Image: Peter Zoller and Ignacio Cirac

[2013-01-03] The renowned Wolf Prize in Physics 2013 will be awarded to Ignacio Cirac and Peter Zoller. They receive this award for their groundbreaking theoretical contributions to quantum information processing, quantum optics and the physics of quantum gases. The prize, valued US$ 100,000, is awarded by the Wolf Foundation in Israel for outstanding achievements in the field of physics.

Peter Zoller, quantum physicist in Innsbruck, and Spanish physical theorist Ignacio Cicac jointly receive the 2013 Wolf Prize in Physics. The two laureates have intensely collaborated on projects for a long time. They have left their mark in the field of quantum information and suggested several groundbreaking concepts for new developments in this research field. For example, Cirac and Zoller  suggested a concept for a quantum computer based on the interaction between lasers and cold  electromagnetically trapped ions. This novel idea has already been realized experimentally and  is among the most promising concepts for developing a scalable quantum computer. “I am very excited about this international recognition of our work,” says Peter Zoller after the announcement of this years laureates on Wednesday. “The field of quantum information has experienced an enormous expansion and many of our ideas and concepts have been tested in experiments.” Peter Zoller lectures and researches at the University of Innsbruck and is Scientific Director at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW). Ignacio Cirac is Director at the Max-Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching near Munich. Before he was recruited to Germany, Cirac was Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Innsbruck from 1996 to 2001.

Wolf Prize

The Wolf Prize has been awarded since 1978 and is one of the most prestigious international awards in the sciences and arts. It is awarded in the fields of chemistry, mathematics, medicine, physics and agriculture as well as in architecture, music, painting and sculpture. 15 of the 50 Wolf Prize awardees in physics also went on to win the Nobel Prize thereafter. The prize ceremony will take place in May 2013 and the President of Israel Shimon Peres will award the prize at the Knesset in Jerusalem. The prize was established by Ricardo Wolf and his wife in 1976.

About Peter Zoller

Theoretical physicist Peter Zoller has contributed important work to the interaction of laser light and atoms. In addition to contributing to fundamental developments in quantum optics he has broken new ground in bridging quantum information and many-body physics. Zoller’s ideas and concepts are widely recognized in the scientific community, with his work being cited well over 30,000 times. The high h-Index of 90 is another indicator of his scientific influence. Peter Zoller has received some of the most prestigious international science awards, for example the Benjamin Franklin Medal and the Max-Planck Medal. Peter Zoller is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and a member of numerous other scientific academies as well as Honorary Doctor at the University of Amsterdam. Together with three other researchers from Germany, France and Israel he has just received the highly valued Synergy Grant of the European Research Council.