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Serge Haroche

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Serge Haroche
Haroche in Stockholm (2012)
Born (1944-09-11) 11 September 1944 (age 79)
Casablanca, Morocco[1]
(then a French colony)
Alma materÉcole normale supérieure
Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University (Ph.D.)
Known forCavity quantum electrodynamics
AwardsCNRS Gold medal (2009)
Nobel Prize for Physics (2012)
Scientific career
InstitutionsPierre-and-Marie-Curie University
Yale University
Collège de France
Doctoral advisorClaude Cohen-Tannoudji

Serge Haroche (born 11 September 1944)[1] is a French physicist who was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics jointly with David J. Wineland for "ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems", a study of the particle of light, the photon.[2][3][4] This and his other works developed laser spectroscopy. Since 2001, Haroche is a professor at the Collège de France and holds the chair of quantum physics.

In 1971 he defended his doctoral thesis in physics at the University of Paris VI: his research had been conducted under the direction of Claude Cohen-Tannoudji.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Haroche was born in Casablanca, Morocco, to Albert Haroche (1920–1998), from a Moroccan Jewish family, and Valentine Haroche, born Roubleva (1921–1998), a teacher who was born in Odessa to a Jewish family of physicians who relocated to Morocco in the early 1920s. His family had mixed Sephardic and Ashkenazi origins.[6] His father, a lawyer trained in Rabat, was one of seven children born to a family of teachers, Isaac and Esther Haroche, who worked at the École de l’Alliance israélite (AIU).[7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

Both paternal grandparents of Serge Haroche had been AIU students in their respective hometowns of Marrakesh and Tétouan (the school which Esther Azerad attended in Tétouan had been founded in 1862; it was the first school of the AIU network).[14]

Haroche left Morocco and settled in France in 1956, at the end of the French protectorate treaty.


Haroche worked in the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) as a research scientist from 1967 to 1975 at the French UMR Kastler–Brossel Laboratory, and spent a year (1972–1973) as a visiting post-doc in Stanford University, in Arthur Leonard Schawlow's team. In 1975 he moved to a professor position at Paris VI University. At the same time he taught in other institutions, in particular at the École polytechnique (1973–1984), MIT (1980)[1], Harvard University (1981), Yale University (1984–1993) and Conservatoire national des arts et métiers (2000). He was head of the Physics department at the École normale supérieure from 1994 to 2000.

Since 2001, Haroche has been a professor at the Collège de France and holds the chair of quantum physics. He is a member of the Société Française de Physique, the European Physical society and a fellow and member of the American Physical Society.

In September 2012, Serge Haroche was elected by his peers to the position of administrator of the Collège de France.

On 9 October 2012 Haroche was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, together with the American physicist David Wineland, for their work regarding measurement and manipulation of individual quantum systems.

In 2020, Haroche was appointed by European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel to serve on an independent search committee for the next president of the European Research Council (ERC), chaired by Helga Nowotny.[15]


Serge Haroche (who won Nobel Prize in Physics in 2012) visited Stockholm, June 2016, as a member of the Wallenberg Foundation Scientific Advisory Board.

Haroche works primarily in atomic physics and quantum optics.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22] He is principally known for showing quantum decoherence by experimental observation, while working with colleagues at the École normale supérieure in Paris in 1996.

After a PhD dissertation on dressed atoms under the supervision of Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (himself a Nobel Prize recipient) from 1967 to 1971, he developed new methods for laser spectroscopy, based on the study of quantum beats and superradiance. He then moved on to Rydberg atoms, giant atomic states particularly sensitive to microwaves, which makes them well adapted for studying the interactions between light and matter. He showed that such atoms, coupled to a superconducting cavity containing a few photons, are well-suited to the testing of quantum decoherence and to the realization of quantum logic operations necessary for the treatment of quantum information.


Serge Haroche after his Nobel Lecture

Personal life[edit]

Haroche currently lives in Paris; he is married to the sociologist Claudine Haroche (born Zeligson), also descending from the Russian Jewish émigrés family, with two children (aged 40 and 43).[26][27][28] He is the uncle of French singer–songwriter and actor Raphaël Haroche (known as Raphaël, his stage name).[29]


