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Awards for Hans Weise and Andreas Maier

Prizes recognise outstanding contributions to accelerator physics

The accelerator physicists Hans Weise and Andreas Maier have been awarded prizes for their outstanding contributions at the Spring Meeting of the German Physical Society (Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, DPG) in Würzburg. The DPG working group Accelerator Physics awarded Andreas Maier the DPG Young Scientist Prize for Accelerator Physics and, together with Physikalischer Verein Frankfurt, Hans Weise the Horst Klein Research Prize for Outstanding Scientists in the Field of Accelerator Physics.

Hans Weise. Credit: DESY, Gesine Born
Hans Weise is a lead scientist at DESY and coordinated the international consortium that built the world’s longest superconducting linear accelerator for the X-ray free-electron laser, European XFEL. He was awarded the Horst Klein Prize “in recognition of his outstanding scientific achievements in developing superconducting accelerator technologies for linear accelerators and free-electron lasers,” as the prize committee explained.

Before the construction of the European XFEL particle accelerator, Weise played a key role in setting up and operating the TESLA test accelerator at DESY, which gave rise to the free-electron laser FLASH, the prototype for the ten times larger European XFEL. After more than 20 years of continuous research and development at DESY, the European XFEL successfully went into operation last September. “Hans Weise’s work sets worldwide standards for the development of superconducting linear accelerators for free-electron lasers, which have made possible numerous novel scientific experiments and are therefore very important for other areas of physics, too,” the committee went on to point out.

Andreas R. Maier. Credit: Thomas Schuster
Andreas Maier is an accelerator physicist at the University of Hamburg and is in charge of the LUX facility at the DESY site for researching the new technology of plasma acceleration in the context of the LAOLA collaboration between DESY and the university. This technology permits significantly higher accelerations and therefore paves the way for new applications.

Maier received the Young Scientists Prize “in recognition of his outstanding scientific achievements during his doctoral research and initial research phase, in developing laser-driven wakefield acceleration in plasmas,” says the committee. “His research deals with pioneering and innovative ideas for the further improvement of this accelerator technology and aims to realise for the first time a free-electron laser that uses laser-plasma accelerated electrons.” In particular, the committee says that Maier’s set-up displays a long-term stability and reliability never before achieved in such accelerators. “His activities lead us to expect further outstanding research results in the near future.”