Otto Hahn Medal: Max Planck Society awards Johannes Zeiher as an excellent junior researcher

Johannes Zeiher, former doctoral student at the MPQ, receives the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society for his outstanding doctoral thesis. It is a special honor for excellent junior researchers

August 13, 2019

Johannes Zeiher, a former PhD student in Prof. Bloch's Department of Quantum Many-Body Systems at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, has won the Otto Hahn Medal. With his dissertation, he established a new way of letting ultracold atoms interact in an optical lattice. Special about the method is that the interactions extend spatially across several atoms, they are "long-range". They can also be controlled precisely by lasers, which is a novel method. Before, this approach was only proposed theoretically, but had never been successfully implemented in experiment. In addition, by observing the atoms under the microscope, Johannes Zeiher and his team could exactly understand the effects of the interaction atom by atom. This allows to produce, control and investigate novel quantum-mechanically entangled states of matter – a fundament for the development of quantum technologies.

With the Otto Hahn Medal, the Max Planck Society acknowledges far-reaching and significant scientific work from exceptional young researchers such as Johannes Zeiher. Every year up to 30 junior scientists are chosen to receive the award. The ceremony is always held during the Society’s Annual General Meeting.

“I am very pleased the work in the context of my dissertation is receiving such a recognition, both for my team and of course for the special environment at the MPQ, which has contributed a lot. The award gives my work much more visibility in the scientific community and has, as I have noticed, even awakened some interest amongst my friends and family to better understand this research. What an accomplishment! At the same time, the award is reaffirming desire to stay in science and pursue an academic career.”

Today, Johannes Zeiher is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California in Berkeley, USA. As a Feodor Lynen Fellow of the Humboldt Foundation, he is a member of the research group of Prof. Dan Stamper-Kurn, a world-renowned scientist in the fields of ultracold atoms, quantum many-body physics, quantum optics and the physics of condensed matter, as well as an acknowledged "MPQ Distinguished Scholar" and friend of the institute.

All other awardees and their projects are showcased in this (German) brochure:

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