ERICH P. IPPEN, Elihu Thomson Professor of Electrical Engineering and Professor of Physics

Elihu Thomson Professor of Electrical Engineering
Professor of Physics

EMAIL: ippen@mit.edu

PHONE: (617) 253-8504

OFFICE: 36-319


Area of Physics:

Condensed Matter Experiment

Research Interests

Professor Ippen's research activities are in the field of optics, with particular focus on femtosecond science and ultra-highspeed devices. He and his group have invented methods for generating extremely short (femtosecond) pulses of light with lasers; they develop new measurement techniques to take advantage of the time resolution that these pulses provide; and, with these techniques, they excite and probe ultrafast phenomena in materials. Professor Ippen's group is also developing ultrashort-pulse fiber-optic devices for a variety of applications including optical communications and signal processing.

Current specific topics of research include:

  • Sub-two-cycle pulse generation with solid state lasers;
  • Ultrafast carrier dynamics in semiconductors and metals;
  • Photonic bandgap structures, and
  • Optical fiber lasers and data storage loops for ultra-highspeed all-optical networks.

Biographical Sketch

Professor Erich P. Ippen is a principal investigator in the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He holds appointments as the Elihu Thomson Professor of Electrical Engineering Emeritus and Professor of Physics Emeritus. He is one of the leaders of RLE’s Optics and Quantum Electronics Group.

Professor Ippen received the S.B. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1962, and then attended the University of California, Berkeley where he received his M.S. in 1965 and Ph.D. in 1968 in electrical engineering. He was a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories from 1968 to 1980 where he was one of the founders of the field of femtosecond optics. He joined the MIT faculty in 1980.

Professor Ippen is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, and is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His many honors include being named the 2001–2002 recipient of MIT’s James R. Killian, Jr. Faculty Achievement Award in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to his fields and to the Institute. Ippen and his group continue to pioneer important new areas of optics, particularly in the areas of femtosecond science and ultra-highspeed devices, inventing new methods for generating extremely short bursts of light using lasers, innovating techniques to exploit the time resolution such pulses provide, and using these new techniques to probe ultrafast phenomena in materials.

Selected Publications


Last updated on March 4, 2015 4:11 PM