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2017 - News

In a collaboration of three groups at the Department of Physics, a device has been created that strongly couples quantum states of light and matter. This hybrid system opens up novel routes to combining the advantages of different quantum platforms — and to a host of possible applications. more

A. Stockklauser, P. Scarlino, J. V. Koski, S. Gasparinetti, C. K. Andersen, C. Reichl, W. Wegscheider, T. Ihn, K. Ensslin & A. Wallraff, Strong Coupling Cavity QED with Gate-Defined Double Quantum Dots Enabled by a High Impedance Resonator. Phys. Rev. X 7, 011030 (2017).

Accompanying synopsis in APS Physics

Two QSIT PIs have received two of the coveted Advanced Grants in the European Research Council's (ERC) latest call for proposals. For both scientists, this is their second such grant.

Tilman Esslinger is Professor of Quantum Optics at ETH Zurich. In his new project, he is examining elementary transport mechanisms in a system that obeys the laws of quantum physics.

Frédéric Merkt, Professor of Physical Chemistry, will use his ERC project to explore chemical reactions of charged atoms and molecules (ions) with molecules at extremely low temperatures, paying particular attention to quantum-physical effects.

ETH News

Dr. Vadim Geshkenbein, currently Senior Scientist and Senior Lecturer at ETH Zurich, has been promoted to Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Vadim Geshkenbein’s research focuses on statistical physics, superconductors and quantum systems. In 2001 his work in the field of vortex matter earned him the ETH Zurich Latsis Prize.

ETH News

Christian Degen
, currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, has been promoted to Associate Professor of Spin Physics. Christian Degen has received worldwide recognition for his research findings on weak magnetic signals in biological and inorganic systems. In 2013 he received an ERC Starting Grant. Christian Degen’s current objective at ETH Zurich is to combine magnetic resonance with atomic force microscopy.

ETH News

Artificial magnetic fields for photons: Light particles do not usually react to magnetic fields. Researchers from Ataç Imamoğlu's research group have now shown how photons can still be influenced by electric and magnetic fields. In the future that method could be used to create strong artificial magnetic fields for photons.

Nature Communication
ETH News

When matter is cooled to near absolute zero, intriguing phenomena emerge. These include supersolidity, where crystalline structure and frictionless flow occur together. ETH physicists from Tilmann Esslinger's group have succeeded in realising this strange state experimentally for the first time.  

ETH News
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Spektrum der Wissenschaft

Patrick Maletinsky
holds the Georg-H.-Endress-position as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics of the University of Basel since February 2012. He has been promoted by the university council to associate professor effective February 1st, 2017.

University of Basel


Theoretical physicists from Sebastian Huber's group deliberately misled intelligent machines, and thus refined the process of machine learning. They created a new method that allows computers to categorise data – even when humans have no idea what this categorisation might look like.

ETH News
Nature Physics

Quantum systems consisting of many particles are a major challenge for physicists, since their behaviour can be determined only with immense computational power. ETH physicists from Matthias Troyer's group have now discovered an elegant way to simplify the problem.

ETH News
Science article

Christa Flühmann
(Jonathan Home's group) and Anton Potocnik (Andreas Wallraff's group) won the two poster prizes at the
635th WE-Heraeus Seminar: Scalable Architectures for Quantum Simulation, 29 January – 2 February 2017, Bad Honnef, Germany link


Daniel Loss
wins the King Faisal International Prize for his pioneering work in the theory of spin dynamics and spin coherence in quantum dots showing promise for practical applications in spin quantum computers.

Webpage of the KFIP  
Uni Basel News


ERC Consolidator Grant to Giacomo Scalari: Scalari’s research addresses “frequency combs”, which act as rulers in the frequency domain and can measure the frequency of electromagnetic radiation – including light – very precisely. Scalari will use his ERC Consolidator Grant to create on-chip, self-referenced frequency combs operating in the THz spectral range, where there is currently no compact comb source available. These devices will be appealing for metrology and material inspection, non-invasive imaging for medical applications, and wireless communication.

ETH News

Klaus Ensslin
gave an interview on the impact of quantum technologies and the role of the NCCR QSIT in the field of quantum sensors and computing. Switzerland and the QSIT network is playing a important role towards these applications.


Upon application of ETH President Lino Guzzella the ETH Board appointed Professor Jonathan Home (*1979), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Experimental Quantum Information.


ETH News

Hugo Zbinden
is awarded the Greinacher Preis for his groundbreaking work in the field of quantum optics and quantum cryptography, which is used in the context of the company ID Quantique (Carouge GE).

Greinacher Preis

Participate on the 30th of November and become a Bellster. The BIG Bell Test (BBT) is a worldwide project to bring human unpredictability to cutting-edge physics experiments, one of them prepared in the group of professor Andreas Wallraff. Be part of this latest Bell test, which seeks to catch quantum particles "talking" to each other and matching their answers to the questions asked.

ETH News

The ETH Zurich Latsis Prize 2016 goes to ETH physics professor Jonathan Home. He studies the frontier between quantum and classical physics using individual charged atoms that he controls with high precision.

ETH News

Electrons in a solid can team up to form so-called quasiparticles, which lead to new phenomena. Ataç Imamoğlu and his collaborators at the Institute for Quantum Electronics at ETH in Zurich have now studied previously unidentified quasiparticles in a new class of atomically thin semiconductors. They have succeeded in finding a new piece of the puzzle, which also helps to put a previously misplaced piece in its correct position.

