Professor Hans-Albert Bachor is Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University and an independent consultant in the areas of physics, science communication and science education. He works from his base near Canberra, Australia, and is engaged in national and international activities.
Until 2011 Professor Bachor was Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum-Atom Optics (ACQAO), a national centre studying atoms and light at the quantum level and exploring options for future quantum technologies. He was an ARC Federation Fellow from 2003 to 2008.
Professor Bachor received his diploma and doctorate in physics from the University of Hannover, Germany. Since 1981, he has taught physics at all levels at the Australian National University, holding the position of Professor since 1995 and Emeritus Professor since 2011.
Professor Bachor established experimental quantum optics in Australia and created a widely known group for optics and laser physics. He explores the possibilities of harnessing the quantum nature of light and has pioneered techniques for sensitive measurements beyond the quantum noise limit to improve optical sensors, interferometers, optical communication and the spatial quantum properties of laser beams. His current interest is in neurophotonics, using light to investigate brain function.
Professor Bachor has trained and mentored a large number of young scientists who now lead their own successful research teams around the world. He is frequently invited to teach in the USA, Germany, France and Denmark and has written the most widely used and cited textbook in experimental quantum optics.
Professor Bachor is active in the professional management of science as a member of the expert panels of the Australian Research Council (1997–2001 and 2010–2012) and the European Research Council (2009–2016); through leading roles in the Australian Optical Society; as the chair and organiser of several international science conferences; and as a member of the advisory boards of international research centres.
He holds several academic awards and distinctions, including the Humboldt Research Prize (1999). He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK), the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) and the Optical Society of America, and is a recipient of the AIP Walter Boas Medal (2000), the AIP award for contributions to Physics (2009), the IOP/AIP Harrie Massey Medal (2010) and the AOS Beattie Steel Medal (2010). He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012 in recognition of his achievements as a researcher and educator.
Professor Bachor has a keen interest in education and the enhancement of science for future generations. He was Chair of the National Youth Science Forum in Australia and is a public presenter on the history, future and impact of lasers, quantum technology and physics in Australia.