Heidelberg physicist Dr Philipp Hauke has been awarded a highly endowed ERC Starting Grant for excellent young researchers from the European Research Council (ERC). The approx. 1.5 million euros in funding will support his research in the field of quantum mechanics over a period of five years. The physicist is investigating how the entanglement of particles at the microscopic level influences the macroscopic properties of matter. The findings could be useful for new technological applications. His project launches in November 2018. Philipp Hauke is a research group leader at the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics at Heidelberg University.
According to Dr Hauke, groups of particles - the quantum components - in the microscopic world can be brought into an "entangled" state. The individual components relinquish their identity in the process, so every component always "knows" the behaviour of the others. "Major experimental strides in the past several years have made it possible to manipulate matter at the single-component level and recreate complex materials from scratch in order to examine their properties", states the Heidelberg physicist. "We now know that entanglement at this fundamental level has to play a major role. Yet until now, this entanglement has only been fully understood between very few particles. Furthermore, it is very difficult to detect experimentally in many-body systems." The "Strong Entanglement in Quantum Many-body Theory" (StrEnQTh) project aims to overcome these hurdles.
Philipp Hauke (b. 1983) studied in Munich and Lausanne (Switzerland), completing his doctorate at the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona (Spain). He pursued postdoctoral research at the University of Innsbruck (Austria). Dr Hauke has led the "Quantum optics and quantum many-body theory" research group at the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics at Heidelberg University since 2017.
The European Research Council awards the Starting Grant to excellent young researchers. Funding is awarded based on the scientific excellence of the young researchers and the innovative potential of their research ideas.