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  • Winners of Germany's 2008 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize Announced
Mar 2008
Researchers working in materials science, quantum optics and analytical chemistry are among six recipients of the 2008 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, Germany's top research prize for young scientists. The winners were selected by the executive committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) in Bonn at its March session, following nomination by the selection committee from among 76 candidates. The winners include Torsten Granzow, materials science, Technical University of Darmstadt; Christine Silberhorn, quantum optics, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg; and Oliver Trapp, analytical chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Carbon Research, Mülheim/Ruhr. Solid-state physicist Granzow was cited for his work on state-of-the-art functional ceramic materials and ferroelectric relaxors which could have significance for the development of low-emission engines or high-sensitivity detectors for medical diagnostics. Granzow was also cited for his work developing a new optical investigation procedure based on holographic scattering. Silberhorn's main area of interest is how to process and transmit quantum information using light, which is key to the building of quantum computers and quantum cryptography systems. As a chemist, Trapp works in gas chromatography, where he combines chemical analysis and information technology. His goal is to develop a process called high-throughput multiplexing gas chromatography, which can be used to identify entirely new catalysts and obtain precise kinetic data very rapidly in gas chromatography has well as other chromatography methods. Other Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize recipients were selected for their achievements in neurobiology, political science and discrete mathematics. Each recipient will receive 16,000 euros (about $25,000) at a ceremony June 2 in Berlin; the prize is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
quantum optics
The area of optics in which quantum theory is used to describe light in discrete units or ‘quanta’ of energy known as photons. First observed by Albert Einstein’s photoelectric effect, this particle description of light is the foundation for describing the transfer of energy (i.e. absorption and emission) in light matter interaction.
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