Ferenc Krausz receives the Bavarian Maximilian Order

The Nobel laureate is awarded the highest honour of the Free State of Bavaria in the fields of science and art

Ferenc Krausz, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and Chairholder at the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, receives the prestigious Maximilian Order. With this award, the Free State honours his pioneering work in the field of attosecond physics, for which he has already been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder presented Ferenc Krausz with the Order on 6 February 2024 at the Bavarian State Chancellery.

The Maximilian Order for Science and Art – referred to by Prime Minister Markus Söder in his speech as the "Nobel Prize in white and blue" – is the highest state honour that researchers and artists in Bavaria can receive: "It is a prize that cannot be bought or inherited, but one that must be earned," said Markus Söder at the award presentation.

Professor Ferenc Krausz is a world-leading physicist and one of the founders of the field of attosecond physics: He and his team were the first to generate laser flashes lasting only a few hundred attoseconds. An attosecond is an almost unimaginably small unit of time, equivalent to one billionth of one billionth of a second. These ultra-short laser pulses enable real-time observation of electron movements. The resulting future applications are diverse. In addition to the development of more powerful electronics, new insights into electron movements can help significantly improve the early detection of diseases.

"I warmly thank you for this award – it is a great honour to have been included in the circle of illustrious recipients of this Order," said Ferenc Krausz in his acceptance speech, "I also want to thank you for the excellent research conditions in Bavaria."

The Bavarian Maximilian Order was originally established by King Maximilian II of Bavaria. In its current form and statutes, it exists since 1980, and the number of living recipients of the Order is limited by law to 100. Besides Ferenc Krausz, MPQ Directors Immanuel Bloch and Theodor Hänsch have previously received the prestigious award.

Following the presentation, Ferenc Krausz attended the cabinet meeting: "Today we had one of the smartest people in the world as a guest in the cabinet. His Nobel Prize is a task and an incentive for Bavaria, so that we can continue to offer the best conditions for the best research with our high-tech agenda," says the official statement by Prime Minister Markus Söder.

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