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AMOP Awards Dissertation Prize to De las Cuevas
Apr 2012
GARCHING, Germany, April 3, 2012 — Dr. Gemma De las Cuevas received this year’s Dissertation Prize from the Atoms, Molecules, Quantum Optics and Plasma (AMOP) section of the German Physical Society.

The SAMOP prize is awarded annually to a young scientist for excellent results achieved during the course of their dissertation thesis. De las Cuevas received a €1500 (about $2000) travel grant during the award ceremony, which took place in Stuttgart on March 14, 2012, at the annual spring meeting of the German Physical Society.

De las Cuevas received her doctorate last year from Innsbruck University in Austria. Her thesis, titled “A Quantum Information Approach to Statistical Mechanics,” was supervised by professor Hans Briegel of Innsbruck University and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information. A central topic of her thesis gained new results from classical statistical mechanics models using techniques and algorithms developed in quantum information theory. The focus was on classical spin models that simulate a variety of many-body systems ranging from magnetic materials to quantum gravity.

Briegel nominated her for the award.

In September 2011, she moved to the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, where she works in professor Ignacio Cirac’s theory division. In the new field, De las Cuevas is working to describe one- and two-dimensional many-body systems with so-called “tensor networks.” The goal is to achieve mathematical characterization that will better explain those systems.

She received an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grant in January.

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