Amnon Yariv

National Medal of Science

Engineering

For foundational contributions to photonics and quantum electronics, including his demonstration of the semiconductor distributed feedback laser that underpins todays high-speed optical fiber communications.

For foundational contributions to photonics and quantum electronics, including his demonstration of the semiconductor distributed feedback laser that underpins todays high-speed optical fiber communications.

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Birth
January 1, 1930
Age Awarded
79
Country of Birth
Israel
Key Contributions
High Speed Optical Data Transfer
Awarded by
Barack Obama
Education
University of California, Berkeley
Areas of Impact
Communication & Information
Affiliations
California Institute of Technology
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Amnon Yariv was always fascinated with light waves -- “learning how to generate them, manipulate them, and make them play new 'games,'” he told a California Institute of Technology interviewer in 2010, when he was being presented with the National Medal of Science.

Yariv, a longtime Caltech professor, has done ground-breaking research and developed mathematical theories to describe the energy exchange among light waves. Along the way Yariv became one of the world’s foremost authorities in optoelectronics.

Through research with colleagues and students, he has developed and demonstrated optoelectronic integrated circuits, the distributed feedback semiconductor laser, and coupled-resonator optical waveguide. Yariv’s research is been instrumental in high-speed optical fiber communications.

Research and development of lasers by Yariv has increased the bandwith – and ability to carry data -- of fiber optic networks. 

Yariv received a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1958. From there he joined Bell Laboratories before becoming a member of the Caltech faculty in 1964, teaching physics and electrical engineering.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. 

By Robert Warren

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