Claude Cohen-Tannoudji was born in 1933. He completed his Ph.D. with Professors Kastler and Brossel in 1962 at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. He then occupied a position of Professor at the University of Paris from 1964 to 1973. Since 1973, he is Professor of Atomic and Molecular Physics at the Collège de France in Paris.
He is a member of the French Académie des Sciences. He is Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of the Académie Royale of Belgium, of the Accademia dei Lincei of Italy, of the Pontifical Academy, of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and of the National Academy of Science of India.
Among other distinctions, he has received the Ampère Prize of the Académie des Sciences, the Thomas Young Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics, a Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society, the Charles Townes Award of the Optical Society of America, the Matteucci Medal of the Accademia Nazionale delle Scienze, the Harvey Prize in Science and Technology of the Technion Israël Institute of Technology, the Quantum Electronics Prize of the European Physical Society, the Gold Medal of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. He is Doctor Honoris Causa of the Universities of Uppsala, Jérusalem, Bar Ilan, Sussex, Recife, Brussels, Liège, Pékin, Tel Aviv. He shared
the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics with Steven Phillips and Steven Chu. He has been invited to give series of lectures in several Universities in Europe, United States, Canada, Israel, India, China, Indonesia, Korea, Brasil.
He has written 3 books published by John Wiley : a two-volume book on "Quantum Mechanics" with Bernard Diu and Franck Laloë ; an introduction to quantum electrodynamics "Photon and Atoms" with Jacques Dupont-Roc and Gilbert Grynberg ; a book on "Atom Photon Interactions", also with Jacques Dupont-Roc and Gilbert
Grynberg. He has published a collection of selected reprints "Atoms in Electromagnetic Fields", edited by World Scientific, and, more recently, a book on Lévy statistics and laser cooling - How rare events bring atoms to rest , edited by Cambridge University Press and written with Alain Aspect, François Bardou and Jean-Philippe Bouchaud.
He has written about 200 theoretical and experimental papers dealing with various problems of atomic physics and quantum optics : optical pumping and light shifts, dressed atom approach for understanding the behaviour of atoms in intense RF or optical fields, quantum interference effects, resonance fluorescence, photon correlations, physical interpretation of radiative corrections, radiative forces, laser cooling and trapping, Bose-Einstein condensation.