5 April 2019

The Optical Society Names Jian-Wei Pan the 2019 R.W. Wood Prize Recipient

Honoree recognized for pioneering research at the frontier of quantum foundations and optical implementations of quantum information

WASHINGTON—The Optical Society (OSA) is pleased to name Jian-Wei Pan, University of Science and Technology of China, the 2019 recipient of the R.W. Wood Prize. Pan is recognized for pioneering experimental research at the frontier of quantum foundations and optical implementations of quantum information, including quantum nonlocality, quantum key distribution, quantum teleportation, and optical quantum computing.


“Jian-Wei Pan is most deserving of the R.W. Wood Prize,” said 2019 OSA President Ursula Gibson. “His work in quantum optics and related areas has had a profound impact on the field of optics and has laid the groundwork for a new era of research and technical advancement in the quantum realm.”

Pan obtained his bachelor’s degree in 1992 and a master’s degree in 1995 from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). He received his Ph.D. in 1999 from the University of Vienna, Austria. Pan continued his stay in Vienna as a senior research associate until 2003, before moving to the University of Heidelberg, Germany, to start his own research group. Since 2008, he has been a distinguished Chair Professor in Quantum Optics and Quantum Physics at USTC. He also serves as the chief scientist for one of five scientific experimental satellites established by the Chinese Academy of Sciences where he leads work on the world’s first quantum science satellite.

Pan’s research interests include quantum optics and quantum information, such as quantum communication, quantum computation and simulation. His systematic work in multi-photon interferometry enables quantum cryptography a viable technology under realistic conditions, forming the basis of existing metropolitan quantum networks operating worldwide today. He also led a cross-disciplinary multi-institutional team to develop the satellite Micius dedicated for quantum science experiments, and achieved thousand kilometer quantum key distribution, entanglement distribution and quantum teleportation, which will be central to any global space-based quantum internet.

Established in 1975, the R.W. Wood Prize recognizes an outstanding discovery, scientific or technical achievement or invention in the field of optics. The accomplishment is measured chiefly by its impact on the field of optics and is one that opens a new era of research or significantly expands an established one. The prize is endowed by Xerox Corp.

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 osa.org.

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