Alain Aspect: Bio, French Physicist, Research & Bell Test

Alain Aspect a french physicist was born on June 15th, 1947, in Agen, France. Science has been a subject of wonder to everyone, and many significant scientists came into existence to elaborate, investigate and discover the wonder of science. And some of them just ended up in debates.

Albert Einstein and Nils Bohr had a debate in 1982 that has been settled by Aspect’s Bell’s inequalities tests. Alain is a remarkable French Physicist.

French Physicist Alain Aspect
French Physicist Alain Aspect

He worked along with Phillippe Grangier, given a striking demonstration of wave-particle duality for a single photon, and understood Wheeler’s delayed-choice experiment.

Currently, he is C.N.R.S.’s distinguished Scientist placed as head of the Atom Optics group. He is Augustin Fresnel Professor at Institutd’Optique and a professor at Ecole Polytechnique.

Quick Facts of Alain Aspect

Full Name

Alain Aspect

Nick Name



June 15, 1947


73 years old


Agen, France






Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from University d’Orsay




Bell’s inequalities test


Wolf Prize in Physics and Albert Einstein Medal


Introduction to Quantum Optics and Single-Photon Generation and Detection

Net Worth

$1 Million – $5 Million


Aspect worked on Coherent Optics for three years from 1969 till 1971 at Institutd’Optique, Fourier transforms spectroscopy by holography. From 1974 till 1985, he worked on Non-Classical Properties of Light as Tests of the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics and P. Grangier, J. Dalibard at Institutd’Optique.

During this research, he tests Bell’s inequalities with pairs of entangled photons and production of heralded single photons and tests of the wave-particle duality with single photons.

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From 1985 till 1992, he researched Laser Cooling of Atoms associated with C. Cohen-Tannoudji at ENS Paris. His findings are on Blue molasses and Atom channeling in a standing wave working with J. Dalibard and C. Salomon. And laser cooling below the one-photon recoil by Velocity Selective Coherent Population Trapping along with E. Arimondo.

Since 1992, he has been researching Atom Optics and Ultra-Cold Atoms, finding Atomic mirrors, Atom lasers, Quantum atom optics, quantum transport, and Anderson localization of matter waves.

Aspect’s experiment

Aspect’s experiment was the first experiment conducted on quantum mechanics, which reveal the violation of Bell’s inequalities. It was so convincing that further validation of the quantum entanglement and locality principles are brought to result.  

Albert Einstein argued on the mere act of indirectly observing the atomic realm changes the quantum interaction’s outcome. Before Albert Einstein, other scientists also worked on the same. Albert Einstein was considered to be the third Scientist who found Quantum Theory.

Alain Aspect Experiment of Quantum Mechanics
Alain Aspect Experiment of Quantum Mechanics

But there was a debate on Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr’s series of quantum mechanics. However, the two-scientist had a good relationship that lasted along. Aspect’s experiment even cleared out these two scientists’ debate, which remained unsettled for a long time.

The theory explained that the nature and behavior of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic levels are as per the theory of modern physics. At that level, the heart and action of matter and energy are referred to as quantum physics and quantum mechanics.

His experiment is also called Bell’s test.

Patents by Alain Aspect

The French Physicist filed for patents for his multiple inventions. Some of his stories are yet to patent, and few have been already granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Electromagnetic device for the production of cold neutral atoms was granted on April 15th, 2003, which is the system for the optical pumping of a cell of atomic gases and its application to a magnetometer was granted on October 01st, 1991 and Electromagnetic device for production or cold neutral atoms is filed for approval.

Laser by Alain Aspect

The professor conducted a lecture on Laser on November 27th and 28th, 2018. The class consisted of two courses for the public: ‘ Principle of Lasers‘ and ‘A Fascinating Nonlinear System.’ Hundreds of audiences attended the lecture.

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Lasers’ principles explained lasers’ operation, their generic features, and the specificity of the light they release. A Fascinating Nonlinear System’ explained how a fascinating nonlinear phenomenon at work in the different systems could be generated by the simple optical device in many scientific fields.

Since the laser had been invented in 1960, there is a revolution in the optical study and the perception everyone had of the natural light, resulting in the new term called quantum optics.


