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  • Schliesser Receives Otto Hahn Medal
May 2010
GARCHING, Germany, May 13, 2010 — Dr. Albert Schliesser, a young research scientist at Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, has been awarded the 2009 Otto Hahn Medal  “for his contributions to the investigation of the effects of light pressure in optical microresonators, in particular for the first demonstration of optomechanical laser cooling of mechanical oscillators.”

Since 1978, this award has been given annually to up to 40 young scientists by the Max Planck Society. It is intended to encourage highly talented people to pursue a professional career at universities and institutes in the field of fundamental research.

Schliesser, born in 1979, studied physics at the University of Technology in Munich and at the University of Constance. His diploma thesis was carried out at Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried. In 2006, he began work in the independent Max Planck Research Group Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements of professor Tobias Kippenberg (now at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), which is affiliated with the Laser Spectroscopy Div. of professor Theodor W. Hänsch. He completed his thesis under Hänsch in October 2009 summa cum laude.

As part of his research, Schliesser demonstrated that micromechanical oscillators can be cooled by the pressure of light. He also succeeded in approaching the quantum mechanical ground state of microresonators by applying this cooling method. Such experiments could provide insights into the point at which the motion of "large" objects is determined by the laws of quantum mechanics as well as the role of quantum noise in coupled optical-mechanical systems. The Otto Hahn Medal will be presented to Schliesser at the main assembly of the Max Planck Society in Hanover on June 16.

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That part of the science involved in the study of the theory and interpretation of spectra that uses the unique characteristics of the laser as an integral part in the development of information for analysis. Raman spectroscopy and emission spectroscopy are two areas where lasers are used.
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...
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