Two Swiss Optical Scientists To Receive ZEISS Research Award


Tobias Kippenberg, Professor at the Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements at EPFL.

Prof. Tobias J. Kippenberg and Prof. Jean-Pierre Wolf are the 2018 winners of the prestigious ZEISS Research Award. Jury members cited their impressive work in choosing the scientists for recognition.

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 – it is possible to utilize the faint forces exerted by light rays to measure and cool mechanical movements in the quantum regime. His foundational work points to the possibility of developing high-precision sensors to measure mechanical movements that are several orders of magnitude more precise than currently available position sensors; it is believed that such devices would be 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 honored for his groundbreaking application of ultra-short, ultra-intense laser pulses in researching the earth’s atmosphere. His work 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 2018 Zeiss Research Awards will be presented during the ZEISS Symposium “Optics in the Quantum World" on 18 April at the ZEISS Forum in Oberkochen.

Carl Zeiss Award for Young Researchers

Since 2016, and independently of the ZEISS Research Award, the Ernst Abbe Foundation in the Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany has presented awards with a focus on up-and-coming researchers: the Carl Zeiss Award for Young Researchers. The award has been allocated prize money totaling 21,000 euros and will be shared equally among three winners, with each receiving 7,000 euros. 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