Humboldt Foundation Research Award for Prof. Dr. Kenji Ohmori

Press Release No. 172/2012
12 July 2012
Japanese quantum physicist to work at Heidelberg University’s Institute for Physics

Prof. Dr. Kenji Ohmori of the Institute for Molecular Science in Okazaki (Japan) has been selected for one of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s research awards. Prof. Ohmori will be a visiting scientist at Heidelberg University on a number of occasions in the near future. In the first of these sojourns beginning in autumn 2012 and lasting for some weeks, he will be investigating the laser control of quantum-mechanical many-particle systems near absolute zero. His host is Prof. Dr. Matthias Weidemüller, who works and teaches at Heidelberg University’s Institute for Physics and is also director of the Center for Quantum Dynamics.

Kenji Ohmori (b. 1962) studied physics at the University of Tokyo, where he received his doctorate in 1992. Since 2003 he has been working at the Institute for Molecular Science (IMS), one of five member institutions of the National Institute of Natural Sciences. From 2007 to 2010 Prof. Ohmori was director of the Laser Research Center at IMS. Since 2010 he has headed the Department of Photo-Molecular Science. Prof. Ohmori has won several awards for his work. In 2007 he was the first scientist in the field of chemistry and physics to be awarded the prestigious Japan Academy Medal.

At the heart of Prof. Ohori’s research work in Heidelberg are fundamental issues in modern atomic and molecular physics. In a cross-faculty project, he and Prof. Dr. Marcus Motzkus of the Institute for Physical Chemistry intend to investigate molecule control with ultrashort laser pulses. For this purpose the molecules will be cooled down to temperatures close to absolute zero. In a second project, Prof. Ohmori will be investigating the transition from classical to quantum-mechanical systems with reference to so-called Rydberg atoms, atomic giants in which electron enlargement assumes macroscopic dimensions. During Prof. Ohmori’s sojourns in Heidelberg there will also be close exchanges with doctoral students and young scientists involved in other projects at the Center for Quantum Dynamics.

The Humboldt Research Award is granted to academics from abroad whose fundamental discoveries, new insights or theories have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future. Award winners are invited to spend a total period of up to one year cooperating on a self-selected research project with specialist colleagues in Germany. The award is endowed with EUR 60,000.

Prof. Dr. Matthias Weidemüller
Institute for Physics
phone: +49 6221 54-9325

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