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Jonathan L. Habif

Research Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering


  • 2005, Other, Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 2003, Doctoral Degree, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Rochester
  • 2000, Master's Degree, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Rochester
  • 1998, Bachelor's Degree, Physics and Astronomy


Dr. Jonathan L. Habif is an experimental physicist and research lead and research professor at the University of Southern California information Sciences Institute (ISI). His research has focused on photon-starved, classical communication and imaging, quantum-secured optical communications in free-space and fiber, and integrated nano-photonic for both classical and non-classical applications. Prior to joining ISI, Dr. Habif was with BBN technologies where he served as principal investigator for a number of DARPA-sponsored research programs, partnering with university collaborators to demonstrate revolutionary optical technologies impacting traditional communications, sensing and computation systems.

Research Summary

Dr. Habif leads ISI’s Laboratory for Quantum-Limited Information (QLIlab). The QLIlab is dedicated to understanding and demonstrating the fundamental physical limits for extracting information from physical signals. A complete understanding of a physical signal (such as electromagnetic energy like light or RF) is provided only when quantum mechanics is used to mathematically describe the signal. This quantum mechanical description gives us insight into the maximum amount of information that could possibly be extracted from the physical signal – such as detail in an image, data from a communications signal or information from a sensing signal. The QLI laboratory will calculate these fundamental limits for performing information processing tasks such as these, and then build laboratory experiments to demonstrate our ability to achieve these fundamental limits. The laboratory experiments will use traditional light sources, such as thermal or laser sources, as signals, but will also generate non-classical light, such as entangled light or quantum mechanically squeezed light. Our work will result in revolutionary designs for information processing systems that allow us to communicate and sense at the fundamental limits of nature and deliver capabilities in computing, communications and sensing that are not possible using classical physics.

  • Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • MTN WAL107
  • Marina Towers North
  • 4640 Admiralty Way Marina Del Rey Ca 90292
Contact Information
  • (781) 622-9796