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Alan Migdall

Migdall’s current interests broadly cover quantum optics with research related to single-photon sources, detectors, processors, and quantum memory for quantum cryptography and quantum computation. Specific efforts involve correlated two-photon light (, nonlinear optics, parametric downconversion, Raman scattering, microstructure fibers, multi-particle entanglement, randomness generation (, and classical and quantum metrology.

Migdall leads the Quantum Optics Group of the Quantum Measurement Division at NIST. He is a fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland and a fellow of the American Physical Society. He has organized a number of conferences and workshops on single photon detector and source technologies, as well as the applications and metrology of that technology. He founded the Single Photon Workshop, which debuted at NIST in Gaithersburg in 2003 and has continued biannually at metrology and national labs in the US and around the world. He was editor of a book entitled Single Photon Generation and Detection.

Migdall has been part of a number of science outreach efforts including the OSA Eastman/Presidential Speaker program, giving lectures at numerous universities and colleges, as well as local high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. He has provided research opportunities for graduate, undergraduate, and high school students. In addition, he was the science advisor for a National Academy of Sciences middle school optics curriculum program.

Migdall began his career at NIST in 1984 with an NRC postdoctoral fellowship in laser cooling and trapping of neutral atoms, was made a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2007, awarded a Commerce Department's Bronze medal in 2009 for his efforts in single photon technology, and in 2013 awarded a patent for a multichannel coincidence counting system.

Researched Projects:

Quantum information technology and correlated photon radiometry

Related Links:

Joint Quantum Institute

Single Photon Group at JQI

Archived Publications

Alan Migdall


Quantum Measurement Division
Quantum  Optics Group

Employment History:

1984-present, NIST, Gaithersburg, MD


Ph.D. Atomic and Molecular Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

B.S. Physics and Mathematics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD


Phone: 301-975-2331
Fax: 301-990-1350