The following timeline provides a capsule narrative of RLE’s notable events and achievements, and some of the individuals who have played key roles in the Laboratory’s development and growth.
2000 – RLE’s Kenneth N. Stevens is awarded the National Medal of Science for his pioneering contributions to the theory, mathematical methods and analysis of acoustics in speech production, leading to the contemporary foundations of speech science.
2000 – RLE’s Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics group joins with colleagues from Harvard University to form the Center for Ultracold Atoms, a major new NSF center pursuing opportunities in physics and technology made possible by the discovery of coherent atom sources in RLE and elsewhere.
2000 – RLE’s Jeffrey H. Shapiro, Julius A. Stratton Professor of Electrical Engineering, is appointed seventh Director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT.
2001 – RLE’s Wolgang Ketterle shares the Nobel Prize in Physics with RLE alumni Eric A. Cornell and Carl E. Wieman for the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation and for early fundamental studies of the properties of the condensates.
2002 – RLE’s Mandayam A. Srinivasan, working with colleagues at University College, London, demonstrates the first transatlantic transmission of real-time haptic signals, showing the feasibility of touch feedback in long distance virtual interaction.
2004 – RLE’s Vladimir Bulovic wins the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers, for examining properties of organic and inorganic nanostructured thin films and developing novel active devices.