Congratulations to Philip Walther on receiving the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award!

The award honours internationally renowned scientists from abroad and aims to foster the exchange between Germany and the country of the awardee. From the 22nd of June 2021, Professor Philipp Walther will be a guest scientist at MPQ where he will be working closely with the Theory Division of Ignacio Cirac.

The Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung hands out about twenty Friedrich Bessel Awards annually. Scientists from all countries, except Germany, whose research has found international acclaim can be nominated. The Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award comprises a prize money of 45.000 Euros, and the award recipient is furthermore invited to conduct a research stay at a guest institution in Germany.

Ignacio Cirac, head of the MPQ Theory Group, was responsible for the nomination of Philip Walther, who is a tenured professor at the University of Vienna. "Philip's stay at MPQ will give us the opportunity to work closely with an outstanding experimentalist that is pushing quantum photonics to its limits," it says in the official invitation to the awardee. "Together we can tackle one of the major research directions for future quantum technology: the development of early quantum devices that enable practical quantum computations and quantum networks," Ignacio Cirac furthermore explains in the laudatio.

During their cooperation, Philip Walther and Ignacio Cirac wish to focus on at least three topics: the team wants to test protocols and algorithms for small-scale quantum computers, as well as develop applications that take into consideration real-life conditions of quantum hardware. Secondly, the two physicists want to engineer multipartite quantum information protocols. Here, the Theory Division at MPQ will greatly benefit from Philip Walther's expertise, according to Ignacio Cirac. Lastly, the third research topic wants to deal with quantum states of light that are a key part for many quantum technologies.

The Friedrich Wilhem Bessel Award is only one of several awards that Philip Walther has received for his achievements in the field of quantum physics, such as, among others, the Fresnel Award from the European Physical Society and the Vienna Funding Award. After his postdoc at Harvard University, where he was a student of Mikhail Lukin, a pioneer in the field of quantum optics, he established his own research group at Vienna University in 2011 and was appointed tenured professor in 2015.

"I feel very honored to receive this prestigious award and I am excited to intensify the collaboration with Ignacio and his group during my stay at the MPQ," Philip Walther says about the award and his upcoming visit. We congratulate him on the Bessel Award and look forward to welcoming him soon at MPQ!

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