Alan Migdall

Alan Migdall

Alan Migdall leads the Quantum Optics Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), whose mission is the study and use of nonclassical light sources and detectors for application in absolute metrology, quantum enabled measurements, quantum information, and tests of fundamental physics. He and his group are also engaged in efforts aimed at advancing single-photon source, detector, and processing technologies for these applications. Migdall is a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute, a joint institute of the University of Maryland and NIST. Migdall is also a fellow of the American Physical Society and an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland. While he has a long list of publications, recent highlights of his work include the experimental demonstration of a coherent receiver with error rates below the standard quantum limit to a degree far exceeding any previous efforts, demonstration of topologically robust photonic states in an integrated Silicon photonics waveguide chip, tests of nonlocal realism alternatives to quantum mechanics using entangled two-photon light. Other work has involved the development of single photon light sources and the use of two-photon light for absolute measurements of the detection efficiency of single-photon detectors and verifying those results to the highest accuracy yet achieved. Another application in radiometry used two-photon light to determine spectral radiance in the infrared without requiring a calibrated detector or even one sensitive to the infrared. As a postdoctoral fellow at the National Bureau of Standards, as the field of laser cooling and trapping was getting off the ground, he was part of the team that achieved the first trapping of a neutral atom.

Affiliations and Expertise

National Institute of Technology, Gaithersburg