  • Serge Haroche, Jean-Michel Raimond, Exploring the quantum. Atoms, cavities and photons, Oxford University Press, 2006.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Serge Haroche on Nobelprize.org Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b "Press release – Particle control in a quantum world". Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  3. ^ Haroche, S. (2012). "The secrets of my prizewinning research". Nature. 490 (7420): 311. Bibcode:2012Natur.490..311H. doi:10.1038/490311a. PMID 23075943.
  4. ^ Phillips, William Daniel (2013). "Profile of David Wineland and Serge Haroche, 2012 Nobel Laureates in Physics". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 110 (18): 7110–1. Bibcode:2013PNAS..110.7110P. doi:10.1073/pnas.1221825110. PMC 3645510. PMID 23584018.
  5. ^ "Page non trouvée". www.college-de-france.fr (in French). Archived from the original on 2012-10-06. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  6. ^ "Serge Haroche Biographical - The Nobel Prize in Physics 2012". NobelPrize.org. Retrieved 7 June 2024.
  7. ^ "French Jew, American researcher share Nobel Prize in Physics". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  8. ^ Laskier, Michael M. (1983). The Alliance Israélite Universelle and the Jewish Communities of Morocco: 1862–1962. New York: SUNY Press. p. 192. ISBN 9780873956567.
  9. ^ "MAROC LXXV E 2.25". Europeana. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  10. ^ "French Jew wins 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics along with American colleague". European Jewish Press. 2012-10-09. Archived from the original on 2017-10-03. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  11. ^ Jean-Louis Beaucarnot (2012-10-09). "Origines et généalogie de Serge Haroche, prix Nobel de physique". La Revue française de Généalogie. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  12. ^ alexandra j. wall (2004-06-04). "New Jewish Agenda founder Roublev dies at 69". J. jweekly.com. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  13. ^ Columbia University School of Public Health and Administrative Medicine, class of 1958 (p. 30): Alexander Roublev, M.D. (Serge Haroche's grandfather)
  14. ^ "Genealogy, career and personal life of Serge Haroche". Numericana. 2017-06-14. Retrieved 2017-11-02.
  15. ^ Commission appoints independent Search Committee and invites nominations and applications to fill the post of the next President of the European Research Council European Commission, press release of October 9, 2020.
  16. ^ Haroche, S. (2012). "The secrets of my prizewinning research". Nature. 490 (7420): 311. Bibcode:2012Natur.490..311H. doi:10.1038/490311a. PMID 23075943.
  17. ^ Sayrin, C. M.; Dotsenko, I.; Zhou, X.; Peaudecerf, B.; Rybarczyk, T. O.; Gleyzes, S. B.; Rouchon, P.; Mirrahimi, M.; Amini, H.; Brune, M.; Raimond, J. M.; Haroche, S. (2011). "Real-time quantum feedback prepares and stabilizes photon number states". Nature. 477 (7362): 73–77. arXiv:1107.4027. Bibcode:2011Natur.477...73S. doi:10.1038/nature10376. PMID 21886159. S2CID 4383517.
  18. ^ Deléglise, S.; Dotsenko, I.; Sayrin, C. M.; Bernu, J.; Brune, M.; Raimond, J. M.; Haroche, S. (2008). "Reconstruction of non-classical cavity field states with snapshots of their decoherence". Nature. 455 (7212): 510–514. arXiv:0809.1064. Bibcode:2008Natur.455..510D. doi:10.1038/nature07288. PMID 18818653. S2CID 913619.
  19. ^ Guerlin, C.; Bernu, J.; Deléglise, S.; Sayrin, C. M.; Gleyzes, S. B.; Kuhr, S.; Brune, M.; Raimond, J. M.; Haroche, S. (2007). "Progressive field-state collapse and quantum non-demolition photon counting". Nature. 448 (7156): 889–893. arXiv:0707.3880. Bibcode:2007Natur.448..889G. doi:10.1038/nature06057. PMID 17713527. S2CID 4429859.
  20. ^ Gleyzes, S. B.; Kuhr, S.; Guerlin, C.; Bernu, J.; Deléglise, S.; Busk Hoff, U.; Brune, M.; Raimond, J. M.; Haroche, S. (2007). "Quantum jumps of light recording the birth and death of a photon in a cavity". Nature. 446 (7133): 297–300. arXiv:quant-ph/0612031. Bibcode:2007Natur.446..297G. doi:10.1038/nature05589. PMID 17361178. S2CID 4428931.
  21. ^ Bertet, P.; Osnaghi, S.; Rauschenbeutel, A.; Nogues, G.; Auffeves, A.; Brune, M.; Raimond, J. M.; Haroche, S. (2001). "A complementarity experiment with an interferometer at the quantum-classical boundary". Nature. 411 (6834): 166–170. Bibcode:2001Natur.411..166B. doi:10.1038/35075517. PMID 11346787. S2CID 44843828.
  22. ^ Jean-Michel Raimond; Serge Haroche (2006). Exploring the quantum: atoms, cavities and photons. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-850914-6.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  23. ^ "APS Fellow Awards". APS. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  24. ^ "Franklin Laureate Database – Albert A. Michelson Medal Laureates". Franklin Institute. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
  25. ^ "Charles Hard Townes Award". Optical Society. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  26. ^ Claudine Haroche (Zeligson). Iiac.cnrs.fr. Retrieved on 2013-01-27.
  27. ^ "Marriage of Louis Zeligson and Raymonde Sandberg, Serge Haroche's in-laws". Le Figaro. 1936. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  28. ^ "myplick.com - myplick Resources and Information". www.myplick.com. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  29. ^ "Die Nobelpreisträger 2012". Handelsblatt. 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2013-01-12.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Nobel Prize in Physics laureate
With: David J. Wineland
Succeeded by