and organizations respresenting all aspects of the science eco-system.” 

Professor at the Department of Physics with the University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, and director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen, Gerd Leuchs stated, “I have dedicated my life’s work to researching nano photonics and quantum optics, optical communication and quantum information. An early influence on my career was Herbert Walther and I would like to thank The Optical Society and DPG for this great honor in Herbert’s name.”

Leuchs’ Division at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light focuses on the three-dimensional vector patterns of optical modes and on their quantized excitation. The work spurred a worldwide increase of research into radially polarized and related light modes that has led to projects on the transverse angular momentum of light, on localization of particles and on non-factorable mode patterns resembling entanglement and including applications. In 1979, Leuchs' observation of photon anti bunching and of squeezed light in second harmonic generation in 1990 and has led to numerous on-going projects on quantum communication. He was elected Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He has also been an Alexander von Humboldt Lecturer in Russia and chair of the ICONO/LAT conference. Leuchs studied Physics at the University of Cologne and received his PhD degree from the University of Munich where Prof. Herbert Walther was his scientific advisor and later a colleague. Leuchs is a member of the Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, German Physical Society, European Physical Society, German Society of Applied Optics, The Optical Society, Institute of Physics (London), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has more than 200 publications in scientific journals and is editor of three books.

Established in 2007, the Walther Award is named in honor of Dr. Herbert Walther for the seminal influence of his groundbreaking innovations in quantum optics and atomic physics, and for his wide-ranging contributions to the international scientific community.
About The Optical Society
Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit

About DPG
The German Physical Society (Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft e. V.; DPG), which was founded way back in 1845, is the oldest national and, with about 62,000 members, also the largest physical society in the world. As a non-profit-making organization it pursues no economic interests. The DPG promotes the transfer of knowledge within the scientific community through conferences, events and publications, and aims to open a window to physics for the curious. Its special focuses are on encouraging junior scientists and promoting equal opportunities. The DPG’s head office is at Bad Honnef am Rhein. Its representative office in the capital is the Magnus-Haus Berlin. Website:

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