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27 July 2023

Optica announces Leonard Mandel Quantum Optics Award

New award honors a quantum optics luminary

  • New award recognizes distinguished contributions to statistical and quantum optics.
  • First award will be presented at Optica’s Quantum 2.0 conference in 2024 in Rotterdam, NL.
  • Nominations will be due 1 October 2023.

WASHINGTON—The fact that light is made of photons and governed by the rules of quantum physics was established in no small part by the scientific contributions of Leonard Mandel. Optica (formerly OSA), Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, announces the creation of the Leonard Mandel Quantum Optics Award to recognize distinguished contributions to the foundations of statistical and quantum optics and applications in advanced technologies. Established through the Optica Foundation, this award honors Mandel’s legacy in the field of quantum optics.

In his lifetime, Prof. Mandel was highly decorated. He was named a Fellow in 1967 and received the Max Born Award in 1982. He was also awarded Optica’s highest award, the Frederic Ives Medal, in 1993. He served as a board member from 1985 to 1988 and as an associate editor of the Journal of the Optical Society from 1970 to 1976 and from 1982 to 1983. This new award expands his impact by honoring discoveries and milestones in the field he helped to establish.

“Dr. Mandel's work has influenced the evolution of the field of statistical and quantum optics, from the formative book Optical Coherence and Quantum Optics that he wrote with Emil Wolf to his role in furthering the efforts of the broader community,” said Michal Lipson, Optica 2023 President. “This award extends that legacy by fueling next-generation quantum advancements.”

This award joins other Optica initiatives that support the rapidly expanding fields of quantum optics and quantum-enabled technologies, including the Quantum 2.0 conference, Optica Quantum, a new journal dedicated to highly selective results in quantum information science and technology, and the Theodor W. Hänsch Prize in Quantum Optics, which focuses on early-career efforts and the applications of optics-enabled quantum technologies.

For more information on the Leonard Mandel Quantum Optics Award visit

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 (formerly OSA), 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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