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Anton Zeilinger

Anton Zeilinger

Overview
Anton Zeilinger is an Austrian quantum physicist. He is currently professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 of physics at the University of Vienna
University of Vienna
The University of Vienna is a public university located in Vienna, Austria. It was founded by Duke Rudolph IV in 1365 and is the oldest university in the German-speaking world...

, previously University of Innsbruck. He is also the director of the Vienna branch of the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information
Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information
The Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information is an child institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and was founded in November 2003...

 IQOQI at the Austrian Academy of Sciences
Austrian Academy of Sciences
The Austrian Academy of Sciences is a legal entity under the special protection of the Federal Republic of Austria. According to the statutes of the Academy its mission is to promote the sciences and humanities in every respect and in every field, particularly in fundamental research...

. Zeilinger has been called a pioneer in the new field of quantum information
Quantum information
In quantum mechanics, quantum information is physical information that is held in the "state" of a quantum system. The most popular unit of quantum information is the qubit, a two-level quantum system...

 and is renowned for his realization of quantum teleportation
Quantum teleportation
Quantum teleportation, or entanglement-assisted teleportation, is a process by which a qubit can be transmitted exactly from one location to another, without the qubit being transmitted through the intervening space...

 with photons.

Anton Zeilinger, born 1945 in Austria, has held positions at the University of Innsbruck, the Technical University of Munich
Technical University of Munich
The Technische Universität München is a research university with campuses in Munich, Garching, and Weihenstephan...

, the Technical University of Vienna and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

 (MIT) and distinguished visiting positions at Humboldt University in Berlin, Merton College of Oxford University and the Collège de France
Collège de France
The Collège de France is a higher education and research establishment located in Paris, France, in the 5th arrondissement, or Latin Quarter, across the street from the historical campus of La Sorbonne at the intersection of Rue Saint-Jacques and Rue des Écoles...

 in Paris.
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Encyclopedia
Anton Zeilinger is an Austrian quantum physicist. He is currently professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 of physics at the University of Vienna
University of Vienna
The University of Vienna is a public university located in Vienna, Austria. It was founded by Duke Rudolph IV in 1365 and is the oldest university in the German-speaking world...

, previously University of Innsbruck. He is also the director of the Vienna branch of the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information
Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information
The Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information is an child institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and was founded in November 2003...

 IQOQI at the Austrian Academy of Sciences
Austrian Academy of Sciences
The Austrian Academy of Sciences is a legal entity under the special protection of the Federal Republic of Austria. According to the statutes of the Academy its mission is to promote the sciences and humanities in every respect and in every field, particularly in fundamental research...

. Zeilinger has been called a pioneer in the new field of quantum information
Quantum information
In quantum mechanics, quantum information is physical information that is held in the "state" of a quantum system. The most popular unit of quantum information is the qubit, a two-level quantum system...

 and is renowned for his realization of quantum teleportation
Quantum teleportation
Quantum teleportation, or entanglement-assisted teleportation, is a process by which a qubit can be transmitted exactly from one location to another, without the qubit being transmitted through the intervening space...

 with photons.

Biography


Anton Zeilinger, born 1945 in Austria, has held positions at the University of Innsbruck, the Technical University of Munich
Technical University of Munich
The Technische Universität München is a research university with campuses in Munich, Garching, and Weihenstephan...

, the Technical University of Vienna and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

 (MIT) and distinguished visiting positions at Humboldt University in Berlin, Merton College of Oxford University and the Collège de France
Collège de France
The Collège de France is a higher education and research establishment located in Paris, France, in the 5th arrondissement, or Latin Quarter, across the street from the historical campus of La Sorbonne at the intersection of Rue Saint-Jacques and Rue des Écoles...

 in Paris. Zeilinger received many awards for his scientific work, among the most recent being the King Faisal Prize (2005), and the first Newton Prize of the IOP
Institute of Physics
The Institute of Physics is a scientific charity devoted to increasing the practice, understanding and application of physics. It has a worldwide membership of around 40,000....

