Amnon Yariv is an Israeli-American professor of applied physics and electrical engineering at Caltech, known for innovations in optoelectronics. In 2010, Yariv was selected as a winner of the National Medal of Science for "scientific and engineering contributions to photonics and quantum electronics that have profoundly impacted lightwave communications and the field of optics as a whole.” He has also been selected to receive the IEEE Photonics Award for 2011. Yariv is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. In 1985 he was awarded the Harold Pender Award by the University of Pennsylvania. In 1992 he was awarded the Harvey Prize by the Technion in Haifa, Israel, for "Pioneering contributions to opto- electronics, wave propagation in crystals and nonlinear and phase conjugate optics, and his demonstration of semiconductor-based integrated optics technology leading to the development of high- speed and stable solid state lasers.” Yariv has authored several texts on optical electronics and photonics.
The highlight of his group's work was the invention of the semiconductor distributed feedback laser, a device widely used in the Internet's fiber-optic communications. Prof. Yariv co-founded Ortel Corp. (formerly Nasdaq: ORTL), which was subsequently acquired by Lucent for ~$3B.