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On Wednesday, 15 December 2010, the Presidents of the University of Vienna, Vienna University of Technology and the Austrian Academy of Sciences signed a cooperation agreement which aims to pool the expertise of the three Viennese institutions in the area of quantum physics.
The agreement marks the starting point for the "Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology" (VCQ). Earlier in the day, the new challenges in the field of quantum technology were discussed during an international workshop at the University of Technology. The signing of the agreement was followed by an event with highly distinguished guests like the Austrian Federal Minister for Science and Research Beatrix Karl as well as representatives from the European Commission and the City of Vienna. The opening ceremony included a public lecture by Christopher Monroe and a panel discussion at the University of Vienna.
VCQ - a joint initiative organized by quantum physicists from Vienna's research
"We are establishing a center for quantum physics in Vienna, modeled on international predecessors", as Markus Aspelmeyer, Professor of Quantum Physics at University of Vienna and spokesperson for "Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology" (VCQ) stated. The initiators and founding members - Markus Arndt, Markus Aspelmeyer, Frank Verstraete and Anton Zeilinger from the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences, as well as Arno Rauschenbeutel and Jörg Schmiedmayer from Vienna University of Technology - are convinced that this strategic partnership will do more than just reinforce Austria as a scientific location for basic research in the area of quantum physics. The pooling of the existing potential will enhance international perception, and, in the long term, also encourage companies to invest in quantum technologies.
"We expect our Center for Quantum Science to attract the best junior scientists from all over the world by offering them highly attractive research and career opportunities", explained Anton Zeilinger, Professor of Quantum Physics at the University of Vienna and Director of the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. "An intriguing and highly realistic ambition", enthused Jörg Schmiedmayer, Professor of Quantum Physics at Vienna University of Technology, "that could lead to the emergence of companies which use basic research as a foundation for technological applications in quantum physics".
Another objective is to invest in the advancement of "in-house" junior scientists. "The Vienna Doctoral Program on Complex Quantum Systems (COQUS) which is jointly hosted and co-financed by the University of Vienna and the Vienna University of Technology, was evaluated by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and shows that we are on the right track to promoting and holding on to highly talented junior quantum physicists by offering them excellent training", as Markus Arndt, Professor of Quantum Nanophysics at the University of Vienna outlined.
Prestigious event to present the VCQ at the University of Vienna
On Wednesday 15 December 2010 at 5.30 pm, an event was organized to celebrate the signing of the VCQ cooperation agreement. The event included a public lecture, followed by a panel discussion in the principle hall of the University of Vienna.
Lecture by Christopher Monroe (USA)
Christopher Monroe, Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA, gave a lecture entitled "Quantum Technology: Putting Weirdness to Use", in which he outlined the dynamics of basic research (in quantum science) and its technological application. Monroe is also a member of the Joint Quantum Institute, a union of scientific institutes in Maryland, similar to the VCQ.
The Joint Quantum Institute served as a model for the initiative in Vienna, together with the internationally renowned Center for Ultracold Atoms, founded by Harvard University and Boston MIT.
Panel discussion "What is the cost for progress?"
In the panel discussion following the lecture, which was chaired by Tarek Leitner (ORF, Austrian Broadcasting), the topic "What is the cost for progress" was debated by Rainer Blatt (University of Innsbruck and IQOQI Innsbruck, Austrian Science Board), Ronald Holzwarth (CEO Menlo-Systems, Germany), Jörg Schmiedmayer (Vienna University of Technology) and Anton Zeilinger (University of Vienna and IQOQI Vienna).
Expert workshop at the Vienna University of Technology
Experts from science and industry across the European Union met prior to the evening event at the international "From Quantum Foundations to Quantum Technologies - Challenges for Europe" workshop at the Vienna University of Technology. This workshop focused on the current state of quantum physics and quantum technologies in Europe, as well as the potential for development. Various aspects of basic research were examined, but above all its application in new technologies. Innovative initial products in this field were also presented.
About Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology
The "Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology" is a joint initiative of the University of Vienna, the Vienna University of Technology, and the Austrian Academy of Sciences, which unites the quantum physicists of Vienna's research institutions in one collaborative center. The VCQ will set new impulses for research and teaching through its unique spectrum of research topics - from fundamental quantum physics to novel quantum technologies.
For more information, please click here
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Markus Aspelmeyer
Quantum optics, quantum nanophysics
and quantum information
University of Vienna
Tel. +43-1-4277-725 31
Mag. Ursula Gerber
University of Vienna
Tel. +43-650-817 50 40
Dr. Marianne Baumgart
Austrian Academy of Sciences
Tel. +43-1-515 81-1219
Mag. Werner Sommer
Vienna University of Technology
Tel. +43-1-588 01-401 11
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