Quantum physicist Peter Zoller received the Tyrolean Decoration of Honor at the Hofburg in Innsbruck on Tuesday. 13 personalities were honored for their outstanding achievements. The award was presented by Tyrolean Governor Anton Mattle and his South Tyrolean counterpart Arno Kompatscher.
Experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino and quantum theorist Hannes Pichler received research prizes from the Südtiroler Sparkasse Foundation on Wednesday for their current work. The award ceremony took place in the auditorium of the University of Innsbruck.
Since 2008, the University of Innsbruck has awarded the Science Prize for exceptional research achievements and a number of research prizes on behalf of the Südtiroler Sparkasse Foundation. These awards recognize outstanding scientific achievements by scientists working at the University of Innsbruck. The prizes were presented at a ceremony on January 24 in the University of Innsbruck's auditorium by the President of the Südtiroler Sparkasse Foundation Konrad Bergmeister and Vice-Rector Bernhard Fügenschuh.
Quantum physicist Francesca Ferlaino (*1977) has been Professor of Physics at the University of Innsbruck and Scientific Director at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information at the Austrian Academy of Sciences since 2014. Ferlaino has received several top European funding awards for her work in the field of ultracold quantum gases. She received the research prize for her work on supersolids. Suprasolid is a newly observed quantum state at extremely low temperatures in which matter simultaneously exhibits solid and superfluid properties.
Theoretical physicist Hannes Pichler (*1986) has been Professor of Theoretical Quantum Physics with a focus on quantum optics at the University of Innsbruck since 2020 and has already received several prestigious awards. He received the research prize for his current work in quantum mechanics, in which he is developing applications of so-called Rydberg atoms in three closely related areas: Quantum simulation, quantum optimization and quantum computing.
Other research prizes went to classical philologist Dominik Johannes Berrens and mineralogist Biljana Krüger. The science prize for exceptional research achievement went to speleologist Christoph Spötl.
Be fast, avoid light, and roll through a curvy ramp: This is the recipe for a pioneering experiment proposed by theoretical physicists in a recent paper published in Physical Review Letters. An object evolving in a potential created through electrostatic or magnetic forces is expected to rapidly and reliably generate a macroscopic quantum superposition state.
A collaboration between quantum physicists and astrophysicists, led by Francesca Ferlaino and Massimo Mannarelli, has achieved a significant breakthrough in understanding neutron star glitches. They were able to numerically simulate this enigmatic cosmic phenomenon with ultracold dipolar atoms. This research establishes a strong link between quantum mechanics and astrophysics and paves the way for quantum simulation of stellar objects from Earth.
Today sees the official launch of the FWF Cluster of Excellence for Quantum Sciences in Innsbruck. As part of the Excellence Initiative, the Clusters of Excellence are Austrian beacons of basic research. Quantum Science Austria (quantA) brings together over 60 research groups in Innsbruck, Vienna, Linz and Klosterneuburg.