Nature Physics
ETH News

Vectorial scanning force microcopy using a nanowire sensor: A new type of atomic force microscope (AFM) uses nanowires as tiny sensors. Unlike standard AFM, the device with a nanowire sensor enables measurements of both the size and direction of forces. Physicists from Anna Fontcuberta i Morral's group at epf Lausanne and Martino Poggio's group at the University of Basel have described these results in the recent issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

Nature Nanotechnology
Uni Basel News
NZZ 18.10.2016

Nobelprize for topological phase transitions. Comments by Gianni Blatter and Sebastian Huber at the Swiss Radio.
Wissenschaftsmagazin, SRF

Two years ago, Tilman Esslinger experimentally realised a theoretical model of a new material with unusual properties in his laboratory. Today, the father of the model received the Nobel Prize.

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2016
Scientific Background on the Nobel Prize in Physics 2016 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Science
ETH News
ETH News 12.11.2014
Radio 24, 4.10.2016 (MP3, 2.9 MB)

© A. Eichler

An interdisciplinary team of theoretical and experimental physicists at ETH Zurich (Ramasubramanian Chitra, Anina Leuch, Oded Zilberberg, Luca Papariello and Alexander Eichler) has discovered a peculiar feature in oscillations similar to that of a child‘s swing. As a result, they have succeeded in outlining a novel principle for small, high-resolution sensors, and have submitted a patent application for it.

ETH News
Electronic Specifier
Science daily

Matthias Troyer is cited several times in an article enttitled "Biggest ever quantum chip announced, but scientists aren't buying it".

The Verge

Tobias Kippenberg has been selected to the WOK Thomson Reuters "highly cited” again this year.

A quantum leap for industry: The EU is providing one billion euros to develop quantum technology in a new flagship programme. Swiss scientists are already working to take it from the lab to the marketplace.

«Horizons» Nr. 110 September 2016

We are happy to announce that four INSPIRE Potentials – QSIT Master Internship Awards were granted to Nadine Leisgang,
Lena Barhta, Giulia Tenasini
and Giulia Di Iorio.


ID Quantique work within the European project SIQS has been selected for the Innovation Radar Prize 2016. With this prize, EU commission tries to identify high potential innovations and innovators in EU-funded research projects.

If you think that the single photon detector developed by IDQ is a good example of the high potential of innovation of quantum technologies, please vote for IDQ before the end of August so that they can be selected to the final round of this prize.

To vote go on this webpage:, scroll down till you see the IDQ logo and push once on the 'vote' button.

TV Interview - La téléportation quantique: In an interview at Radio Télévision Suisse Nicolas Gisin, discusses the quantum teleportation phenomena and its influence to future quantum technologies. RTS-link

Nicolas Gisin was invited by his home village Veryrier to give a talk on quantum teleportation and tech transfer for the Swiss national day on August 1st.


The 18th July is the launch date for our quantum games, which let the public help build a quantum computer and engage with the science behind them. The two games, Decodoku and Decodoku:Puzzles will be available as apps on both iOS and Android. To celebrate their launch we will be answering all your questions about the science behind the games, and quantum computing in general. This will be done as an 'AMA' the science part of the popular website Reddit, from 7pm onwards.

Uni news Basel

For the first time, researchers at the University of Basel have coupled the nuclear spins of distant atoms using just a single electron. The groups of Richard Warburton, Martino Poggio, and Daniel Loss took part in this complex experiment, the results of which have now been published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Nature Nanotechnology
Basel Uni News
idw-Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

The start-up companies MicroR Systems and IRsweep as well as the CTI partner Nanonis were guests at the QSIT booth at the Swiss Nanoconvention in Basel.

Von kleinen Teilchen und grossen Fragen: Andrea Hofmann discusses the duality of light and particle in a Swiss youth magazine.
Young Swiss Magazine 16.3.2016 German or French edition.

Matthias Troyer is cited in an article on "Computing’s Search for Quantum Questions" that reports on recent tests that show quantum computers made by D-Wave Systems should solve some problems faster than ordinary computers.
Quanta Magazine 10.6.16, on line article.

Milliarden für revolutionären Rechner: Die EU plant ein Flaggschiffprojekt, um die Entwicklung von Quantenrechnern voranzutreiben. Die Schweiz ist vorne dabei. 

Tagesanzeiger online  

May 2016

We are happy to announce that the first two INSPIRE Potentials – QSIT Master Internship Awards were granted to Chiara Decaroli and Lea Ghisalberti who will complete their master thesis in the group of Sebastian Huber and Anna Fontcuberta i Morral, respectively.


Quantum correlations in a Bose-Einstein condensate : In a collaboration supported by QSIT, researchers around Nicolas Sangouard’s group and Philipp Treutlein’s group have detected the strongest form of quantum correlations, namely Bell-correlations, between several hundreds of atoms.  

Press release from the University of Basel
Daily mail online
Science daily


MicroR systems is a spin-off of the NCCR QSIT, providing optical microresonators for laser frequency control. MicroR systems will be part of the Swiss Pavillion at the Hannover Messe, April 25-29, 2016.

MicroR Systems
MicroR Systems in Hannover

First creation of huge quantum states with oscillating ions: For years physicists have strived to control the quantum states of atoms or molecules very accurately. Researchers from Jonathan Home's group have now established a record for the size of quantum states generated with massive particles. Their technique could be used to make quantum computers faster.

Nature Communications
ETH News

In phase transitions, for instance between water and water vapour, the motional energy competes with the attractive energy between neighbouring molecules. Physicists from Tilman Esslinger's group have now studied quantum phase transitions in which distant particles also influence one another.

