Mikhail Lukin

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Mikhail Lukin
Born (1971-10-10) October 10, 1971 (age 50)
Alma materMIPT
Texas A&M University
Scientific career
InstitutionsMax Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
Harvard University
ThesisQuantum Coherence and Interference in Optics and Laser Spectroscopy (1993)
Doctoral advisorMarlan Scully

Mikhail Lukin (Russian: Михаи́л Дми́триевич Луки́н); born 10 October 1971) is a Russian theoretical and experimental physicist and a professor at Harvard University.[1] He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2018.

Early life[edit]

Lukin was born in Moscow, Russia. He studied physics and mathematics at MIPT which he graduated in 1993. Following the graduation, he joined Texas A&M University where he wrote a research paper titled Quantum Coherence and Interference in Optics and Laser Spectroscopy which he used for his Ph.D. thesis. Between this and 1994 he was a visiting scientist to Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany. Later on he became a postdoc at Texas A&M University and then became a fellow, and later joint director, of the Institute for Theoretical Atomic and Molecular Physics a division of Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. In 2001 he became an assistant professor at Harvard and three years later became its professor.[1]


In 2005 he proposed an idea to use quantum computing mail rather than Email which is already used by both Harvard and Boston Universities.[2] He and Vladan Vuletic[3] experimentally confirmed a new type of matter in which photonic molecules can be used to create a lightsaber-like technology.[4]

In a 2013 interview with The Harvard Crimson he explained that he observed the matter the same way as it is in the movies, but unlike the movies the objects don't pass through each other but rather behave like solid objects.[5]

Lukin is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America.[6]


  • 2000 The Optical Society of America Adolph Lomb Medal[6]
  • 2009 – I.I. Rabi Prize[7]
  • 2021 - The Optical Society of America Charles Hard Townes Medal for pioneering theoretical and experimental contributions to quantum nonlinear optics and quantum information science and technology, and for the development and application of nanoscale quantum systems for sensing[6]


  1. ^ a b "Alexander von Humboldt Professorship for Mikhail Lukin". 4 March 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  2. ^ William J. Cromie (22 September 2005). "Lukin illuminates quantum science". Harvard Gazette. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Scientists create never-before-seen form of matter". 25 September 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  4. ^ Bryant Jordan (27 September 2013). "Harvard and MIT Bind Photons Like Light Sabers". Defense.org. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  5. ^ Kathryn J. Gundersen (12 October 2013). "Hey Professor: Mikhail D. Lukin". Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  6. ^ a b c "Mikhail Lukin". OSA.
  7. ^ "2009 I.I. Rabi Prize in Atomic, Molecular & Optical Phy Recipient". American Physics Society. Retrieved 16 January 2019.

External links[edit]