OSA | Living History

Daniel Kleppner

Daniel Kleppner (b. 1932) received his B.A. from Williams College in Amherst, Mass., and a B.A. from the U.K.’s Cambridge University in 1955. Under the supervision of Norman F. Ramsey, Ph.D., Kleppner conducted graduate research in physics at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., where he received his Ph.D. in 1959. Kleppner would later join Dr. Ramsey in the creation of the hydrogen maser, a novel type of atomic clock that was cited in Dr. Ramsey’s 1989 Nobel Prize for Physics.

In 1966, Dr. Kleppner joined the physics department at MIT. Kleppner’s research interests include precision measurements, fundamental constants, and experimental studies with Rydberg atoms, including cavity quantum electrodynamics and quantum chaos. With his MIT colleague, Thomas J. Greytak, Ph.D., Dr. Kleppner helped to pioneer the field of Bose-Einstein condensation and quantum gasses. Together in 1998, they demonstrated Bose-Einstein condensation in atomic hydrogen.

Kleppner is the former Director of the National Science Foundation-funded MIT–Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms, former Associate Director of the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics, and a principal investigator in the Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics group.

Dr. Kleppner is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Science, the Academy of Sciences (Paris), and the American Philosophical Society. His awards include the National Medal of Science; the Lilienfeld Prize, the Davisson-Germer Prize, and the Szilard Award, all from the American Physical Society; the Oersted Medal from the American Institute of Physics; the Frederic Ives Medal and William F. Meggers Award from OSA; and the Benjamin Franklin Award from the Franklin Institute. He has been a Fellow of OSA since 1992.

Document Created: 19 Dec 2019
Last Updated: 20 Dec 2019