Hänsch, Theodor Wolfgang, 1941–, German physicist, Ph.D. Heidelberg, 1969. He was a professor at Stanford from 1975 to 1986 and then became head of the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, Garching, Germany, and professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians Univ., Munich. Hänsch received the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics with John Hall and Roy Glauber for their work in advancing optics technology. Hänsch and Hall were cited for their development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, which enables the color of the light of atoms and molecules to be determined with tremendous precision. The technique, which aids in precise timing in communication systems, provided the foundation for the development of extremely accurate clocks and improved global positioning system technology.
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