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Schreck Awarded €2M ERC Grant

Photonics.com
Nov 2013
INNSBRUCK, Austria, Nov. 26, 2013 — Florian Schreck, an experimental physicist at the University of Innsbruck's Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, has received a grant from the European Research Council (ERC) worth up to €2 million (about $2.7 million) to continue his work into quantum many-body systems.

The funding was awarded through the ERC Consolidator Grants, which are being presented for the first time to promising researchers with seven to 12 years of lab experience. ERC grants are considered the most important individual grants for researchers in Europe.

Schreck works with quantum gases consisting of strontium atoms to better understand quantum many-body systems experimentally. In 2009, his team in Innsbruck produced the first strontium Bose-Einstein condensate, and in 2012, the group produced a strontium Bose-Einstein condensate using only laser cooling. The work was recognized internationally and will be the basis for his research with the funds.

Schreck and his team are particularly interested in quantum magnetism and quantum Hall physics, as understanding these phenomena opens up new possibilities for precision measurement with atomic clocks, among others.

"If we are able to better understand quantum physics of many-body systems, we may also be able to create new materials whose properties will be completely distinct from other known materials," Schreck said. "Examples are new types of superconductors, new magnetic materials and robust quantum information storage devices."

Schreck studied physics at the University of Konstanz in Germany and at the University of Grenoble in France. In 2010, he received the START Prize, the highest valued research award for junior researchers in Austria. He has been in Austria for nine years, but in December starts his new post as a professor for experimental quantum physics at Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute for Experimental Physics at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

For more information, visit: www.uibk.ac.at 


GLOSSARY
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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