Diploma in physics, University Heidelberg, 1960. Doctor of Philosophy, University Heidelberg, 1962. Doctor of Philosophy (honorary), Academy Sinica, China, 1980.
Honorary Doctor Degree of Lomonosov, University Moscow, Russia, 1991. Honorary Doctor Degree of Lomonosov, University Hannover, Germany, 1994.
Postdoctoral fellow University Heidelberg, 1962-1963. Science assistant University Hannover (Federal Republic Germany), 1963-1968, lecturer, 1968-1969. Guest scientist laboratory Aimé Cotton National Center for Scientific Research, Orsay, France, 1969.
Visiting fellow Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, University Colorado, 1970. Professor University Bonn (Federal Republic Germany), 1971. Professor physics University Cologne (Federal Republic Germany), 1971-1975, University Munich, 1975—2003, professor emeritus, from 2003.
Director Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Garching, Germany, 1981—2003, director emeritus Germany, from 2003. Vice president Max-Planck-Society, 1990-1996. Member senate, council National Science Foundation, Federal Republic Germany, 1978-1984.
Member planning Max-Planck Society, 1982-1986. Chairman commission atomic and molecular physics International Union Pure and Applied Physics, 1984-1987. Stanley H. Klosk lecturer New York University, 1985.
Loeb lecturer Harvard University, 1990. Celsius lecturer Uppsala University, 1994. Hendrik de Waard lecturer, Groningen, 1996.
Regents lecturer University California, Berkeley, 1997. James Franck Memorial lecturer, Jerusalem, 1997, Hascoe lecturer University Connecticut, 2004.
Fellow: Institute Physics (London), American Physical Society, Optical Society of America (public committee 1986, Charles Hard Townes award 1990, Frederic Ives medal/Jarus W. Quinn Endowment 2003). Member: Convent for Technology Sciences German Academies, Russian Academy of Sciences (foreign), European Science Foundation (executive council 1998—2000), Heidelberg Academy (correspondent), Hungarian Academy of Sciences (honorary), American Academy Arts and Sciences (honorary. Foreign), German Physical Society (honorary.
Board directors 1979-1982, Stern Gerlach medal 1998), Roland Eötvös Physical Society (honorary), Romanian Academy (honorary), Belarussian Physical Society (honorary), Nordhein-Westfälische Academy (correspondent), Academy Europaea, Academy Naturfoscher Leopoldina (member senate since 1998), Bavarian Academy of Sciences, European Physical Society (division chairman 1985-1989, chairman quantum electronics division 1987-1989, Quantum Electronics prize 2000).
Married Margot Gröschel, July 27, 1962. Children: Thomas, Ulrike.