Florian Meinert (Foto: M. R. Knabl)

Experimental physicist Florian Meinert, a member of Hanns-Christoph Nägerl’s research group, will receive the IQOQI Dissertation Prize 2016. This is already the fourth time that this prize, valued at 1,000 Euro, will be awarded. It honors scientifically outstanding accomplishments in the field of quantum physics.

The Dissertation Prize is awarded by the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) and rewards promising junior physicists for outstanding accomplishments. The prize is given to graduates of a PhD program undertaken at the University of Innsbruck for scientifically outstanding achievements in the field of quantum physics. This year’s award will go to Florian Meinert from Hanns-Christoph Nägerl’s research group at the Institute for Experimental Physics, after experimental physicists Philipp Schindler and Simon Stellmer received the prize in 2013, theoretical physicist Alexander Glätzle in 2014 and experimental physicist Albert Frisch in 2015. He will receive the award for his work in the field of many body dynamics with strongly interacting bosons in one-dimensional systems on 27 March.

Efficient and robust approach

Strongly interacting quantum many-body systems and their inherent complexity give rise to fascinating novel phenomena in physics. In recent years, ultracold atomic gases prepared in optical lattice potentials have opened compelling new routes for experimental studies of many-body physics in a highly flexible environment. The unprecedented control over system parameters allows for detailed studies of paradigmatic models known from condensed matter physics. Hanns-Christoph Nägerl’s research group realizes arrays of one-dimensional lattice systems with a cesium Bose-Einstein condensate prepared in an optical lattice. “We study many-body coherent tunneling dynamics in the Mott insulating phase, after the ensemble is suddenly exposed to a strong force, which essentially tilts the lattice potential,” explains Florian Meinert his PhD research work. “In addition, we study resonant long-range tunneling through multiple barriers of the lattice potential.” In a publication in the journal Science, the researcher experimentally showed for the first time how interacting quantum particles tunnel through multiple barriers. In another set of experiments the researchers explore quantum dynamics of a 1D superfluid in the tilted lattice, which exhibits so-called Block oscillators, as well as the one-dimensional gas of interacting bosons with the additional lattice potential removed.


Florian Meinert was born in Emmendingen, Germany, in 1984. During his high school time he received the Student Prize of the German Physical Society and the Ferry Porsche Prize. After graduating from the physics program at the University of Freiburg and finishing an exchange year at the University of Ottawa, he started working in Hanns-Christoph Nägerl’s group at the University of Innsbruck. Meinert finished his PhD in 2016 and since has been researching as a Postdoc at the 5th Institute of Physics at the University of Stuttgart.