From 1969 till 1971, Aspect holds the position of Assistant lecturer at Orsay University. Then he joined Yaounde in Cameroon to be a teacher as a voluntary service. From 1974 till 1985, he was a lecturer at the Ecole NormaleSuperieure de Cachan.

From 19851992, he joined College de France scientist associated with the chair of atomic physics held by C. Cohen-Tannoudji. From 1992 till now, Aspect is working as C.N.R.S. Senior Scientist at the Laboratoire Charles Fabry de I’Institutd’Optique as the head of the Atom Optics group.

Awards and Honors

The French Physicist got lots of awards and honor for his contributions since 1983 till date and might be more in the coming days. In 1983 he got Prix Servan de Academie des Sciences, France. The U.S.A. was awarded by Commonwealth for Science and Invention in 1985.

Award won by Alain Aspect
Award won by Alain Aspect

In 1987, he got International Commission for Optics Award and, in 1991, the Holweck Prize (Societe Francaise de Physique and Institute of Physics) in the U.K. In 1999 he won the Max Born Award of the Optical Society of America, U.S.A. and Humboldt-Gay Lussac Prize, Germany.

Again, in 2009 he got the European Physical Society’ Quantum Electronics Prize’ and Wolf Prize in Physics in 2010. It is a yearly award by the Wolf Foundation in Israel. It is one of the six wolf awards, whereas others are related to agriculture, Chemistry, mathematics, and so on.

In 2012, he won the Einstein medal of the Albert Einstein Society. The following year he got Niels Bohr International Gold Medal and the UNESCO Niels Bohr Medal and awarded Balzan Prize for Quantum Information Processing and Communication. In 2015, Alain became a Foreign Member of the Royal Society.


Aspect enrolled himself at Ecole NormaleSuperieure de Cachan and Universite d’Orsay in 1965. He graduated in ‘agrégation’ in Physics in 1969. He got his Master’s degree from Universited’Orsay on ‘Fourier spectroscopy by holography.’

After obtaining his Master’s degree, he taught for three years in Cameroon as a national service. In 1974, he intended to do a Ph.D. and got sort out. In the early 1980s, he started working on this thesis. He performed the experiment called Bell test experiments.

His experiment was the first quantum mechanics experiment that shows the violation of Bell’s inequalities. The certainty of the investigation validates the quantum entanglement and locality principles. It clarifies the doubts of Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen raised fifty years earlier.

In 2008, he also received an honorary doctorate from Heriot-Watt University.


In 2002, Cambridge University Press published ‘Levy Statistics and laser cooling: how rare events bring atoms to rest.’ In 2004, Bell, J.S. ‘Speakable and unspeakable in quantum mechanics was published, and in 2010, ‘Introduction to quantum optics: from the semi-classical approach to quantized light.

Physician Alain Educating Others
Physician Alain Educating Others

So, more than a hundred articles in international journals, more than 20 papers cited have published Aspects work. His three papers on Bell’s inequality tests were selected as the ‘Physical Review Milestone Letters‘ in 1981.

Similarly, in 1988, the paper on laser cooling below the one-photon was also sort out for the ‘Physics Review Milestone Letters’

Net Worth of Alain Aspect

Based on Wikipedia, Forbes, IMDb, a French Physicist Alain Aspect’s net worth was $1-5 Million in 2020.

Alain Aspect Quotes

  • The main ingredient of the first quantum revolution, wave-particle duality, has led to inventions such as the transistor and the laser that are at the root of the information society.
  • The development of quantum mechanics early in the twentieth century obliged physicists to change radically the concepts they used to describe the world.
  • It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality.
  • Certainly, we do not need quantum mechanics for macroscopic objects, which are well described by classical physics – this is the reason why quantum mechanics seems so foreign to our everyday existence.


  1. Where was Alain Aspect born?

Alain Aspect was born in Agen, France.

2. What did Alain Aspect discover?

His Bell’s inequalities tests with pairs of entangled photons (1982) have contributed to settle a debate between Albert Einstein and Nils Bohr, started in 1935.

3. What did the Aspect experiment show?

Aspect’s experiment was the first quantum mechanics experiment to demonstrate the violation of Bell’s inequalities. Its irrefutable result allowed for further validation of the quantum entanglement and locality principles.

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