ETH News

Quantum Error Correction: The Game

This is not just any puzzle game. This is a quantum puzzle game! You can just play it for fun, or you can use it to conduct scientific research in the field of quantum error correction.

These are the puzzles that need to be solved to keep quantum computers free of errors. We need to work out the best way to do it. By becoming a master at this game, you could help build a real-life quantum computer.

Check out our website, in English or German, for more details on the science behind the game.

The app was developed by James Wootton, a quantum error correction researcher at the University of Basel. It is supported by the NCCR QSIT.

Atomic Vibrations in Nanomaterials: Researchers from Vanessa Wood's group have shown for the first time what happens to atomic vibrations when materials are nanosized and how this knowledge can be used to systematically engineer nanomaterials for different applications.

ETH Zurich Press release

In experiments with trapped ions, all basic components needed for large-scale quantum computing have been demonstrated already. The approach faces major challenges, however, when it comes to scaling it up. In a practical quantum computer, a large number of gate operations have to be performed in parallel across an array of traps. Researchers from Jonathan Home's research group at ETH Zurich might now have found a way how this can be done.

PRL 116, 080502
PRL Synopsis
PRL News and commentary

Fliegende Quanten: Forscher versuchen, die abhörsichere Datenkommunikation mithilfe von Satellitentechnik praxistauglich zu machen. Erste Tests waren bisher vielversprechend.



Alumnus Michael Kohn donation directing a substantial contribution towards ETH Zurich’s Quantum Engineering Initiative was highlighted in the press.

ETH Globe

Faster entanglement of distant quantum dots: Entanglement between distant quantum objects is an important ingredient for future information technologies. Researchers around Atac Imamoglu have now developed a method with which such states can be created a thousand times faster than before.

ETH news

A step towards quantum engineering: Work performed jointly by physicists of the NCCR QSIT at the University of Geneva (Thierry Giamarchi's group) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (J.-P. Brantut & Tilman Esslinger's group), in which they connected two materials with unusual quantum-mechanical properties through a quantum constriction, could open up a novel path towards both a deeper understanding of physics and future electronic devices. Their results have just been published in the journal Science.

Press release of the University of Geneva
Original article
Commentary by Wolgang Belzig

Vanessa Wood and Philipp Treutlein were awarded an ERC starting grant for their projects entitled «Development of Quantitative Metrologies to Guide Lithium Ion Battery Manufacturing» and «Modular mechanical-atomic quantum systems», respectively.

                               C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !

ERC News
ETH News
University of Basel press release
Badische Zeitung

Tobias J. Kippenberg is honored with the Klung-Wilhelmy-Science Award 2015. The award recognizes his pioneering work on the interaction of light with micro- and nano-mechanical systems. The award is endowed with 75,000 Euro will be presented on Thursday, 19 November 2015 at the Free University of Berlin.

Press release FU Berlin
Klung-Wilhelmy-Science Award

Matthias Troyer has won the 2016 Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics of the American Physical Societyfor his pioneering numerical work in many seemingly intractable areas of quantum many body physics and for providing efficient  sophisticated computer codes to the community.

American Physical Society

In a joint project physicists from Gianni Blatter's, Klaus Ensslin's, Thomas Ihn's and Werner Wegscheider's group have managed to build a resonator for electrons and to direct the standing waves thus created onto an artificial atom.

Physical Review Letters
Physics Viewpoint
ETH News
Science NewslineComputer Stories

Tobias Kippenberg and his group have used feedback to cool the motion of a micron-sized glass string to near absolute zero. This required building a sensor capable of resolving the smallest vibration allowed by quantum mechanics.

EPFL News  

The Spring 2015 EPS Emmy Noether Distinction for Women in Physics went to Anna Fontcuberta i Morral, Institut des Matériaux at EPF Lausanne, honoring her pioneering contributions to the physics of semiconductor nanostructures and their applications in mesoscopic physics and energy harvesting.

EPS News

Sebastian Huber and his colleagues show that the road from abstract theory to practical applications needn’t always be very long. Their mechanical implementation of a quantum mechanical phenomenon could soon be used for soundproofing purposes.

ETH News

Atac Imamoglu
for the second time was aproved an ERC Advanced Grant. Congratulations!

ETH News
NZZ online

Jonathan Home
and his group have revealed the strange nature of quantum physics in experiments on a trapped calcium ion. By cooling down the state of the trapped ion they were able to create a so-called 'squeezed Schrödinger cat' state. This achievement might open the way to new technologies.

Nature - News and Views
ETH News
Spektrum der Wissenschaft
NZZ online

Bettina Heim has succeeded in publishing the results of her semester project in one of the most prestigious scientific journals. Heim was able to show why in certain tests current quantum computing devices were no faster than conventional computers, contrary to previous assumptions. ETH News met the former top athlete and now successful scientist.

ETH News

Catching qubits in a trap: Jonathan Home's research group presented at the ETH News portal.

ETH News

Anna Fontcuberta i Morral, Jonathan Home, and Stefan Willitsch each win a Swiss National Science Foundation Consolidator Grant. Their projects are entitled "Earth-Abundant Semiconductors for Next-Generation Energy Harvesting, EASEH", "Quantum Simulations with Trapped Ions in Optical Lattices", and "Conformationally controlled chemistry", respectively.