 (2007). He is a member of six Scientific Academies. Anton Zeilinger is currently Professor of Physics at the University of Vienna
University of Vienna
The University of Vienna is a public university located in Vienna, Austria. It was founded by Duke Rudolph IV in 1365 and is the oldest university in the German-speaking world...

 and Scientific Director of the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Since 2006, Zeilinger is the vice chairman of the board of trustees of the Institute of Science and Technology Austria
Institute of Science and Technology Austria
The Institute of Science and Technology Austria is an institute of basic research located in Klosterneuburg, close to Vienna . The draft concept was developed by the Austrian physicist Anton Zeilinger in 2002. Preparation work started in 2007...

, an ambitious project initiated by Zeilinger's proposal. He is a fan of the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams
Douglas Noel Adams was an English writer and dramatist. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which started life in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a "trilogy" of five books that sold over 15 million copies in his lifetime, a television...

, going so far as to name his sailboat 42.

2005 Anton Zeilinger was among the "10 people who could change the world", elect by the British newspaper New Statesmen
New Statesmen
New Statesmen or New Statesman may refer to:*New Statesman, the British current affairs magazine*The New Statesman, TV series starring Rik Mayall*New Statesmen , written by John Smith and published in Crisis...

.

In 2010 he received the Wolf Prize in Physics.

Work


Anton Zeilinger’s achievements have been most succinctly described in his citation for the Isaac Newton Medal
Isaac Newton Medal
The Isaac Newton Medal is a prize awarded annually by the Institute of Physics and is valued at £1000. The award is given to a physicist, regardless of subject area, background or nationality, for outstanding contributions to physics...

 of the Institute of Physics
Institute of Physics
The Institute of Physics is a scientific charity devoted to increasing the practice, understanding and application of physics. It has a worldwide membership of around 40,000....

 (UK):
“For his pioneering conceptual and experimental contributions to the foundations of quantum physics, which have become the cornerstone for the rapidly-evolving field of quantum information.”

Neutron interferometry


As a member of the group of his thesis supervisor, Helmut Rauch, at the Technical University of Vienna, Zeilinger participated in a number of neutron interferometry experiments at the Institut Laue-Langevin
Institut Laue-Langevin
The Institut Laue–Langevin, or ILL, is an internationally-financed scientific facility, situated in Grenoble, France. It is one of the world centres for research using neutrons...

 (ILL) in Grenoble. His very first such experiment confirmed a fundamental prediction of quantum mechanics, the sign change of a spinor phase upon rotation. This was followed by the first experimental realization of coherent spin superposition of matter waves. He continued his work in neutron interferometry at MIT with C.G. Shull
Clifford Shull
Clifford Glenwood Shull was a Nobel Prize-winning American physicist.-Biography:...

 (Nobel Laureate 1995) focusing specifically on dynamical diffraction effects of neutrons in perfect crystals which are due to multi-wave coherent superposition. After his return to Europe, he built up an interferometer for very cold neutrons which preceded later similar experiments with atoms. The fundamental experiments there included a most precise test of the linearity of quantum mechanics and a beautiful double-slit diffraction experiment
Double-slit experiment
The double-slit experiment, sometimes called Young's experiment, is a demonstration that matter and energy can display characteristics of both waves and particles...

 with only one neutron at a time in the apparatus. Actually, in that experiment, while one neutron was registered, the next neutron still resided in its Uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

 nucleus waiting for fission to happen.

Quantum entanglement


In the late 1980s, Anton Zeilinger became interested in quantum entanglement
Quantum entanglement
Quantum entanglement occurs when electrons, molecules even as large as "buckyballs", photons, etc., interact physically and then become separated; the type of interaction is such that each resulting member of a pair is properly described by the same quantum mechanical description , which is...

. This work resulted in his most significant accomplishments and opened up the new fields of quantum teleportation
Quantum teleportation
Quantum teleportation, or entanglement-assisted teleportation, is a process by which a qubit can be transmitted exactly from one location to another, without the qubit being transmitted through the intervening space...

, quantum information
Quantum information
In quantum mechanics, quantum information is physical information that is held in the "state" of a quantum system. The most popular unit of quantum information is the qubit, a two-level quantum system...

