Anton Zeilinger

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Anton Zeilinger (2011)

Anton Zeilinger (born May 20, 1945 in Ried im Innkreis ) is an Austrian quantum physicist and professor at the University of Vienna .


Zeilinger's father Anton (* 1905, † 1986) was professor of dairy farming, dairy industry and agricultural microbiology and from 1969 to 1971 rector of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna . The family had already moved from Upper Austria to Vienna in 1955. As a child, he dismantled his sister's dolls because he had always wanted to understand “how something works”. After graduation at high school Fichtnergasse in the district Hietzing studied Anton Zeilinger (junior) 1963-1971 Physics and Mathematics at the University of Vienna, 1971, he was with the work Neutron Depolarization in Dysprosium Single Crystals ( neutron depolarization in dysprosium - single crystals ) at Helmut Rauch PhD . In 1979 he completed his habilitation at the Technical University of Vienna .

After stays in the USA , France , Australia and Germany (visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (USA), at the Humboldt University in Berlin , at Merton College ( Oxford , Great Britain), at the Collège de France (Chaire Internationale) , Paris) in 1990 he became full professor at the University of Innsbruck and head of the Institute for Experimental Physics.

Since 1999 he has been a university professor at the University of Vienna and head of the Institute for Experimental Physics. From 2006 to 2009 he was Dean of the Faculty of Physics at the University of Vienna.

He is a real member of the mathematical and natural science class of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW); since 2004 he has headed the department of the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, which was founded in the same year . At the end of 2007 he received the newly created Isaac Newton Medal from the British IOP (“Institute of Physics”) for his fundamental contributions to the subjects mentioned .

On March 15, 2013 Anton Zeilinger was elected President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He took up this office on July 1, 2013. In January 2017, he was confirmed in his position for the period July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2022.

At the end of April 2014 he was officially admitted to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and is the sixth Austrian to be elected to this society after Konrad Lorenz , Walter Thirring , Peter Schuster , Peter Zoller and Angelika Amon .

Scientific work

Anton Zeilinger at a lecture at the University of Mainz on July 11, 2006

Zeilinger was best known for his media-effective experiments on quantum teleportation in Innsbruck and Vienna. This gave him the nickname "Mr. Beam ". He also works in the field of applications of quantum physics , especially in the new areas of quantum information and quantum cryptography . His main interest, however, is the fundamentals of quantum physics and their implications for everyday understanding based on our experiences.

Zeilinger initially dealt with neutron interferometry, the research field of his teacher Rauch at the Laue-Langevin Institute, with Clifford Shull at MIT and in Munich. Among other things, he and Rauch succeeded in experimentally demonstrating the necessity of a change in sign of the wave function for spin 1/2 particles with spatial rotations of 360 °. This change of sign is a mathematical property of the spinors with which the spin is described, and today it plays an important role in many protocols of quantum information.

In 1997 he and his group succeeded in demonstrating the quantum teleportation of the state of an independent photon for the first time.

In 1989 he and Daniel Greenberger , Michael Horne and Abner Shimony proposed the GHZ experiment to rule out theories with hidden variables. In 1999 Zeilinger and his group achieved the experimental demonstration. Today, such states have become indispensable in the most varied of quantum informatics protocols and especially in the quantum computer. There is therefore a separate PACS code for them .

He developed various techniques for quantum entanglement , such as a source of high intensity polarized entangled photons.

In 1998 he demonstrated entanglement swapping , the teleportation of entangled states.

In the 2000s he increasingly turned to quantum information theory. Among other things, he demonstrated concepts of the disposable quantum computer by Hans J. Briegel and Robert Raussendorf . As early as 1996 he demonstrated dense coding (according to Charles H. Bennett and Stephen Wiesner ) with two entangled two-state systems in quantum communication. This was the world's first application of entanglement in an information protocol. He is working in cooperation with the Austrian Institute of Technology on the commercial realization of quantum key exchange with entangled photons, which he demonstrated for the first time in 1999.

He extended his experiments to atomic optics and demonstrated quantum mechanical interference effects on large molecules such as buckyballs . This work is now being continued independently by his then co-author, Markus Arndt .

In the mid-2000s, he also turned to optomechanics in the nano range. He succeeded in proving the cooling of a nanomechanical system without feedback for the first time. Today this work is continued independently by Markus Aspelmeyer .

