The Munich quantum physicist Prof. Ignacio Cirac was yesterday awarded the Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics. Cirac received the 40,000 euro prize during CUI’s international symposium taking place on the research campus in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld.
Prof. Cirac is director of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching, Munich. The Spanish-born Cirac was awarded the 40,000 euro prize for his outstanding research in the field of quantum information theory, quantum optics, and the physics of many-particle systems. His research also forms the basis for the development of particularly fast quantum computers. The prize also includes periods of research and teaching at CUI.
“Professor Cirac’s presence is certainly a win for Hamburg as a center of research. Both established and early career researchers will profit from exchanges with him,” said Petra Herz, chair of the Joachim Herz Stiftung, at the award ceremony. “We consider it vitally important that doctoral and undergraduate students have contact with leading, international scientists,” said Prof. Klaus Sengstock, spokesperson of CUI. The Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics was launched in 2010 as part of the state excellence cluster Frontiers in Quantum Photon Science, funded by the Joachim Herz Stiftung. The award is now administered jointly by the Stiftung (foundation) and CUI.
“I am greatly honored to receive this prize. And I am looking forward to visiting research groups in Hamburg and laying the foundations for new, exciting projects,” said Cirac. The physicist accepted the award in the presence of the Hamburg senator for science and research and second mayor Katharina Fegebank. “I am delighted that Prof. Cirac has been awarded the 2015 Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics, not least on behalf of Hamburg. CUI will profit greatly from having such a distinguished quantum physicist teaching and researching on the Bahrenfeld campus. My particular thanks go to the Joachim Herz Stiftung. Through this prize, the Stiftung is contributing greatly to CUI’s ability to attract ever more excellent researchers from around the world and to ensuring that young researchers in particular profit from this development,” Fegebank said during the award ceremony.