EPFL press
Uni Basel press

Since the mid-1990s, quantum cryptography has been giving us a glimpse of great opportunities. This technique which relies on quantum mechanics enables the secure transfer of sensitive data without them being intercepted. So far, the transmission distance for encrypted data was the main obstacle to widespread use, but today physicists form Hugo Zbinden's group at the University of Geneva have managed to distribute quantum keys over 307 kilometres, which can be used to encode a message. They have also managed to improve the security analysis and have developed a compact and practical technology. 

Nature photonics
Actualities University of Geneva

Schweizer Forscher: Die Angst vor dem Insel-Dasein bleibt:
Patrick Maletinsky at the Swiss TV

SF DRS / 3Sat

Vanessa Wood and her group have developed a comprehensive model to explain how electrons flow inside new types of solar cells made of tiny crystals. The model allows for a better understanding of such cells and may help to increase their efficiency.

Nature Communications
ETH News
Erneuerbare Energien
AZO Nano

Latsis Prize 2014 awarded to quantum physicist Tobias Kippenberg:
The physicist Tobias Kippenberg has been awarded the National Latsis Prize, which is worth CHF 100,000 at the Rathaus in Berne. The 38-year-old EPFL professor receives the prize in recognition of his innovative research in quantum physics. The SNSF awards the prize annually on behalf of the Latsis Foundation in Geneva.

Read more  

©Esslinger group, ETH Zurich

In experiments using ultracold atoms and laser light, researchers from Tilman Esslinger's group have measured a stepwise change in conductivity as the atoms pass through tiny structures. This is the first time that this quantum effect has been observed for electrically neutral particles.

ETH life           Nature


Jonathan Home
and his group have demonstrated new methods for engineering quantum states of a trapped-ion mechanical oscillator based on dissipative pumping, where the desired superposition state is produced as the steady state of the pumping. The key element in this work was the introduction of novel spin-motion couplings which allow control of the oscillator in a rotated eigenstate basis.

Science Express, online

Jonathan Home was awarded a TED fellowship for 2015. This fellowship is awarded to 21 game-changing thinkers working across disciplines, at the forefront of their fields.


Read more

December 2014

Nicolas Gisin's book is now availabe in the German translation: "Der unbegreifliche Zufall"

Springer-Verlag, 2014
Press response: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Patrick Maletinsky and Nicolas Brunner each win a Swiss National Science Foundation Starting Grant. Their projects are entitled "Single spin imaging of strongly correlated electron systems" and "Device-Independent Approach to Quantum Physics", respectively.



© Esslinger group, ETH Zurich

ETH researchers around Tilman Esslinger have implemented in their experimental setup an idea for a new class of materials first proposed by the British physicist Duncan Haldane in 1988. In these systems, a quantized Hall effect appears despite the absence of a magnetic field. The key step for the realization was to place ultracold potassium atoms into a honeycomb lattice created by laser beams and shaken periodically on a circular trajectory. 

Nature, online publication
ETH life in German     in English

Vanessa Wood was honored with the Electrochemistry Prize (given to a researcher under the age of 40 for contributing to the advance of electrochemical research). The prize is endowed by BASF and Volkswagen.

Nicolas Gisin receives the Quantum Communication Award 2014 for his pioneering contributions to the advancement of quantum communications, quantum cryptography, and related technologies.

Read more

Andreas Kuhlmann has won the IBM Condensed Matter Physics Prize of the Swiss Physical Society 2014 for his PhD thesis on semiconductor quantum dots under the supervision of Richard Warburton.

SPS Awards

The European Academy of Science awarded the Blaise Pascal Medal in Physics to Daniel Loss in n recognition of pioneering contributions to theoretical condensed matter physics, in particular work on spin-dependent and phase-coherent phenomena (‘mesoscopics’) in semiconducting nanostructures and molecular magnets, and application to quantum information processing.

Read more

Exotic states of light and matter: With a combination of solid-state physics and quantum optics,researchers from Atac Imamoglu's group observe new multiparticle states that so far defied a complete theoretical description. The experiments might be the first step towards developing quantum computers based on photons.

ETH News

In experiments using the wonder material graphene, ETH researchers around Klaus Ensslin and Anastasia Varlet have been able to demonstrate a phenomenon predicted by a Russian physicist more than 50 years ago. They analysed a layer structure that experts believe may hold unimagined promise.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 113
Phys. Rev. Lett. 113
ETH life in German    in English

Nicolas Gisin, has been awarded this year's Marcel Benoist Prize. Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, the president of the Marcel Benoist Foundation, received Nicolas Gisin in Bern today and congratulated him on winning this prestigious award.


Press release of the State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation SERI in English
Tribune de Genève

In a QSIT collaboration Andreas Nunnenkamp, a postdoc in Christoph Bruder's group in Basel, and several members of Tobias Kippenberg's lab at EPFL have analyzed the reversed dissipation regime of cavity optomechanics in which the mechanical relaxation rate exceeds the decay rate of the electromagnetic cavity. They demonstrate that this to date little explored regime allows for the mechanically induced amplification of the electromagnetic mode. They derive gain, bandwidth, and added noise of the amplifier and propose an experimental scheme enabling quantum-limited amplification.
A. Nunnenkamp, V. Sudhir, A. K. Feofanov, A. Roulet, and T. J. Kippenberg
Phys. Rev. Lett. 113

Basler researchers around Patrick Maletinsky have figured out how diamonds could serve as nanoscale sensors.

Aargauer Zeitung

Defining and detecting quantum speedup:The development of small-scale quantum devices raises the question of how to fairly assess and detect quantum speedup. Matthias Troyer and his group show how to define and measure quantum speedup, and how to avoid pitfalls that might mask or fake such a speedup.

