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Nobel Prize for quantum researcher Anton Zeilinger

TUM alumnus and worldwide leading quantum researcher Anton Zeilinger has won this year's Nobel Prize in Physics. Together with two colleagues from France and the USA, he is being honored for his groundbreaking experiments with entangled quantum states, according to the statement made by the Nobel Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Tuesday in Stockholm.

Physics Nobel Laureate Prof. Anton Zeilinger
Physics Nobel Laureate Prof. Anton Zeilinger - Photo: Jacqueline Godany

In the 1980s Zeilinger conducted research and taught as a professor in Experimental Physics at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), before returning to his home country of Austria and the University of Vienna. The physicist has been researching quantum teleportation for decades. In 1997 he was the first to succeed in "connection-free" transferal of one quantum state of a photon to another, thus laying the foundation for high-potential applications in quantum information technologies.

Role model for students

TUM President Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann congratulated the Prize winner: "Anton Zeilinger is a true pioneer in quantum physics. I am proud that the academic career path of this exceptional scientist is linked with TUM and our Department of Physics. His work illustrates the importance of fundamental research in the exploration of new fields of technology. He is an encouraging role model for our ambitious students."

At his time at TUM Anton Zeilinger performed experiments with neutrons about the foundations of quantum mechanics. He was an assistent professor and replacement for Professor Wolfgang Gläser at the Physics Department.

Intensive quantum research at TUM

Quantum research is one of the strategic focus areas of TUM and its partner institutions in the scientific metropolis of Munich. For example, the Excellence Cluster "Munich Center for Quantum Science and Technology" investigates quantum-mechanical phenomena and develops fundamental components, materials and concepts for quantum technologies.

This year saw the founding of "Munich Quantum Valley", supported by the Hightech Agenda Bavaria. Munich Quantum Valley consolidates the expertise of its scientific partners, with the objective of developing and operating competitive quantum computers.

Zeilinger is the 16th scientist or alumnus at one of the two predecessor departments of the newly founded TUM School of Natural Sciences to win the Nobel Prize.