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Inauguration of Centre for Quantum Dynamics at Universit├Ąt Heidelberg

Press Release No. 64/2010
6 April 2010
Lecture by Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Dr. William Phillips at dedication ceremony

A new centre for quantum dynamics for basic research in the field of quantum physics is being established at Heidelberg University. The individual working groups there will devote their energies to such topics as phenomena near absolute zero, quantum-mechanical effects in ultrafast processes, and biologically relevant processes. The centre, a part of the university’s institutional strategy, will be dedicated on 13 April 2010 at a ceremony featuring a lecture by Prof. Dr. William Phillips, Nobel Prize laureate for physics in 1997.

“In the last few years our perspective on processes in quantum physics has changed from the ground up. Earlier we trained our sights primarily on understanding the structure of matter and its equilibrium properties. Today we are concentrating on issues connected with the dynamics of systems and the development of non-equilibrium states,” says Prof. Dr. Matthias Weidemüller, managing director of the university’s Physics Institute and head of the new centre. Applications are also within reach, Prof. Weidemüller emphasises. Teams of scientists are investigating the role of quantum physics in the measurement of physical entities. These findings in turn have an important bearing on future high-precision measurements like those used in the GPS navigation system.

Working groups from the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy and the Faculty of Chemistry and Earth Sciences as well as Heidelberg’s Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics will be working at the new centre. There will also be close cooperation with the Graduate School of Fundamental Physics and the Max Planck International Research School on Quantum Dynamics in Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

To kick off the festivities, the individual working groups will be featuring their work in poster exhibits in the foyer of the Kirchhoff Institute of Physics (INF 227) starting at 4 p.m. on 13 April. The actual dedication of the new Centre for Quantum Dynamics begins at 5.30 p.m. with speeches by Prof. Dr. Christian Enss, Dean of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, and by Prof. Dr. Matthias Weidemüller. Prof. Phillips will then give a multimedia presentation with live experiments entitled “Time and Einstein in the 21st Century”. His talk, in English, will be geared toward a general audience with an interest in physics. Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg (USA) will discuss, amongst other things, the atomic clock in the light of modern quantum physics. The event will take place in Lecture Hall 1 of the Kirchhoff Institute.

For more information on the Centre for Quantum Dynamics, go to .

Prof. Dr. Matthias Weidemüller
Physics Institute
phone: +49 6221 549325

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