ETH life: Interview with Matthias Troyer
in English     in German
NZZ, online
Zeit, online
Aargauer Zeitung

Genetic optimization of photonic crystal cavities: Momchil Minkov and Vincenzo Savona at EPFL developed a fast and effective method for optimizing photonic crystal nanocavities. The method has led to the design of new-generation structures that may advance the future of optical circuits.

EPFL press release
Scientific Reports
Applied Physics Letters

Science Magazine, SRF Swiss radio, with Professor Renato Renner: In online casinos nothing is random

Read more

"Nicht zu knacken - Neue Verschlüsselungstechniken aus der Schweiz". To encrypt data much more securly is the goal of a small company in Geneva. To do so researchers take advantage of the strange laws of quantum physics. Broadcast with contributions by Renato Renner and Nicolas Gisin.

Radio SRF, Kontext

«Die Lichtteilchen sind auf spukhafte Weise verknüpft» Interview with Renato Renner on espionage and a new method of quantum cryptography to encrypt data.

Sonntagszeitung, online

Can we protect our secrets against those who wield superior technological powers? Can we trust those who provide us with tools for protection? Renato Renner and Artur Ekert  show that some of these questions can be addressed and discussed in precise and operational terms, suggesting that privacy is indeed possible under surprisingly weak assumptions.

BBC interview

Frederic Merkt is awarded the Otto Bayer Prize 2014 for his outstanding scientific work in the field of molecular spectroscopy. The prize from the Bayer Science & Education Foundation is deemed to be one of the most prestigious and coveted awards for biochemists and chemists in German-speaking regions. Congratulations!

ETH Life in English    in German

Whether or not the D-wave computing machine does in fact use quantum effects is the subject of controversial debate amongst experts. To find answers to these questions, Matthias Troyer, together with colleagues at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles tested the system located there.

Nature Physics 10, 218–224 (2014)
Nature Physics 10, 179–180 (2014)
ETH Life in English, in German
Blick am Abend, 11.2.2014, p19

After the Swiss vote a couple of weeks ago, Dominik Zumbühl was invited to appear in a short contribution regarding EU funding and Horizon 2020 on the Tagesschau 7:30pm of the Swiss TV SRF1, together with Rektor of Uni Basel, Antonio Loprieno.


Helical electron and nuclear spin order in quantum wires: Physicists from Dominik Zumbühl's group have observed a spontaneous magnetic order of electron and nuclear spins in a quantum wire at temperatures of 0.1 kelvin. In the past, this was possible only at much lower temperatures, typically in the microkelvin range. The coupling of nuclei and electrons creates a new state of matter whereby a nuclear spin order arises at a much higher temperature.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 066801
Physics World

NZZ campus has made a video with Lars Steffen about the teleportation experiment. Beam me up!

NZZ Campus

“Saturday Morning Physics” talk by Patrick Maletinsky. Title: “Diamonds forever?”
The object of the Saturday Morning Physicsat the University of Basel, is to get students interested in physics. This year's theme focuses on diamonds.



Tobias Kippenberg has been awarded the ICO Prize 2013 by the International Commission for Optics for "his innovative and pioneering research on cavity optomechanics and optical frequency combs using optical microresonators." Congratulations!

ICO News
EPFL press release

The December issue of ETH life magazin features NCCR QSIT research and National Centres of Competence in Research in genaral in several articles.

Excerpts from the magazine can be found in English, in German

Klaus Ensslin gives a lecture in the frame of 'ETH unterwegs' at the 'Kollegium Spiritus Sanctus', in Brig, VS. The lecture was entitled: Waren Sie schon einmal gleichzeitig an zwei verschiedenen Orten?

ETH unterwegs

© Brantut, ETH

The Quantum Optics group of Tilman Esslinger in close collaboration with theorists from College de France, Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS, University of Geneva and University of Bonn explored for the first time thermoelectric effects in an ultracold Fermi gas.

The setup is in close analogy to a mesoscopic solid state device where two leads prepared at different temperatures are connected to a conducting channel, which generates current from the thermoelectric effect.

The cold atom emulation of a solid state device shines new light on thermoelectricity: comparison between theory and experiments, which are often hard for natural materials due to their high complexity, can now be precisely performed with cold atoms. Even the effects of defects and disorder in materials have been successfully explored in their work, which has been published in the journal Science.

ETH Life


Kryptografie und Telekommunikation, Schweizer Forschungsschwerpunkt. Interview with Renato Renner.

Andreas Kuhlmann working in Richard Warburton’s group, in collaboration with Martino Poggio and researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, has found a way to identify and quantify charge noise and spin noise in a semiconductor quantum device. This understanding has allowed the group to achieve transform-limited quantum dot optical linewidths, required to create indistinguishable single photons. Their work has been published in the journal Nature Physics.

Nature Physics 9, 570
Nature Physics 9, 538

First Report of Real-Time Manipulation and Control of Nuclear Spin Noise: Physicists from Martino Poggio's group, in collaboration with researchers at the Eindhoven and Delft Universities of Technology, have demonstrated a new method for polarizing nuclear spins in extremely small samples. The scheme may provide a route for enhancing the sensitivity of nanometer-scale magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or possibly for the implementation of solid-state quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Physics.

