19 November 2014
Eugene Polzik receives Danish Association of Masters and PhDs’ Research Award
Eugene Polzik, professor and head of the research group Quantop at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen has received the 2014 Danish Association of Masters and PhDs’ Research Award for Science and Technology.
It was a worldwide sensation when physics professor Eugene Polzik proved that the teleportation of information worked. Using a beam of light, the research group could transport quantum information from one light pulse to another, later from light to atoms, and in 2013 they managed to teleport information between atoms that were far apart. The quantum communication of the future is approaching the present.
“Eugene Polzik has played a major role in putting Denmark on the world map in quantum information and is an outstanding representative for the best of Danish and international basic research. His research in the field of quantum information uses quantum oddities to do things that are impossible according to classical physics. Eugene Polzik has been crucial to the discovery that you can store information in atomic clouds and he has done groundbreaking work by being one of the first to transmit quantum information over long distances, so-called teleportation,” says Ingrid Stage, president of the Danish Association of Masters and PhDs in the justification awarding the research award for Science and Technology 2014 to Professor Eugene Polzik.
Russian born Danish-American
Eugene Polzik was born in Russia, but moved to the United States where he became part the research group at Caltech in California that was one of the first in the world to carry out teleportation from light to light. Denmark wanted to participate in the cutting-edge research and from 1994-98 Eugene Polzik worked at both Caltech and at Aarhus University until he moved to Denmark for good in ’98. In 2001, he received a Center of Excellence, Quantop at Aarhus University and in 2003 he moved the centre to the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, where the research group has had many great scientific breakthroughs.
When he first came to Denmark he thought it would only be for a few years and then he would go back to the US, but that did not happen. “There is a very good research environment here in Denmark and at the Niels Bohr Institute and both myself and the family were very happy to stay here,” he says.
A driving force in practical science
Eugene Polzik is a driving force in making teleportation a practical science. Polzik’s group has also achieved the record for measuring tiny magnetic fields for ultrasensitive sensors that can be used in the medical field, biology and wireless communication. All this justifies being awarded the Danish Association of Masters and PhDs’ Research Award for Science and Technology.
“I am honoured to receive this award, which is given by our own professional world. It means a lot to get this great recognition from professional colleagues,” says Eugene Polzik.
The award ceremony will take place on 19 November 2014. Here, the president of the Danish Association of Masters and PhDs Ingrid Stage will officially present the award, which has a value of 50,000 kr. What might the money be used for, you might ask? “Maybe a new pair of skis,” says the sport-loving Eugene Polzik, who in addition to skiing also mountain bikes and is an accomplished musician. The research group has an orchestra that plays swing music. “It is extremely important to have a good atmosphere in the lab when you are working up to 70 hours a week, so we eagerly discuss research and sometimes we play music – we need to be excited,” explains Eugene Polzik, who would like to share the credit for the award with his fellow researchers and young students.