University of Rochester

Leonard Mandel Honored by American Academy of Arts and Sciences

May 22, 1996

Leonard Mandel, DuBridge Professor of Physics and Optics at the University of Rochester, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Mandel is known internationally for his experiments extending the work of Albert Einstein and Max Planck on the fundamental nature of light, and in particular on its quantum properties. For four decades Mandel has created and performed innovative experiments to understand the behavior of photons and how they interact with atoms. Mandel's group was the first to actually observe certain remarkable features of light predicted by quantum theory.

"Len has combined elegance and precision with exceptional experimental skill and unusual physical insight to demonstrate how truly mysterious nature is at its deepest level," says Paul Slattery, professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Mandel's insights and skills have been magnified through the years by the dozens of students with whom he has worked, says Slattery. Years ago Mandel developed the department's first physics course geared specifically for non- science majors, which he still teaches on a regular basis, and four years ago he received the University's Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching.

Mandel has previously been recognized with several honors, including the Frederic Ives Medal and Max Born Award of the Optical Society of America (OSA), the Italian National Research Council's Marconi Medal, and the Thomas Young Medal from the British Institute of Physics. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the OSA and has written nearly 300 scientific papers on fundamental properties of light. He joined the University in 1964.

Mandel is one of just nine current University faculty members who are fellows of AAAS, which was founded in 1780 by John Adams and others "to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people." Among the other fellows elected by AAAS this year: Senator Bill Bradley and former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.