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The 2016 Willis E. Lamb Award

Awarded 2016, at the 46th Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics.

Anton Zeilinger, University of Vienna


Anton Zeilinger’s achievements have been most succinctly described in his citation for the inaugural Isaac Newton Medal of the Institute of Physics (UK): For his pioneering conceptual and experimental contributions to the foundations of quantum physics, which have become the cornerstone for the rapidly-evolving field of quantum information. A visionary quantum physicist and a pioneer of quantum information science and technology, Anton Zeilinger, in his curiosity to understand the universe we live in has helped to shape a future of quantum technologies that is just now taking form. He has performed many groundbreaking experiments in quantum mechanics, from important fundamental tests all the way to innovative applications. Most of his research concerns the fundamental aspects and applications of quantum entanglement. He discovered (with Greenberger and Horne) and later realized in experiment the first multi-particle entangled states (GHZ states) which have since become essential in fundamental tests of quantum mechanics and in quantum information science, most notably in quantum computation. Among the innovative applications he and his group developed are the first entanglement-based quantum cryptography, quantum teleportation of independent photons, key concepts in optical quantum computation, the one-way quantum computer and novel entanglement-based imaging methods. With his team, he also realized a few of the first long-distance entanglement-based quantum communication experiments, first across the river Danube in Vienna and later in many experiments between Canary Islands. He also performed numerous tests of Bell’s inequality, closing more and more loopholes and thus making quantum cryptography unconditionally secure. Most recently in cooperation with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, he established the world’s first intercontinental quantum cryptography link via the quantum satellite Micius. All his work lays the groundwork for world-wide quantum communication and quantum cryptography networks. The most important stations of his career include M.I.T., the Collége de France, the Technical Universities Munich and Vienna, Oxford University and the University of Innsbruck. Among his many awards and prizes are the German Order Pour le Mérite, the Order of Merit of Austria, the Wolf Prize (Israel), the Inaugural Isaac Newton Medal of the Institute of Physics and the King Faisal Prize. His memberships the Russian Academy of Sciences, the German National Academy Leopoldina, the Académie des Sciences Paris, the US National Academy of Sciences and the European Academy of Sciences. Anton Zeilinger is Professor of Physics Emeritus at the University of Vienna and President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Bio provided by Astrid Wolfig Assistant to Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. mult. Anton Zeilinge, 2020.
Image Credits: Sepp Dreissinger

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