, quantum communication and quantum cryptography
Quantum cryptography
Quantum key distribution uses quantum mechanics to guarantee secure communication. It enables two parties to produce a shared random secret key known only to them, which can then be used to encrypt and decrypt messages...

.

Together with Daniel Greenberger and Michael Horne, Zeilinger wrote the first paper ever on entanglement beyond two particles. The resulting GHZ theorem (see Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger state
Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger state
In physics, in the area of quantum information theory, a Greenberger–Horne–Zeilinger state is a certain type of entangled quantum state which involves at least three subsystems . It was first studied by D. Greenberger, M.A. Horne and Anton Zeilinger in 1989...

) is fundamental for quantum physics, as it provides the most succinct contradiction between local realism and the predictions of quantum mechanics. Also, GHZ states were the first instances of multi-particle entanglement ever investigated. Such states have become essential in quantum information science. GHZ states are now even an individual entry in the PACS
Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme
PACS is acronym for Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme.PACS numbers, developed by the American Institute of Physics, have been used in Physical Review since 1975 to identify fields and sub-fields of physics.- External links :...

 code.

As a professor at the University of Innsbruck, Zeilinger started experiments on entangled photons, as the low phase space
Phase space
In mathematics and physics, a phase space, introduced by Willard Gibbs in 1901, is a space in which all possible states of a system are represented, with each possible state of the system corresponding to one unique point in the phase space...

 density of neutrons produced by reactors precluded their use in such experiments. His goal from the early 1990s on, to demonstrate the GHZ contradiction, was achieved finally in 1998.

Along the road, Zeilinger developed many novel tools for entangled photon physics, for example a bright source for polarization-entangled photons, ways to identify Bell states and methods for producing coherent emission of more than one entangled pair from one crystal. The resulting technology allowed him to perform a number of first quantum information experiments with entangled photons. The first ever use of entanglement in any quantum information protocol was his demonstration of hyperdense coding. His achievements also include the first entanglement-based quantum cryptography, the first quantum teleportation experiment of an independent photon, the first realization of entanglement swapping and an experiment closing the communication loophole in a test of Bell’s inequality.

Since 2000, Zeilinger’s research has focused on all-optical quantum computation, the development of entanglement-based quantum cryptography systems, and experiments with entangled photon pairs over very large distances. In all-optical quantum computation, Zeilinger with his group were the first to demonstrate a number of basic procedures, like entanglement purification and certain quantum gates. This culminated in the first demonstrations of one-way quantum computation, including most recently, ultra-fast active feed-forward. The one-way quantum computation scheme was used to realize Grover’s search algorithm and various quantum games, including prisoner’s dilemma.

In quantum cryptography, Zeilinger’s group is developing a prototype in collaboration with industry. While most of the community was working on the much easier scheme of using weak laser pulses, Zeilinger based his approach exclusively on the more demanding scheme using entangled photons. A recent proof that entanglement is a necessary condition for the security of the quantum channel confirms that this choice is correct.

Zeilinger’s experiments on the distribution of entanglement over large distances began with both free-space and fiber-based quantum communication and teleportation between laboratories located on the different sides of the river Danube. This was then extended to larger distances across the city of Vienna and most recently over 144 km between two Canary Islands, resulting in a successful demonstration that quantum communication with satellites is feasible. His dream was to bounce entangled light off of satellites in orbit. This was achieved during an experiment at the Italian Matera Laser Ranging Observatory.

An important fundamental spin-off of these experiments was the first test in 2007 of a non-local realistic theory proposed by Leggett
Anthony James Leggett
Sir Anthony James Leggett, KBE, FRS , aka Tony Leggett, has been a Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 1983....

 which goes significantly beyond Bell's theorem
Bell's theorem
In theoretical physics, Bell's theorem is a no-go theorem, loosely stating that:The theorem has great importance for physics and the philosophy of science, as it implies that quantum physics must necessarily violate either the principle of locality or counterfactual definiteness...

. While Bell showed that a theory which is both local and realistic is at variance with quantum mechanics, Leggett considered nonlocal realistic theories where the individual photons are assumed to carry polarization. The resulting inequality was shown to be violated in the experiments of the Zeilinger group.

