Ready to take a deep dive into the Top 10 breakthroughs in the Physical Sciences category? This Winners Session will take you from the bottom of the ocean all the way to outer space to explore the most remote living environments. Learn about new ways to observe climate-related changes on Earth and reduce our carbon footprint. Then, take a look into the quantum world to catch a glimpse of highly disruptive innovations that will revolutionise our technologies and materials. Looking back at 100 years of quantum revolutions, Jury Chair Daniel Zajfman is euphoric about the next quantum physics revolution: “Quantum computing will still take a bit of time, but it will solve problems that are unsolvable today. Some of the winners are touching this field – this is very relevant.”
We are delighted to announce the ten winners in the category Physical Sciences:
MIKHAIL EREMETS – MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR CHEMISTRY
Breaking the Wall to Room-Temperature Superconductivity
Mikhail Eremets has advanced the field of materials physics and pressure technology and paved the way to room temperature superconductivity at high pressure to produce valuable and unusual materials.
FRANK FLECHTNER – HELMHOLTZ CENTRE POTSDAM
Breaking the Wall of Monitoring Global Water Resources
Frank Flechtner monitors global water resources through specially tailored satellite missions and ultra-precise distance measurements, revolutionising the observation of climate-related changes in the Earth system.
SAMANTHA JOYE – UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
Breaking the Wall of the Deep Sea
Samantha Joye discovers deep ocean environments to find solutions to a number of global grand challenges.
WALTER LEITNER – RWTH AACHEN
Breaking the Wall to Closed Carbon Cycles
Walter Leitner sees CO₂ as raw material for green chemistry and uses it as a replacement in the production of materials and thereby reducing the carbon footprint.
KRISTEL MICHIELSEN – FORSCHUNGSZENTRUM JÜLICH
Breaking the Wall to Practical Quantum Computing
Kristel Michielsen played a key role in Google’s demonstration of quantum supremacy.
TILMAN PFAU – UNIVERSITY OF STUTTGART
Breaking the Wall to Supersolid Matter
Tilman Pfau’s work focuses on atomic, molecular, and optical physics with the aim to control and understand new phenomena in interacting quantum systems.
ARNO RAUSCHENBEUTEL – HUMBOLDT-UNIVERSITÄT ZU BERLIN
Breaking the Wall of Quantum Nanophotonics
Arno Rauschenbeutel aims to realise quantum-enabled components for next-generation communication and information technologies, using nanophotonic atom-light interfaces.
SARA SEAGER – MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT)
Breaking the Wall to Life Beyond Earth
Sara Seager explores life far into the Universe, with her main research goal to find and identify another Earth.
PIET O. SCHMIDT – PHYSIKALISCH-TECHNISCHE BUNDESANSTALT
Breaking the Wall of Laser Spectroscopy
Piet O. Schmidt’s breakthrough is in laser spectroscopy of highly charged ions, crucial for applications such as high precision clocks.
ANDREAS WALLRAFF – ETH ZÜRICH
Breaking the Wall to Efficient Quantum Computing
Andreas Wallraff’s work focuses on the experimental investigation of quantum effects in superconducting electronic circuits to improve performance.