Arthur Ashkin

Physicist, Award Winner


Who is Arthur Ashkin?

Arthur Ashkin is a retired scientist who worked at Bell Laboratories and Lucent Technologies. He started his work on manipulation of microparticles with laser light in the late 1960s which resulted in the invention of optical tweezers in 1986. He also pioneered the optical trapping process that eventually was used to manipulate atoms, molecules, and biological cells. The key phenomenon is the radiation pressure of light; this pressure can be dissected down into optical gradient and scattering forces. Ashkin has been considered by many as the father of the topical field of optical tweezers.

Ashkin's pioneering work formed the basis for Steven Chu's work on cooling and trapping atoms, which earned Chu the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics.

Within various professional society memberships, Ashkin attained the rating of fellow in the Optical Society of America, the American Physical Society, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He retired from Bell Labs in 1992 after a 40-year career during which he contributed to many areas of experimental physics. He authored many research papers over the years and holds 47 patents.

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  • United States of America
  • Cornell University
  • Bell Labs
    (1952 - 1992)

on July 23, 2013


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