Atom and macromolecule interferometry


Parallel with his work on quantum entanglement with photons, Anton Zeilinger in the early 1990s started experiments in the field of atom optics. He developed a number of ways to coherently manipulate atomic beams, many of which, like the coherent energy shift of an atomic De Broglie wave upon diffraction at a time-modulated light wave, have become cornerstones of today’s ultracold atom experiments.

In 1999, Zeilinger abandoned atom optics for experiments with very complex and massive macro-molecules - fullerenes. The successful demonstration of quantum interference for and molecules (fullerenes) in 1999 opened up a very active field of research. Key results include the most precise quantitative study to date of decoherence by thermal radiation and by atomic collisions and the first quantum interference of complex biological macro-molecules. This work is continued by Markus Arndt.

Quantum optomechanics


In 2005, Zeilinger with his group again started a new field, the quantum physics of mechanical cantilevers. The group was the first - in the year 2006 along with work from Heidmann in Paris and Kippenberg in Garching - to demonstrate experimentally the self-cooling of a micro-mirror by radiation pressure, that is, without feedback. That phenomenon can be seen as a consequence of the coupling of a high-entropy mechanical system with a low-entropy radiation field. This work is now continued independently by Markus Aspelmeyer
Markus Aspelmeyer
Markus Aspelmeyer is a German quantum physicist.Aspelmeyer was born 1974 in the Bavarian town Schongau. He also attended the local school, where he received his abitur in 1993....

.

External links

  • Zeilinger's homepage
  • Quantum Teleportation by Zeilinger, 2003 update of 2000 Scientific American
    Scientific American
    Scientific American is a popular science magazine. It is notable for its long history of presenting science monthly to an educated but not necessarily scientific public, through its careful attention to the clarity of its text as well as the quality of its specially commissioned color graphics...

     article
  • Es stellt sich letztlich heraus, dass Information ein wesentlicher Grundbaustein der Welt ist, a German-language
    German language
    German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

     interview
    Interview
    An interview is a conversation between two people where questions are asked by the interviewer to obtain information from the interviewee.- Interview as a Method for Qualitative Research:"Definition" -...

     with Zeilinger by Andrea Naica-Loebell
  • Spooky action and beyond an interview with Anton Zeilinger at signandsight.com
  • The lecture delivered by Professor Anton Zeilinger as the inaugural recipient of the Isaac Newton Medal, Institute of Physics
    Institute of Physics
    The Institute of Physics is a scientific charity devoted to increasing the practice, understanding and application of physics. It has a worldwide membership of around 40,000....

    , 17 June 2008, http://www.iop.org/activity/awards/International%20Award/page_31978.html (68 min 25 sec).
    Note: On the page linked, a second video is accommodated which shows Professor Zeilinger speaking amongst others about his personal life.
  • Anton Zeilinger on the opening panel discussion at the Quantum to Cosmos festival at Perimeter Institute with Katherine Freese
    Katherine Freese
    Dr. Katherine Freese, a theoretical astrophysicist, is the George Eugene Uhlenbeck Collegiate Professor of Physics at the University of Michigan and Associate Director of the Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics. She is known for her work in theoretical cosmology at the interface of particle...

    , Leo Kadanoff
    Leo Kadanoff
    Leo Philip Kadanoff is an American physicist. He is a professor of physics at the University of Chicago and a former President of the American Physical Society . He has contributed to the fields of statistical physics, chaos theory, and theoretical condensed matter physics.-Biography:Kadanoff...

    , Lawrence Krauss, Neil Turok
    Neil Turok
    Neil Geoffrey Turok is the Director of Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He is the son of Mary and Ben Turok, activists in the anti-apartheid movement and the African National Congress.-Career:...

    , Sean M. Carroll
    Sean M. Carroll
    Sean Michael Carroll is a senior research associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. He is a theoretical cosmologist specializing in dark energy and general relativity...

    , Gino Segrè, Andrew White
    Andrew White
    Andrew White may refer to:*Andrew Dickson White, American diplomat, author and educator*Andrew G. White, Australian scientist and educator*Andrew White , Anglican minister known as the 'vicar of Baghdad'*Andrew White...

    , and David Tong.