Charles V. Shank

Charles V. Shank
Charles V. Shank
Mount Holly, NJ, USA
Associated organizations
Bell Labs
Fields of study
IEEE Morris E. Leeds Award, IEEE David Sarnoff Award


Charles Vernon Shank was born in Mt. Holly, N.J. on July 12, 1943. At the age of three his family moved to California where he received his education. He did both his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of California at Berkeley. Shortly after receiving his PhD. degree in Electrical Engineering in 1969, he joined the technical staff at Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey. In 1976 he was appointed head of the Quantum Physics and Electronics Research Department.

Dr. Shank has been active in a broad array of research topics in the field of lasers and optics. He has published over 100 papers and has received 8 patents. His early interest in gas lasers gave way to investigations in dye lasers when he arrived at Bell Laboratories. He was subsequently involved in the first demonstration of distributed feedback laser operation, fabrication of the first 0.1um periodic structure, modelocking of the continuous dye laser and the production of the optical pulses less than 1.0 picosecond. More recently Dr. Shank and his group have pushed optical pulse techniques well under 0.1 picoseconds by generating an optical pulse as short as 30 femtoseconds. He has applied these short pulse techniques to problems in electronics, physics, chemistry and biology .

Dr. Shank is a Fellow of the Optical Society, a Member of IEEE, and a member of the American Physical Society. With E. P. Ippen he received the 1981 R. W. Wood Prize of the Optical Society of America and in 1982 the Edward Longstreth Medal of the Franklin Institute for demonstration and utilization of ultrashort optical pulses.