University of Rochester

Physicist Wins Optical Society of America's Young Researcher Award

May 3, 2006

John C. Howell, assistant professor of physics at the University of Rochester, has won the 2006 Adolph Lomb Medal from the Optical Society of America (OSA). Howell won the award for his "innovative contributions in quantum optics, particularly aspects of quantum cloning, violations of Bell's inequalities and maximal photonic entanglement." The medal is presented to scientists who have made noteworthy contributions to optics before the age of 35. Howell will receive the award at the annual OSA meeting, held this year at the Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, Oct. 8 to 12.

"Since John came to Rochester as a junior faculty member three years ago, I have had the pleasure of working with him on several research projects," says Robert W. Boyd, the M. Parker Givens Professor of Optics and Physics. "By working with John, I have been able to see how enormously talented he is. Moreover, our joint work has led already to some very significant results."

Howell has authored important research papers both from the University of Rochester and the University of Oxford. The research presents new capabilities in quantum optical information science that will likely come to be considered classics in this field, says Boyd. Howell is currently investigating ways to transmit thousands of times more information via ultra-secure quantum encryption than has ever been done before.

Howell received his bachelor's degree in physics with a minor in mathematics from Utah State University in 1995, and his master's and doctorate in physics from Pennsylvania State University in 2000. He then took a postdoctoral research position at the Centre for Quantum Computation at the University of Oxford. Howell joined the University of Rochester in 2002, as assistant professor of physics. He received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2004, and a Research Innovation Award from the Research Corporation in 2003.

Adolph Lomb, son of the co-founder of Bausch & Lomb optical company, was OSA's treasurer from its founding until his death in 1932. The Adolph Lomb Medal was established in 1940.