Amnon Yariv

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With contributions spanning over 50 years and still continuing, Amnon Yariv’s work is at the heart of today’s high-speed optical communications systems. He recognized early the importance of optical frequency control for high-speed data transmission and developed the distributed feedback semiconductor laser, which has become the main light source for optical communication networks. With Kam Lau, he was the first to describe the physics that limit modulation speed and demonstrated modulation of semiconductor lasers at microwave frequencies. At the California Institute of Technology his group proposed and demonstrated optoelectronic integrated circuits and co-ushered the fields of phase-conjugate optics and slow light propagation in coupled resonator waveguides. He wrote the first college textbooks in quantum and optical electronics, which helped introduce these subjects as academic disciplines. He founded Ortel Corporation, which pioneered high-speed lasers now commonly used in cable television systems.

An IEEE Life Fellow, Dr. Yariv is the Martin and Eileen Summerfield Professor of Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.