In 2012 he set a record for entanglement at high quantum numbers (in this case the orbital angular momentum of photons). He succeeded in experimentally demonstrating the entanglement of an angular momentum of up to 300 ħ. These experiments are important for the question of the macroscopic limit of quantum mechanical entanglement.

On September 29, 2017, a video conference encrypted with quantum cryptography took place between him as President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna and the Chinese Academy President Chunli Bai in Beijing. Not only language was encrypted, but also two images (by Erwin Schrödinger and the Chinese philosopher Micius). A laser connection to the Chinese Micius satellite, launched in 2016 for quantum communication experiments, was used for key exchange . This was a result of the joint QUESS (Quantum Experiments at Space Scale) project between Zeilinger and his Chinese colleague Jian Wei-Pan (a former PhD student at Zeilinger).

Other work

At the beginning of the 2000s he advocated the establishment of an Austrian “University of Excellence” based on the model of top US universities . Today he is Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees (roughly comparable to a supervisory board) of this research institution, which is now called the Institute for Science and Technology Austria .

Zeilinger was also president of the Austrian Physical Society from 1997 to 1998 , from 1990 to 1999 board member of the Institute for Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck and from 1999 to 2007 board member of the Institute for Experimental Physics at the University of Vienna , and from 2006 to 2009 dean of the Faculty of Physics at University of Vienna. He was also significantly involved in the re-establishment of the University of Vienna, which was made necessary by the 2002 University Act. In this function, he led a working group on behalf of Rector Winckler, which made structural proposals for the internal organization of the university, particularly with regard to ensuring quality in teaching and research. He was also an elected member of the founding convention of the University of Vienna from 2002 to 2003.

From 2010 to 2011 Anton Zeilinger was the President's delegate of the Max Planck Society for the evaluation of the institutes in the research area of ​​particle, plasma and quantum physics. At the time, this research area comprised the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics Garching, the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Light Erlangen, the Max Planck Institute for Physics Munich, the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics Garching and the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich. Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics Heidelberg.

He also took part in numerous other evaluations at home and abroad, particularly in France ( CNRS ) and in a system evaluation of physics in Great Britain. He is on the Advisory Board of the Institute of Quantum Communication at the University of Waterloo in Canada and the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) . Since 1996 Anton Zeilinger has also been an advisor to the Scientific American journal . He was also a member of several editorial boards of various international physical journals.

In 2009 Anton Zeilinger founded the International Academy Traunkirchen , which he has been leading ever since. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Upper Austrian think tank ACADEMIA SUPERIOR - Society for Future Research .

He also holds courses at the Vienna University of Technology .

honors and awards

Anton Zeilinger with the order Pour le Mérite (2014)

International prizes and awards

Austrian prizes and awards

Further awards


“I'm not a believer in constructivism , but a supporter of the Copenhagen interpretation . According to this, the quantum mechanical state is the information we have about the world. ... It turns out in the end that information is an essential building block of the world. At some point we will have to say goodbye to the naive realism according to which the world itself exists without our intervention and independent of our observation. "

“If only directly applied research had been carried out, we would have an incredible variety and sophistication of candles today; but no electricity. "

“Believing in God or not is as much a personal question for a scientist as it is for a layperson. God cannot be demonstrable, but neither can he be undetectable. "



  • Anton Zeilinger: Spooky action at a distance - the beauty of quantum physics , 2-CD set - 100 minutes, booklet 12 pages ISBN 3-932513-60-6 (supposé 2005). Audio sample

