Humboldt Research Award for Uwe-Jens Wiese

Physicist from Bern collaborates with the Helmholtz Institute at the University of Bonn

Uwe-Jens Wiese from the University of Bern receives a research award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Ulf-G. Meißner of the Helmholtz Institute for Radiation and Nuclear Physics at the University of Bonn nominated the scientist for the award. The two have known and appreciated each other for a long time and now want to further develop new methods together. The prize is endowed with 60,000 euros.

The scientist from Germany, who has been working at the University of Bern for around 20 years, is involved not only in particle physics but also in condensed matter physics, which deals with a wide range of systems: In addition to magnets and superconductors, these include, for example, quantum liquids or so-called Bose-Einstein condensates. "Although condensed matter physics is less fundamental than particle and nuclear physics, it poses a great challenge due to its abundance of questions," says Uwe-Jens Wiese. With his research group, he has developed very efficient simulation algorithms for some condensed matter quantum systems. "The question now is whether these algorithms can also be used for nuclear physics in a modified form," Wiese elaborates.

Nuclear and particle physics are the specialty of Ulf-G. Meißner. The researcher from the Helmholtz Institute at the University of Bonn nominated Wiese for the Humboldt Research Award. In particle physics, the strong interaction that holds atomic nuclei together is represented by fundamental quark and gluon fields. For the simulation of the nuclear physics of protons and neutrons, the physicist from the University of Bonn and his team have developed very efficient numerical simulation methods.

Ideal partners High-temperature superconductors conduct electrons almost without resistance, even at higher temperatures. In the search for the cause, quantum simulators were advanced - quantum computers that mimic other quantum systems. "Ulf Meißner and his research group are ideal partners to address specific questions in nuclear physics with quantum simulators as well," Wiese says. The physicist from Bern and the physicist from Bonn have often discussed physics, but have yet to write a scientific publication together. "That’s because our fields of research are a bit apart, but still very similar in terms of the problems and challenges," Meißner says. "Precisely that is now our basis for an exchange and joint further development of ideas."

Research stay of up to one year The Humboldt Award specifically promotes international scientific collaboration and offers the opportunity to spend a total of up to one year in a research group that does not work directly in one’s own field of research. Wiese: "This creates synergies that would otherwise be difficult to realize in everyday research." The scientist is already aiming for a first stay in Bonn this summer.

Uwe-Jens Wiese was born in Hannover in 1958. After studying and earning his doctorate in physics at the University of Hannover, he spent research periods in Hamburg, Jülich and Bern. He habilitated at RWTH Aachen and then worked at DESY (HLRZ Jülich) and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA. He has been a professor at the University of Bern since 2001. From 2004 to 2010 he was director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics there.

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