Nature Physics doi:10.1038/nphys2731

ETH-researchers around Andreas Wallraff cannot ”beam“ objects or humans of flesh and blood through space yet, a feat sometimes alluded to in science fiction movies. They managed, however, to teleport information from A to B – for the first time in an electronic circuit, similar to a computer chip.
ETH Life in English, in German
Blick am Abend 14.8.13, p. 9
further coverage in the press

Andreas Nunnenkamp, a postdoc in Christoph Bruder's group, is part of an international team of researchers identifying signatures of the intrinsic nonlinear interaction between light and mechanical motion in cavity optomechanical systems. These signatures are observable even when the cavity linewidth exceeds the optomechanical coupling rate. They are nonlinear variants of optomechanically induced transparency and should be observable with optomechanical coupling strengths that have already been realized in experiments.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 053603

ERC Starting Grant awarded to Martino Poggio for a project entitled, "Bottom-up Nanowires as Scanning Multifunctional Sensors", or NWScan for short. NWScan is set to start on the 1st of November, 2013 and is planned to run for 5 years. Congratulations!

Basler Zeitung

Physicists around Matthias Christandl and mathematicians at ETH Zurich show how different forms of "entanglement" can be efficiently and systematically classified into categories. The method should help to fully exploit the potential of novel quantum technologies.

ETH Life
Science daily

Approximately 160 children aged 9 to 12 years old attended a special lecture by Klaus Ensslin in the large physics auditorium on the Hönggerberg. On the basis of many experiments the children were led through the world of mechanics. In the extended break the kids had plenty of time to try out some of these experiments themselves. The kids seized the opportunity with enthusiasm.

More pictures

A quantum simulator for magnetic materials: Physicists around Tilman Esslinger have developed a quantum simulator that allows arranging atoms in a way that they mimic the behaviour of electrons in magnetic materials. The experiment opens up the possibility of systematically studying poorly understood properties of novel materials. The fresh insights might lead to designs for new magnetic materials.

ETH Life
Physics world
The Huffington Post

Researchers around Andreas Wallraff have verified the Hong-Ou-Mandel effect with microwaves. 

ETH Life
Nature Physics

Klaus Ensslin was invited to give a Lunch talk at the ABB Research Center in Baden, Switzerland. He took the opportunity to excite his audience of 90 industry researchers about turning quantum science into technology. 

Physicists around Andreas Wallraff have developed a method for precisely controlling quantum systems by exploiting a trick that helps cats to land on their feet and motorists to fit their cars into parking spots. In the longer run, the method could lead to the development of more reliable quantum computers.

ETH Life in English, in German

Researchers around Anna Fontcuberta i Morral have built solar cells from individual nanowires, and showed that the nanowires absorbed far more light than expected based on their size. This unusual optical properties of nanowires could lead to cheaper, more efficient solar panels.

Nature Photonics
MIT Technology Review


The artcle "Transport in a three-terminal graphene quantum dot in the multi-level regime", published 2012 in New Journal of Physics (NJP) by Arnhild Jacobsen et al. has been selected for inclusion in the exclusive 'Highlights of 2012' collection.

Articles were chosen on the basis of referee endorsement, impact and broad appeal to collectively showcase the quality and diversity of NJP's broad coverage last year.

New Journal of Physics
Highlights of 2012

Quantenzirkus mit Licht und Atomen (mit Tilman Esslinger).


More than 1100 people attended the "leçon d’ouverture du semestre de printemps" by Nicolas Gisin at the University of Geneva on “Quand la science rejoint la science-fiction: De Newton à la teleportation quantique”.

Flyer (PDF, 530 KB)
Watch the lecture

Anna Fontcuberta i Morral and Richard Warburton have reported in Nature Materials the discovery of a new quantum-dot-in-nanowire system with remarkable quantum photonics properties.

Nature Materials

Tobias Kippenberg is awarded an ERC Advanced Grant. This newly won grant seamlessly followes up the 2007 received Starting Grant. The title of the project is: "Cavity Quantum Optomechanics: Exploring the Quantum regime of Mechanical Oscillators". Congratulations!

January 2013
Researchers around Tobias Kippenberg at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), as well as from the Walther-Meissner-Institute (WMI), the Technische Universität München (TUM) and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) have introduced a radically different approach to control the propagation of microwave signals by using the electromechanical interaction of a vibrating silicon nitride nanostring. They are thus able to dynamically switch, slow down, and accelerate the propagation of microwave pulses.

Nature Physics

Theoretical physicists at the ETH Zurich from the group of Matthias Christandl occcur in the footsteps of Wolfgang Pauli: They could show that an extension of the important Pauli exclusion principle is physically relevant.

ETH Life

ETH Zurich is involved in the “Graphene Flagship” project through Klaus Ensslin. ETH Life spoke to him about the advantages of graphene and his personal vision of this very special material.

ETH Life

Patrick Maletinsky gave a public lecture at the Naturforschende Gesellschaft Schaffhausen on 'Quanten-Technologien zur Erforschung der Nano-Welt'.

Schaffhauser Nachrichten (PDF, 200 KB)

The Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering and  Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at ETH hosted 70 female highschool students interested in math and science. Vanessa Wood's presentation was a great inspiration for the girls and the lab tours co-organized by QSIT PhD students were highly appreciated.

Radio DRS 1

Jonathan Home earns the Young Researcher Award 2013 of the Erlangen Graduate School in Advanced Optical Technologies (SAOT). Congratulations!


16.+ 23.12.2012
The blog cites research by Nicolas Gisin's group and Atac Imamoglu's group.

Milestone in quantum communication: Researchers led by Atac Imamoglu, professor of Quantum Photonics, have succeeded for the first time, to observe entanglement between a quantum dot spin and a single photon  in a semiconductor system. This is an important step on the way to a new form of telecommunication, which is based on quantum physics.

ETH Life  

Researchers look beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory

Physicists around Nicolas Gisin have proposed an experiment that could force us to make a choice between an extreme and the unknown to describe the behavior of the Universe. 

The proposal comes from an international team of researchers from Switzerland, Belgium, Spain and Singapore, and is published today in Nature Physics. It is based on what the researchers call a ‘hidden influence inequality’. This exposes how quantum predictions challenge our best understanding about the nature of space and time, Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Nature Physics
Press release from the University of Geneva in French (PDF, 205 KB), in English (PDF, 69 KB) (translation)
(e) Science news

Even quantum fail of the millionnaire's problem

ETH Zurich researchers around Matthias Christandl have shown that in processes such as on-line auctions there is no absolutely secure communication. Not even with the help of the sophisticated means of quantum physics. This leads to the answer to an old question which way their discipline should embark in the future.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 160501
ETH Life

Unerwartete Kühleffekte rücken Quantencomputer näher:
Das Team um Dominik Zumbühl von der Universität Basel hat in Zusammenarbeit mit dem IBM-Forschungslabor in Rüschlikon beobachtet, dass in Nanostrukturen bei sehr tiefen Temperaturen ein bislang etabliertes Naturgesetz verletzt wird. Diese Entdeckung könnte wichtige Konsequenzen für den Bau eines Quantencomputers haben.

Tele Basel News
Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 086601
Rev. Sci. Instr. 83, 083903

Nicolas Gisin has written a book on  "L'impensable Hasard, non-localité, téléportation et autres merveilles quantiques".

Edition Odile Jacob

Christian Degen was awarded an ERC starting grant for his project entitled «NANOMRI - Three-dimensional Magnetic Resonance Imaging at Molecular Resolution» The aim of the ERC project is to promote the combination of magnetic resonance imaging and atomic force microscopy. A new microscope that could represent complex biological objects such as single viruses or large protein molecules directly and in three dimensions, would open up entirely new opportunities in medicine and structural biology.

ETH Life

Ultrafast all-optical switching by single photons: Researchers from the group of Atac Imamoglu at ETH Zurich have succeeded in developing a precursor of an optical transistors which can be controlled by a single particle of light.

ETH Life
Nature Photonics

Physicists at IBM Research - Zurich and ETH Zurich have made ​​a breakthrough in the investigation of electron spin for future memory and logic applications. In specially designed samples grown by Christian Reichl and Werner Wegscheider at ETH Zurich, Matthias Walser and Gian Salis at IBM were the first to synchronize the dynamics of electron spins and image the formation of a persistent spin helix. These new findings help to selectively control and manipulate electron spins in electronic devices. Spintronics could enable a new class of magnetic-based semiconductor transistors resulting in more energy efficient electronic devices.

IBM Research - Zurich press release in English, in German
Nature Physics


Dominik Zumbühl
at TeleBasel, News: Kälte-Sensation: Basler Physiker haben einen Kühlschrank entwickelt, der Rekorde bricht.

Tele Basel

29.07. - 03.08.2012
ICPS 2012 in the media:

ETH Life
ETH Life

Daniel Loss, Dominik Zumbühl at Tele Basel report: Das Quantengenie

Tele Basel

Cold atoms simulate graphene: Scientists in Tilman Esslinger's group used a set of laser beams to create a honeycomb-like structure similar to that found in graphene. By loading ultracold atoms into this optical lattice, they can simulate electronic properties of this promising material. Such experiments may be used to identify electronic properties of materials which have yet to be discovered.

ETH press release
ETH Life in English, in German
Science Daily
Wissenschaft aktuell
NZZ (PDF, 137 KB)
St. Galler Tagblatt (PDF, 146 KB)
Physics world


Patrick Maletinsky's start as Professor at the University of Basel was covered in the Scchaffhauser Nachrichten.

Read more (PDF, 143 KB)

A team of researchers lead by Nicolas Gisin and Mikael Afzelius at the University of Geneva are developing a new approach to bring quantum networks to reality, and their latest finding has just been published in Nature Photonics.

Nature Photonics
Communiqué de presse de l'Université de Genève, en français, in English (PDF, 3.6 MB) (translation)
Interview avec Nicolas Gisin à la radio TSR Impatience, en français

Schweizer Forscher verbessern die Verschlüsselung von Geheimdaten


Radio LoRa, Zuerich: Stefan Wolf diskutiert im Rahmen einer Trilogie zum Theme Freiheit. Im Bereich der Quantentheorie und deren Interpretationen spielt das Konzept der Freiheit eine bedeutende Rolle spielt und spannende Konsequenzen können daraus gezogen werden.  

Tobias Kippenberg and his group have presented a microscopic system in which light can be converted into a mechanical oscillation and back. 
Mit der Kraft des Lichts: Quantenkontrolle eines mikromechanischen Oszillators


Christian Schönenberger, University of Basel, was awarded an ERC-Advanced Investor Grant from the European Research Council. Congratulations!

Quantenkryptographie «wieder» sicher machen: Renato Renner and Nicolas Gisin together with their groups search to reassure security in quantum cryptography.

ETH Life
Nature Communications


Eliminating errors in quantum computing
Quantum computers, should they be realized one day, will inevitably make errors. Therefore, they need special error correcting mechanisms. The most important part of it, a so-called Toffoli gate, has now been realized with superconducting circuits by ETH scientists from Andreas Wallraff's group.

