Jeffrey H. Shapiro has been elected to the grade of Fellow of SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics. SPIE was founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Shapiro, the Julius A. Stratton Professor of Electrical Engineering in the MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the IEEE, the Institute of Physics, and the Optical Society of America. He was Director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at MIT from 2001 to 2011. Shapiro heads (with RLE Senior Research Scientist Franco N.C. Wong) the RLE Optical and Quantum Communications Group, which develops entanglement source and measurement technologies, as well as protocols that use them in photon-efficient communication, imaging and metrology.
Professor Shapiro is best known for his work on the generation, detection, and applications of squeezed states of light. These are nonclassical light beams whose quadrature components satisfy the Heisenberg uncertainty limit but with unequal variances, thus offering sensitivity improvements in precision measurements made with phase-sensitive (optical homodyne) detection. For this work, he shared the 2008 Quantum Electronics Award from the IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (now the IEEE Photonics Society). Squeezed-state light is now being employed to enhance the sensitivity of gravity-wave detectors.
Professor Shapiro’s current research focus is on quantum optical communication. Here his most notable accomplishment is his work on quantum illumination for secure communication. In a recent experiment, reported this year in Phys. Rev. Lett., his team demonstrated a quantum illumination protocol — originally described, theoretically, in Prof. Shapiro’s 2009 article in Phys. Rev. A — that is immune to passive eavesdropping. This experiment is also the first time that entanglement has been used to obtain a substantial performance advantage – in this case, six orders of magnitude lower error probability for the intended receiver in comparison with that of the eavesdropper -- over an entanglement-breaking channel.
His most recent work joint with Dr. Vivek Goyal's group and published Nov. 27, 2013 online in Science — demonstrates that high-quality 3D shape and reflectivity images can be obtained from a laser radar that detects only one photon per pixel.