John Clauser

John Clauser

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John Francis Clauser is an American theoretical and experimental physicist
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

 known for contributions to the foundations of quantum mechanics
Quantum mechanics
Quantum mechanics, also known as quantum physics or quantum theory, is a branch of physics providing a mathematical description of much of the dual particle-like and wave-like behavior and interactions of energy and matter. It departs from classical mechanics primarily at the atomic and subatomic...

, in particular the Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt inequality
CHSH inequality
In physics, the CHSH Bell test is an application of Bell's theorem, intended to distinguish between the entanglement hypothesis of quantum mechanics and local hidden variable theories. CHSH stands for John Clauser, Michael Horne, Abner Shimony and Richard Holt, who described it in a much-cited...


Clauser received his B.S. in physics from the California Institute of Technology
California Institute of Technology
The California Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Pasadena, California, United States. Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphases on science and engineering...

 in 1964. He received his M.A. in physics in 1966 and his Ph.D. in physics in 1969 from Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...


From 1969 to 1996 he worked mainly at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory , is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory conducting unclassified scientific research. It is located on the grounds of the University of California, Berkeley, in the Berkeley Hills above the central campus...

, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory , just outside Livermore, California, is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center founded by the University of California in 1952...

, and the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

. He was a member of the Berkeley Fundamental Fysiks Group
Fundamental Fysiks Group
The Fundamental Fysiks Group was founded in San Francisco in May 1975 by two physicists, Elizabeth Rauscher and George Weissmann, at the time both graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley. The group held informal discussions on Friday afternoons to explore the philosophical...

, founded in May 1975 by Elizabeth Rauscher
Elizabeth Rauscher
Elizabeth A. Rauscher is an American physicist and parapsychologist. She is a former researcher with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Stanford Research Institute, and NASA....

 and George Weissmann, an informal group of physicists who met weekly to discuss philosophy and quantum physics.


He was awarded the Wolf Prize in Physics
Wolf Prize in Physics
The Wolf Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Wolf Foundation in Israel. It is one of the six Wolf Prizes established by the Foundation and awarded since 1978; the others are in Agriculture, Chemistry, Mathematics, Medicine and Arts. The Prize is often considered the most prestigious...

 in 2010 together with Alain Aspect
Alain Aspect
Alain Aspect is a French physicist noted for his experimental work on quantum entanglement....

 and Anton Zeilinger
Anton Zeilinger
Anton Zeilinger is an Austrian quantum physicist. He is currently professor of physics at the University of Vienna, previously University of Innsbruck. He is also the director of the Vienna branch of the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information IQOQI at the Austrian Academy of Sciences...

. In 1972 working with Stuart Freedman, he carried out the first experimental test of the CHSH-Bell's theorem
Bell's theorem
In theoretical physics, Bell's theorem is a no-go theorem, loosely stating that:The theorem has great importance for physics and the philosophy of science, as it implies that quantum physics must necessarily violate either the principle of locality or counterfactual definiteness...

 predictions. This was the world's first observation of quantum entanglement
Quantum entanglement
Quantum entanglement occurs when electrons, molecules even as large as "buckyballs", photons, etc., interact physically and then become separated; the type of interaction is such that each resulting member of a pair is properly described by the same quantum mechanical description , which is...

, and was the first experimental observation of a violation of a Bell inequality. In 1974 working with Michael Horne he first showed that a generalization of Bell's Theorem provides severe constraints for all local realistic theories of nature (a.k.a. objective local theories). That work introduced the Clauser–Horne (CH) inequality as the first fully general experimental requirement set by local realism. It also introduced the "CH no-enhancement assumption", whereupon the CH inequality reduces to the CHSH inequality, and whereupon associated experimental tests also constrain local realism. In 1974 he made the first observation of sub-Poissonian
Poisson distribution
In probability theory and statistics, the Poisson distribution is a discrete probability distribution that expresses the probability of a given number of events occurring in a fixed interval of time and/or space if these events occur with a known average rate and independently of the time since...

 statistics for light (via a violation of the Cauchy–Schwarz inequality
Cauchy–Schwarz inequality
In mathematics, the Cauchy–Schwarz inequality , is a useful inequality encountered in many different settings, such as linear algebra, analysis, probability theory, and other areas...

 for classical electromagnetic fields), and thereby, for the first time, demonstrated an unambiguous particle-like character for photons. In 1976 he carried out the world's second experimental test of the CHSH-Bell's Theorem predictions.

External links

  • History Transcript — John F. Clauser (American Institute of Physics
    American Institute of Physics
    The American Institute of Physics promotes science, the profession of physics, publishes physics journals, and produces publications for scientific and engineering societies. The AIP is made up of various member societies...