Flore Kunst is the “Female Physicist of the Week”

Dr. Flore Kunst, Postdoc researcher in the Theory group at MPQ, which is directed by Ignacio Cirac, was nominated the “Female Physicist of the Week” by the German Physical Society (DPG). With this initiative the DPG wants to create more awareness for physics not being a purely male domain.

Since October 2019, Flore has been working at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in the theory department of Prof. Ignacio Cirac. As a Max-Planck-Harvard Postdoctoral Fellow she develops new theories about non-equilibrium topological phases within the single-particle limit and in many-body systems. The most important aspect of these phases is the existence of robust electronic states on the boundaries, which are protected by the topological properties of the entire system. These phases have been realized in different systems, for example in optical systems with light but also in systems consisting of mechanical components such as masses and springs. Due to their exotic properties, such as the presence of the electronic boundary states, it might be possible to use these phases to develop quantum computers as well as build a new generation of transistors.

During this week, from March 2nd till March 8th, 2020, she is nominated by the German Physical Society as the “Female Physicist of the Week”. Dr. Ulrike Böhm, curator of this initiative, explains the idea in an DPG article: “We want to show that studying physics and becoming a female scientist is a real opportunity and excellent career choice for all women. That is why, every Monday, our task force for equal opportunities at DPG introduces one female physicist and her field of research in Germany or a female German physicist abroad.”

Flore Kunst grew up in the Netherlands and studied at the Utrecht University. After that, she completed her Ph.D., first at the Free University of Berlin and later at the Stockholm University supervised by Professor Bergholtz. Since October 2019, she continues her research at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, and we are very proud, to have such an extraordinary female scientist working at our institute


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