Prof. Bloch will receive this prize for “his pioneering experimental contributions to the field of quantum many‐body physics with cold atoms in optical lattices”. Since the discovery of Bose-Einstein condensates – a very special, exotic form of matter – in 1995, BEC Conferences take place biannually at different locations.
“BEC conferences are the highlight of the meetings concerning the physics of ultracold atoms, as almost all top groups carrying out research in this field are participating,” Prof. Bloch says. The International Senior & Junior BEC awards have been established two years ago. This year’s winner of the Junior BEC Award is Prof. Markus Greiner (Harvard University), who was affiliated with the MPQ in the early years of his career. (Photo: Hector Stiftung).
The existence of a so-called Bose-Einstein condensate has been predicted by Albert Einstein and Satyendra Nath Bose about 90 years ago, describing the statistics of a gas of identical quantum particles that are characterized by their integer spin. Below an extremely low critical temperature these particles go all at once into the lowest possible quantum state, forming a “condensate” in which the waves of the individual particles merge into one single matter wave of almost macroscopic dimensions – about 100 micrometres. BECs have been brought into reality in 1995 for the first time, almost parallel by two different research groups in the USA – a discovery, for which Eric Cornell, Wolfgang Ketterle and Carl Wiemann were given the Nobel prize in Physics in 2001.
“Today, BECs serve as a starting point for the generation of new forms of matter,” Prof. Bloch explains. And for quite some years by now physicists around the world have been experimenting not only with the (comparatively) easy to handle bosons, but also with fermions – particles that are never allowed to occupy the identical quantum state what makes them harder to tame.
The special topic of Prof. Bloch is the investigation of ultracold quantum gases in crystals of light generated by laser beams, so-called optical lattices. In 2001, by choosing a special set of lattice parameters, Bloch succeeded in transforming a BEC – in which the particles can move around freely like in a suprafluid – into a state in which each atom is fixed to its lattice site, a so-called Mott insulator. Meanwhile Bloch and his group are able to produce direct images of the single atoms, as well as to address and to manipulate them. These quantum many-body systems are therefore ideally suited for modelling solid state systems, helping to understand phenomena such as superconductivity. Furthermore, the high control over the single particles opens the perspective of using them as quantum bits in a future quantum computer.
Immanuel Bloch has been awarded with several highly renowned scientific awards. Twice he has won the Philip Morris Research prize (in 2000, together with Prof. Hänsch, and in 2007). In 2002 he has received the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society, in 2005 the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the German National Merit Medal, and the International Commission of Optics Prize. In 2011 the European Physical Society (EPS) has given to him the “2011 Prize for Fundamental Aspects of Quantum Electronics and Optics”, and only this year he has been awarded with the Hector Science Prize 2012 and the Körber Award. The BEC award will be presented to him at the Bose–Einstein Conference in Sant Feliu, Spain, 7–13 September 2013. Olivia Meyer-Streng
Dr. Olivia Meyer-Streng | Max-Planck-Institut
13.11.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Improving the understanding of death receptor functions in cells
07.11.2018 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.
Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine
12.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine