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Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Symposium for Breakthroughs in Physical Sciences

Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation, Falling Walls Foundation | Alex Zylstra, Luciano Rezzolla, Peter Baum, Stefan Ulmer, Sebastian Klembt, Anthony Kucernak, Silke Ospelkaus

In cooperation with our partners, Falling Walls is hosting this unique format to connect researchers in the physical sciences from all over the world. The symposium gathers the 2022 Winners for the Falling Walls Breakthrough of the Year 2021 in Physical Sciences as well as partners from academia and business to discuss the most pressing issues and recent breakthroughs regarding mathematical, physical and chemical phenomena and related technologies.

The event is cohosted by our partner Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation

About the Venue

Alex Zylstra

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Dr. Alex Zylstra received his undergraduate degree from Pomona College in 2009, and his PhD. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2015. He joined Los Alamos National Laboratory as a Reines Postdoctoral Fellow, and then became a member of the scientific staff at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in 2018. He has studied numerous areas of high-energy-density physics and inertial confinement fusion, including nuclear astrophysics, charged-particle transport, and the development of novel inertial fusion designs. He was the experimental lead for the Hybrid E campaign on NIF, which generated the first burning and ignited plasmas in the laboratory. His work has been recognized by a DOE Early Career award in 2018 and a Livermore early career award in 2021.

Luciano Rezzolla is the Chair of Theoretical Astrophysics at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany. His main research topics are astrophysical compact objects such as black holes and neutron stars, which he investigates by means of numerical simulations on supercomputers. He is a member of the Executive Board of the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration (EHTC). He has written more than 300 articles, a well-known textbook (“Relativistic Hydrodynamics”) and a public-outreach book (“The Irresistible Attraction of Gravity”) that has been translated in several languages. He has received numerous prizes including the Karl Schwarzschild Prize, the Frankfurt Physics Prize, the Golden Seal of the University of Bari, the 2020 Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics (with EHTC) and the Einstein Medal (with EHTC). Since 2019 he is the Andrews Professor in Astronomy at Trinity College, Dublin. He has received an ERC Synergy Grant (2014) and an ERC Advanced Grant (2021).

Peter Baum

University of Konstanz

Peter Baum is a professor of physics at the University of Konstanz, Germany. He received his PhD in 2005 from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, worked as a postdoctoral scholar with Prof. Zewail at Caltech and was a junior group leader with Prof. Krausz at the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics. His current research in Konstanz focuses on the interaction of light and matter at ultimately small dimensions of space and time, using electron pulses under light-cycle control. In his spare time, he listens to metal music and goes skiing, swimming or surfing.

Stefan Ulmer

RIKEN, Institute for Physical and Chemical Sciences

Stefan Ulmer is a chief scientist at RIKEN, a Professor at Duesseldorf, and Founder/ Spokesperson of CERN’s BASE collaboration. He has received his PhD degree (2011) for the “first observation of spin flips with a single trapped proton”. In 2012 he was appointed as a PI at RIKEN to compare the fundamental properties of protons and antiprotons with highest precision. In 2014 his team compared the proton/antiproton charge/mass ratio with a fractional precision of 69 parts in a trillion (p.p.t.), which was later (2022) improved to 16 p.p.t. precision. Using newly invented Penning trap methods, BASE also reported on the most precise measurement of the antiproton magnetic moment with a fractional precision of 1.5 p.p.b. Together with an 11-fold improved proton magnetic moment measurement performed at BASE-Mainz, this measurement improved the previous best direct baryon moment CPT test by a factor of >3000, also setting most stringent limits on antimatter/axion coupling.

Sebastian Klembt

University of Würzburg

Sebastian Klembt was born in 1983 in Kiel, Germany. Raised in Bremen with strong interest for nature, music, cycling and all things around. In Bremen I began studying physics and philosophy before I moved to Switzerland to finish my physics diploma at ETH Zürich. I obtained a PhD with highest honors from Bremen University, fabricating and studying semiconductor lasers emitting blue light. After that I joined Institut Néel in Grenoble, France for a postdoc in advances semiconductor spectroscopy, with a little bit of hiking and skiing on the side. I joined the Chair for Applied Physics in Würzburg as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow and group leader working in the field of topological photonics. In 2020 I was appointed assistant professor at the University of Würzburg within the cluster of excellence ct.qmat. Married and proud father of two.

Anthony Kucernak

Imperial College London

Prof. Anthony Kucernak, (Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London) is Professor of Chemical Physics and a world leader in the electrochemical interconversion of renewable electricity to chemical fuels such as hydrogen. He is cofounder of three companies arising from innovations in his laboratories: “Bramble Energy”: high volume manufacturing of electrolysers, fuel cells and electrochemical conversion devices; “RFC Power”: developing grid scale electricity storage; “Sweet Generator”: developing new technology to clean waste-water.

Silke Ospelkaus

Leibniz University Hannover

Silke Ospelkaus is an experimental physicist at the Institute of Quantum Optics at Leibniz Universität Hannover. Her research is dedicated to the quantum world of ultracold molecular gases for applications in quantum simulation and fundamental physics. She studied physics at the University of Bonn and completed her PhD at the University of Hamburg. For her doctoral thesis, she received the dissertation prize of the AMOP section of the German Physical Society (2007). After a postdoctoral stay with a Feodor Lynen Fellowship at JILA and the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA in the group of Prof. D. Jin and Prof. J. Ye, she joined the department of Prof. I. Bloch at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Garching as Minerva group leader (2009). Since 2011, she has been a professor of experimental physics at Leibniz Universität Hannover. She has received an ERC Starting (2010) and Consolidator Grant (2022) and is spokesperson of the DFG Research Group 2247.

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