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19 October 2022

Announcing the Theodor W. Hänsch Prize in Quantum Optics

Menlo Systems, Hamamatsu Photonics and Thorlabs to sponsor quantum optics award

ROCHESTER - Together with partners Hamamatsu Photonics and Thorlabs, Inc., Menlo Systems is proud to announce that we are sponsoring the Theodor W. Hänsch Prize in Quantum Optics, created by the Optica Foundation.

The prize provides recognition and funding for early-career members of Optica as they pursue exciting and innovative projects that have the potential to make a meaningful and positive impact in the areas of optics-enabled quantum technologies.

Named after Menlo Systems co-founder and Director at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Nobel Laureate and Professor Theodor W. Hänsch, the prize honors his seminal contributions to quantum optics and precision metrology.

“I am honored to lend my name to this new prize, which will recognize early significant achievements in the broad field of quantum optics. The prize will help to propel promising scientific careers and to enrich the world of science and technology in the future,” shared Professor Hänsch on the establishment of the prize in his name.

Dr. Michael Mei, CEO and co-founder of Menlo Systems also said of the prize, “We are thrilled to support this newly-established prize in quantum optics, together with our strategic partners Thorlabs and Hamamatsu, and look forward to getting to know the recipients over the coming years. We believe that receiving the Theodor W. Hänsch Prize will become a cornerstone for a successful career in quantum optics.”

The inaugural prize application process will open on 8th January 2023 and will close on 8th March 2023. We encourage all early-career researchers working in any field relating to quantum optics or quantum technologies to apply! Check out the Optica website for more details on the prize and how to apply.

Optica Foundation

Established in 2002, the Optica Foundation carries out charitable activities in support of the society’s student and early career members. We cultivate the next generation of leaders and innovators as they navigate advanced degree programs and become active members of research, engineering and business communities worldwide. The foundation also works to secure the endowments for Optica’s awards and honors programs. The foundation is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. For more information, visit

About Optica

Optica, Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, is the society dedicated to promoting the generation, application, archiving and dissemination of knowledge in the field. Founded in 1916, it is the leading organization for scientists, engineers, business professionals, students and others interested in the science of light. Optica's renowned publications, meetings, online resources and in-person activities fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate scientific, technical and educational achievement. Discover more at:

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