ZEISS Research Award 2018

Tobias Kippenberg and Jean-Pierre Wolf are the 2018 winners of the prestigious ZEISS Research Award

Prestigious Research Award presented to two Swiss scientists – Prof. Tobias J. Kippenberg and Prof. Jean-Pierre Wolf; additional awards for young researchers.

Tobias Kippenberg, Professor at the Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), is a pioneer in the field of cavity optomechanics and microresonator-based optical frequency combs. His research has demonstrated that, by using microresonators – which can confine light in an extremely small space and guide it – the faint forces exerted by light rays can be used to measure and cool mechanical movements in the quantum regime. This means, for instance, that high-precision sensors can be developed to measure mechanical movements that are several orders of magnitude more precise than the currently available position sensors, and that are even sensitive enough to measure the quantum mechanical “zero point motion” of a mechanical oscillator.
Jean-Pierre Wolf, Professor at the Biophotonics Institute at the University of Geneva, will be honoured for his groundbreaking application of ultra-short, ultra-intense laser pulses in researching the earth’s atmosphere. His research makes it possible to find out more about pollutants in the earth’s atmosphere and potentially control lightning and condensation in clouds. This could even make it possible to prevent extreme weather. The focus of his research efforts has been on the applications of ultra-short spectroscopy for biological, medical and environmental research.
The awards will be presented during the ZEISS Symposium “Optics in the Quantum World” on 18 April 2018 at the ZEISS Forum in Oberkochen.
The ZEISS Research Award is presented every two years and has been allocated prize money totalling EUR 40,000. The selected candidates should have already demonstrated outstanding achievements in the field of optics or photonics. They should still be actively conducting research, and their work should offer major potential for gaining further knowledge and enabling practical applications.
Initiated and funded by Carl Zeiss AG, the ZEISS Research Award is the successor to the Carl Zeiss Research Award that honoured outstanding achievements in optical research every two years from 1990 onward. Many winners of Carl Zeiss Research Award went on to obtain further awards and distinctions; four of them were also honoured with the Nobel Prize.
Since 2016, independently of the ZEISS Research Award, the Ernst Abbe Foundation in the Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany has been presenting a research award with a focus on up-and-coming talent: the Carl Zeiss Award for Young Researchers. The award has been allocated prize money totalling EUR 21,000 and will be shared equally among three winners, with each receiving EUR 7,000. This award will also be presented at the ZEISS Symposium on 18 April 2018. The winners in 2018 are:
* Dr. Irene Costantini, European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy, Florence
* Dr. Kilian Heeg, Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg
* Dr. Fabian Stutzki, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering, Jena.

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