Web links

Commons : Anton Zeilinger  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Zeit Magazin No. 11, March 12, 2015, p. 46.
  2. ^ Directory of the members of the Austrian Academy of Sciences ( Memento from May 10, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  3. ^ Anton Zeilinger new President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences on ORF of March 15, 2013, accessed on March 15, 2013
  4. New Presidium of the OeAW elected . Article dated April 10, 2017, accessed July 29, 2017.
  5. High distinction for Zeilinger ( Memento from April 29, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  6. ^ Zeilinger officially accepted into the National Academy of Sciences, accessed on April 29, 2014
  7. D. Bouwmeester , JW Pan, K. Mattle, M. Eibl, H. Weinfurter & A. Zeilinger, Experimental Quantum Teleportation , Nature 390 , 575-579 (1997). Abstract
  8. DM Greenberger, MA Horne, A. Shimony & A. Zeilinger, Bell's theorem without inequalities , American Journal of Physics 58 , 1131-1143 (1990).
  9. J.-W. Pan, D. Bouwmeester , M. Daniell, H. Weinfurter & A. Zeilinger, Experimental test of quantum nonlocality in three-photon GHZ entanglement , Nature 403 , 515-519 (2000). Abstract
  10. P. Kwiat , K. Mattle, H. Weinfurter , A. Zeilinger, AV Segienko & Y. Shih, New high intensity source of polarization-entangled photon pairs , Phys. Rev. Lett. 75 : 4337-4341 (1995). Abstract
  11. J.-W. Pan, D. Bouwmeester, H. Weinfurter & A. Zeilinger, Experimental Entanglement Swapping: Entangling Photons That Never Interacted , Phys. Rev. Lett. 80 : 3891-3894 (1998). Abstract
  12. P. Walther, K. Resch, T. Rudolph, E. Schenck, H. Weinfurter, V. Vedral, M. Aspelmeyer & A. Zeilinger, Experimental one-way quantum computing , Nature 434 , 169-176 (2005). Abstract
  13. K. Mattle, H. Weinfurter, PG Kwiat & A. Zeilinger, Dense coding in experimental quantum communication , Phys. Rev. Lett. 76 : 4656-4659 (1996). Abstract
  14. T. Jennewein, C. Simon, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter & A. Zeilinger, Quantum cryptography with entangled photons , Phys. Rev. Lett. 84 : 4729-4832 (2000). Abstract
  15. M. Arndt, O. Nairz, J. Voss-Andreae, C. Keller, G. van der Zouw & A. Zeilinger, Wave particle-duality of C-60 molecules , Nature 401 , 680-682 (1999). Abstract
  16. S. Gigan, HR Bohm, M. Paternostro, F. Blaser, G. Langer, JB Hertzberg, KC Schwab, D. Bäuerle, M. Aspelmeyer & A. Zeilinger, Self-cooling of a micromirror by radiation pressure , Nature 444 , 67-70 (2006). Abstract
  17. Entanglement of twisted light quanta , Pro Physik, November 2, 2012.
  18. R. Fickler, R. Lapkiewicz, WN Plick, M. Krenn, C. Schaeff, p Ramelow & A. Zeilinger, Quantum entanglement of high angular momenta , Science 338 , 640-643 (2012). Abstract
  19. ↑ Successful first tap-proof quantum video call between Vienna and Beijing , Austrian Academy of Sciences, September 29, 2017
  20. ^ Founding Convention of the University of Vienna.
  21. ^ Academia Superior - Scientific Advisory Board . Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  22. TISS Search , Vienna University of Technology, accessed on May 1, 2015.
  23. China honors Austrian quantum researchers . Article dated April 26, 2019, accessed April 26, 2019.
  24. ^ Anton Zeilinger is awarded the Wolf Prize for Physics 2010 , article in the online university newspaper.
  25. ^ Anton Zeilinger receives Isaac Newton Medal ( Memento from February 4, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), press release of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, October 5, 2007.
  26. ^ Anton Zeilinger in: Orden pour le Mérite for sciences and arts, 1842-2002 , Bleicher Verlag, Gerlingen, 2002, ISBN 3-88350-175-1
  27. City Hall correspondence of April 20, 2018 . OTS notification dated April 20, 2018.
  28. ^ Anton Zeilinger new member of the US National Academy of Sciences ( Memento of August 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), uni: view, online newspaper of the University of Vienna, May 13, 2013
  29. Member entry by Prof. Dr. Anton Zeilinger (with picture and CV) at the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina , accessed on June 27, 2016.
  30. ^ Anton Zeilinger accepted into the Paris Académie des sciences , article in the online university newspaper
  31. ^ Anton Zeilinger in the French Academy , ORF Science, accessed on June 15, 2010.
  32. ^ Membership directory: Anton Zeilinger. Academia Europaea, accessed June 25, 2017 .
  33. AAAS Members Elected as Fellows , AAAS press release, November 30, 2012.
  34. 10 people - Johnjoe McFadden on the physicist who could just make the dream of teleportation possible , article in the New Statesman .
  35. JPL Small-Body Database Browser 48681 Zeilinger (1996 BZ).
  36. It turns out that information is an essential building block of the world , interview with Andrea Naica-Loebell, Telepolis May 7th, 2001.
  37. ^ Science and business: Who pays, creates , Der Standard , January 10, 2014.
  38. You cannot discover God , profil , August 9, 2012.