DESY News: Quantum researcher Eugene Demler receives Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics


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Quantum researcher Eugene Demler receives Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics

The Russian-American researcher Eugene Demler is to receive the Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics 2021. Demler, who has been a physics professor at Harvard University in the USA since 2001 and will join ETH (Zurich) faculty in the Fall of 2021, works on understanding strongly correlated quantum matter from electrons in solids to dilute atomic gases to photons. His work has had a profound impact on diverse areas such as magnetism and superconductivity, many-body physics with ultracold atoms in optical lattices, nonlinear quantum optics, and pump and probe experiments in solids. The prize will be awarded to Demler in November 2021 in Hamburg, jointly by the Joachim Herz Foundation, the Wolfgang Pauli Centre from DESY and the University of Hamburg, DESY and the two Clusters of Excellence "CUI: Advanced Imaging of Matter" and "Quantum Universe" at Universität Hamburg.

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Awardee of the Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics 2021 Eugene Demler (photo: Joachim Herz Foundation).
“With Eugene Demler, we are honoring a researcher this year who has rendered outstanding services to the application of his theoretical work in experimental physics. His thoughts have provided many important impulses for the development of new materials, for example, for energy transmission or data processing," states Dr. Henneke Lütgerath, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Joachim Herz Foundation.

Demler is a world-renowned expert in theoretical quantum physics. Theoretical quantum physics describes how electrons, atoms and other miniscule objects behave. Among other things, Demler’s work was instrumental to the development of the field of quantum simulators based on ultracold atoms. These simulations with cold atoms have led to new insights into materials that obey the laws of quantum mechanics. These include quantum magnets and topological insulators, as well as superconductors, which are materials that allow resistance-free transmission of electricity.

The prize money of the Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics is 137 036 Euros, an allusion to Sommerfeld's fine structure constant, which plays an important role in theoretical physics. The Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics has been awarded to internationally renowned researchers since 2010 and is associated with a research visit in Hamburg. It is one of the most highly endowed physics prizes in Germany.