Erwin Schrödinger Distinguished Lectures Series

The "Erwin Schrödinger Distinguished Lecture" is a public lecture series given by worldwide leading scientists to make the fascination and challenges of modern quantum science accessible to the broad Vienna audience.

4th lecture by Steven Chu on "The Energy and Climate Challenges”

November 14th 2014, at the Großer Festsaal of the University of Vienna, Austria

Science and technology advances that led to the industrial and agricultural revolutions have profoundly transformed the world. I will give an “epidemiological” view of climate change, provide a progress report of progress in clean energy, and how sustainable energy can become the low cost energy option.

Steven Chu is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Physics and Molecular & Cellular Physiology at Stanford University. His research spans atomic and polymer physics, biophysics, biology, biomedicine and batteries. He shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics for the laser cooling and trapping of atoms. From January 2009 until April 2013, Dr. Chu was the 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy and the first scientist to hold a cabinet position since Ben Franklin.


3rd lecture by Prof. Serge Haroche on “Controlling photons in a box and exploring the quantum-classical boundary”

April 22nd 2013 at Kuppelsaal of the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna)

The founders of quantum theory assumed in “thought experiments” that they were manipulating isolated quantum systems obeying the counterintuitive laws which they had just discovered. Technological advances have recently turned these virtual experiments into real ones by making possible the actual control of isolated quantum particles. Many laboratories are realizing such experiments, in a research field at the frontier between physics and information science. Fundamentally, these studies explore the transition between the microscopic world ruled by quantum laws and our macroscopic environment which appears “classical”. Practically, physicists hope that these experiments will result in new technologies exploiting the strange quantum logic to compute, communicate or measure physical quantities better than was previously conceivable. In Paris, we perform such experiments by juggling with photons trapped between superconducting mirrors. I will give a simple description of these studies, compare them to similar ones performed on other systems and make guesses about possible applications.

Prof. Serge Haroche (Nobel Prize in Physics 2012), ecole normale supérieure and collège de france, Paris

The lecture series are organized by the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ) and supported by the Erwin Schrödinger Institute (ESI).


2nd lecture by Prof. Ignacio Cirac on "Quantum Physics: A source of mysteries and applications"

March 27th 2012 at Festsaal of Austrian Academie of Sciences

“Quantum Physics has revolutionized the way we perceive nature. The extraordinary experimental and theoretical progress experienced during the last few years has not only established the wide validity of such a theory, but also has shown that it can be exploited to perform certain tasks which are impossible in our macroscopic world. In this talk I will superficially review the basic concepts of Quantum Physics that give rise to some of its mysteries, and explain several of the potential applications. I will also review current experimental efforts to build quantum computers, communication systems, or quantum money and credit cards.”

Prof. Dr. Ignacio Cirac has been Director of the Theory Division of the Max-Planck-Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching since December 2001. His main areas of research are the theoretical description of atomic systems interacting with light, as well as the development of a theory of Quantum Information. His work was recognized by many international prizes, he is honorary professor at the Technical University of Munich since 2002, is Associate Editor of Review of Modern Physics and a Founding Managing Editor of Quantum Information and Computation. Prof. Cirac is a correspondent member of the Spanish and Austrian Academies of Science, and Fellow of the American Physical Society. He also has an honorary doctorate from the Universities of Castilla-La Mancha and Politecnica de Catalunya.


Inaugural lecture by Sir Anthony J. Leggett on "Schroedinger's Cat and her laboratory cousins"

March 18th 2011 at "Großer Festsaal" of the University of Vienna.

Sir Anthony J. Leggett holds the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur chair and is Center for Advanced Study Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is widely recognized as a world leader in the theory of low-temperature physics and in the foundations of quantum theory. His pioneering work on superfluidity was recognized by many prizes, amongst others by the Paul Dirac Medal of the Institute of Physics, by the Wolf Prize in Physics and by the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences (foreign member), and is a Fellow of the Royal Society (U.K.), the American Physical Society, and the American Institute of Physics. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics (U.K.). He was knighted (KBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004 “for services to physics.”

The lecture launches the Erwin Schrödinger Distinguished Lectures organized by the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ) and supported by the Erwin Schrödinger Institute (ESI).