Two RLE professors to succeed David E. Pritchard and Jacob K. White

Jeffrey H. Shapiro, Director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Julius A. Stratton Professor of Electrical Engineering, has appointed Wolfgang Ketterle, John D. MacArthur Professor of Physics, and Rajeev J. Ram, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, to be Associate Directors of RLE effective 1 July 2006. Professors Ketterle and Ram will succeed RLE’s current Associate Directors, David E. Pritchard, Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics, and Jacob K. White, Cecil H. Green Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.


Professor Ketterle leads a group in RLE and its affiliated Center for Ultracold Atoms (CUA) that explores the properties of ultracold gases. His research is in the field of atomic physics and laser spectroscopy and includes laser cooling and trapping, atom optics and atom interferometry, and studies of Bose-Einstein condensation and Fermi degeneracy. A major focus is the exploration of new forms of matter, in particular novel aspects of superfluidity, coherence, and correlations in many-body systems. His observation of Bose-Einstein condensation in a gas in 1995 and the first realization of an atom laser in 1997 in RLE were recognized with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001. This coming summer, Professor Ketterle will also succeed Professor Daniel Kleppner, Lester Wolfe Professor of Physics emeritus, as Director of the CUA.

Professor Ketterle is doing science of amazing quality and quantity,” said Professor Pritchard, “and I am really happy that he has agreed to become an RLE Associate Director. I am sure that this will preserve and enhance the wonderful relationship between RLE and the CUA.”

Professor Ram leads a group in RLE concentrating on physical optics and electronics, including the development of novel components and systems for communications and sensing, novel semiconductor lasers for advanced fiber optic communications, and studies of fundamental interactions between electronic materials and light. He is also the Director of RLE’s affiliated Center for Integrated Photonic Systems (CIPS). CIPS aims to provide leadership and direction for research and development in photonics, to foster an MIT-wide community of researchers in the field of integrated photonics and systems, and to integrate member companies into the MIT photonics community.

Professor Ram brings both research expertise and technical leadership experience to his new position as an Associate Director of RLE,” noted Professor White. “He leads a world renowned research group in integrated optics and nanophotonics, and as founder of CIPS has brought together more than a dozen faculty from a wide range of departments and laboratories at MIT to work with leading industrial partners in the field of photonics.”

Professor Shapiro commented that, “RLE is now in it sixtieth year. Throughout that time the Laboratory has provided an outstanding environment for research and learning. I thank Professors Pritchard and White for their service to RLE, and I look forward to Professor Ketterle’s and Professor Ram’s help in continuing this tradition into an even greater future. Their investigations and scholarship represent forefront efforts in RLE. Working together, we can effectively represent the remarkable intellectual diversity of this Laboratory.”

Related Links:

Ketterle Biography

Ram Biography

MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms (CUA)

MIT Center for Integrated Photonic Systems (CIPS)