ETH Life in English, in German

La cryptographie quantique passe l'épreuve du temps: Une méthode de codage  extrêmement sûre et exploitée par des chercheurs genevois démontre qu'elle est fiable sur le long terme.

Le Temps (PDF, 274 KB)

Lecture at the Senioren Universität bei Klaus Ensslin.
Quantenmechanik und Informationsverarbeitung: Waren Sie schon einmal gleichzeitig an zwei Orten?

About the Senioren Uni see also: Zü

Waren Sie schon an zwei Orten gleichzeitig?

Lecture and Lab visits by Klaus Ensslin

Treffpunkt Science City

'Einstein' - the popular science magazine of Swiss national television reported on Cryptography and Quantum Cryptography.

Watch the clip (from minute 4.56 onwards)

September 2011
Vanessa Wood: Ein Faible für Hightech-Zwerge

September 2011
Andreas Wallraff: Mit Quantensprüngen zum Erfolg

August 2011
Was ist Quantenphysik: Céline interviewt Klaus Ensslin
Was ist Theoretische Physik: Cèline interviewt Johann Blatter

Der Bund: Computerspiel soll Mädchen für Naturwissenschaften begeistern.   online

26.08. - 28.08.2011
NCCR QSIT at the 'Scientifica'
- Wohin führt die Miniaturisierung? mehr
- Wer sind die Forschenden der Zukunft? mehr

Interview with Klaus Ensslin at Radio 1: the interview

Quanteninformationen dauerhaft speichern

Technische Rundschau

«Amazing opportunities» Interview with Vanessa Wood.

ETH Life in English, in German

"Unvorstellbar klein und schnell"

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Sonderbeilage (PDF, 468 KB)

Quanteninformationen dauerhaft speichern: Atac Imamoglu und Renato Renner gingen anhand von numerischen Modellen und theoretischen Analysen der Frage nach, ob es einen Langzeitspeicher für Quanteninformationen überhaupt geben kann.

ETH Life in English, in German
Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 030504

Auf dem Weg zum Schweizer Supercomputer: Der ETH-Physiker Andreas Wallraff entwickelt Mikrochips, die tausendmal energieeffizienter sind als herkömmliche Computer.

Der Bund

Andreas Wallraff receives the Max Rössler-Preis-2011. He earns the price allocated with 200'000 CHF for his outstanding research at the interface of quantum physics and information technology.

ETH press release
Blick am Abend, p 11
ETH Life

Susanne Dröscher in 20min: Mädchen, ran an die Technik!

Quantum knowledge cools computers: Whether data is processed or deleted in computers, both consume energy. The energy is released as heat. A study has now shown that the heat forming can be avoided, and, in an extreme case, cold can be created – a glimmer of hope for supercomputer centres.This is confirmed by a study led by ETH Zurich Professor Renato Renner together with Vlatko Vedral of the National University of Singapore and published today in “Nature”.

ETH Life in English, in German
Nature-Podcast: Interview with Lidia del Rio (from min 14.30 onwards)

May 2011
Each year L'Hebdo, a well-known magazine in Switzerland, chooses the 100 most prominent people in the French part of Switzerland, the “Forum des 100”. In the 2011 edition of the Forum, Nicolas Gisin was selected for his contributions to the physics of entanglement.

Read more (PDF, 6.2 MB) , p. 36

May 2011
Report on the start of the NCCR QSIT

SPS (PDF, 2.2 MB), p. 39

The D-Phys awards to Clemens Rössler the prize for the most innovative experimental contribution to the Advanced Physics Laboratory 2011 for the "Student Cleanroom Laboratory".

Tobias Kippenberg, EPF Lausanne, receives the EFTF Young Scientist Award.

IFCS Symposium

March 2011
The Swiss Physical Society reports on the start of the NCCR QSIT


Ideen für neue Sensoren

CHemie plus

March 2011
Quanten sind nicht alles

ETH press release

'Forschungsdurchbruch bei Photonen im Mikrowellenfrequenzbereich'

ETH Life

Interview with Klaus Ensslin: 'Die Zukunftsmusik der Quantenforschung'

ETH Life in English, in German

'Le monde où la matière change de lois'
Interview avec Klaus Ensslin

Patrick Maletinsky receives the Prix Schläfli at the first General Meeting of the NCCR QSIT in Arosa.

ETH Life
Swiss Academy of Science

«Das ist völlig absurd» Interview with Richard Warburton.

Baslerstab (PDF, 867 KB)


The validation of cold atoms as quantum simulators, in which the group of Matthias Troyer participated, and the measurement of the phase diagram of the Dicke Quantum Phase transition by the group of Tilman Esslinger were listed by the Magazine SCIENCE under " Science Breakthroughs of the Year".


Medienmitteilung der Universität Basel: Ko-Leitung im «NFS Quantenwissenschaft und -technologie» link

Klaus Ensslin and Giorgio Broggi are awarded the 'golden tricycle', the prize for family-friendly supervisors at ETH.

ETH Life
ETH Life print (PDF, 528 KB)

This year's Ruzicka price goes to Prof. Stefan Willitsch from the Departement of Chemistry at the University of Basel.

ETH Life

Für ihre grundlegenden Beiträge zur Quanteninformatik wurden die «Erfinder» der Quantenkryptographie, Charles H. Bennett und Gilles Brassard, zu Ehrendoktoren der ETH Zürich ernannt.

ETH Life

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