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Media Contact: Troy Anderson, (858) 822-3075 or


Dr. Federico Capasso, respected world-wide for his innovative research on man-made semiconductor materials, and inventor of the quantum cascade laser, will give a free public lecture entitled “Bits and Quanta: The Impact of Quantum Physics and Technology on the Information Age,” at 4 p.m. April 12 in the Center for Magnetic and Recording Research auditorium at UC San Diego. The public is also invited to attend a reception preceding the lecture at 3:30 p.m. Cappaso currently heads the Semiconductor Physics Research department at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies.

Part of the Regent’s Lecture series, the talk is hosted by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Irwin and Joan Jacobs School of Engineering. For more information, including directions and parking fees, call Sylvia Flores at (858) 534-6221. Map of UC San Diego available at

The insatiable appetite for services combining voice, data and video “anywhere and anytime at low cost” and the convergence of the telecommunication, computer and entertainment industries are the hallmark of the information age. The attendant explosive demand for bandwidth and high-speed access to the network is the main market driver for the unprecedented growth of fiber optic and wireless communications. Capasso’s lecture will describe the exponentially increasing transmission capacity of commercial light-wave communication systems which is approaching 1 Terabit/sec for a single fiber using wavelength division multiplexing, and is projected to exceed hundreds of Tb/sec in the next decade as we move towards an all optical network.

Additionally, Capasso will discuss one of the crucial enabling factors of this growth: the invention and development of high performance photonic and electronic semiconductor devices exploiting man-made materials with tailorable properties.

Holder of a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Rome, Capasso joined Bell Laboratories in 1976 and is a Bell Labs Fellow. From 1987 to 1997 Capasso headed the Quantum Phenomenon and Device Research department at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies.

Capasso’s honors include membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as numerous awards for his scientific contributions. He has co-authored over 200 papers, edited four volumes, and given over 15 invited talks at conferences. He holds 30 U.S. patents and 45 foreign patents.

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