From 1961 to 1963 he was a research scientist in a government lab. near Moscow, USSR. From 1963 to 1979 he was a research staff member in various institutes of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Moscow, USSR. In October 1979, he immigrated to the USA. In December 1979, he started in the United States as a research staff member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology , Francis Bitter National Magnet Laboratory, Cambridge, MA, where he worked until August 1982. He spent the summer of 1981 as a Visiting Scientist at the Max-Planck-Institute for Quantum Optics, Garching, Munich, Germany. In September 1982, he joined Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, as a Professor with the School of Electrical Engineering, where he remained until December 1986. In January 1987 he joined the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, as a Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He retired as of July 1, 2016, and was appointed as a Professor Emeritus of the ECE Dept. at Johns Hopkins. Beginning from September 1, 2016, he is appointed as a Visiting Professor at Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel for half-year.
In the Fall of 1996 he was on sabbatical leave at the University of Ulm, Quantum Physics Dept., supported by Alexander von Humboldt Award for Senior US Scientists by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany . He has consulted for Bell Laboratories (at Holmdel, NJ), Honeywell, and other industrial and government laboratories. Dr. Kaplan is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America . In 2005, he received the Max Born Award of the OSA.
His research efforts and interests are in the areas of nonliner optics and quantum electronics. He made pioneering contributions to the fields of very-high order sub-harmonics generation, self-bending effect, nonlinear interfaces and optical bistability, hysteretic and multi-photon resonances of a single trapped electron, light-induced non-reciprocity, soliton physics, X-ray nonlinear optics, sub-cycle sub-femtosecond pulses, shock waves in nano-clusters, relativistic nonlinear optics, etc. He has authored or coauthored more than 400 research publications, among them more than 135 journal papers, which can be found in Nature, Phys. Rev. Letts., Optics Letts., JOSA B, Phys. Rev. A, IEEE J. Quant. Electr., etc, a few books and more than 40 book chapters and conf. proceedings in the field.
According to scholar.google.com, Dr. Kaplan's work has been cited by other researchers more than 5000 times; his h-index is 41.
As his voluntary effort to help the academic community of emigres from ex-USSR to adjust to new environment and to communicate to each other, Dr. Kaplan used to run INFO-RUSS mailing list (1991-2000) with about 1500 subscribers. He also maintains "FizTech-abroad" list of FizTech alumni outside of ex-USSR, with about 1000 names on it.