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French physicist Serge Haroche has been awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with US physicist David J. Wineland. The prize rewards their work on quantum optics and "groundbreaking experimental methods" for measuring and manipulating individual quantum systems. Serge Haroche is the recipient of the 2009 CNRS Gold Medal, the highest French scientific award. He is a specialist in atomic physics and quantum optics. He is one of the founders of cavity quantum electrodynamics, a field which uses conceptually simple experiments to shed light on the fundamentals of quantum theory and develop prototype quantum information processing systems.