Hui Cao is the John C. Malone Professor of Applied Physics, a Professor of Physics and a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Yale University. She received her Bachelor degree in Physics from Peking University (China) in 1990, a Master in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 1992, and a PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 1997. She was a faculty member in the Department of Physics and Astronomy of Northwestern University from 1997 to 2007, and joined the Yale faculty in 2008. Cao is recognized for her pioneering works in fundamental physics and practical applications of complex, chaotic and disordered systems. She won the American Physical Society Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award, the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and shared the Willis E. Lamb Medal for Laser Physics and Quantum Optics. She is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Research Interests

Hui Cao's research interests and activities are in the areas of mesoscopic physics, complex photonic materials and devices, nanophotonics, and biophotonics. She has conducted experimental studies on unconventional lasers including random lasers and chaotic microcavity lasers, and found their applications in speckle-free imaging, multi-modality microscopy, and parallel random number generation. Another research focus of hers is coherent control of light transport in diffusive media and multimode fibers, with applications to deep-tissue imaging and endoscopy. Cao has also been creating and controlling complex light fields, and customizing the intensity statistics of laser speckle patterns for structured illumination microscopy. In addition to fundamental studies on complex, chaotic and disordered systems, she has harnessed disorder for photonic device applications, e.g., she invented a compact spectrometer based on a disordered photonic chip.

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Primary Section

Section 31: Engineering Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 13: Physics