LMU: Wolf Prize in Physics: Prestigious award for Ferenc Krausz

Professor Ferenc Krausz has been awarded the prestigious Wolf Prize in Physics. The Hungarian-Austrian physicist receives the prize for his pioneering contributions to ultrafast laser science and attosecond physics.

In 2001 Ferenc Krausz, Chair of Experimental Physics – Laser Physics at LMU Munich and Director at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, and his team at the Vienna University of Technology succeeded for the first time in experimentally generating and measuring individual light flashes of extreme ultraviolet light that were only attoseconds long (an attosecond is one billionth of a billionth of a second). The results marked the beginning of attosecond physics and set a milestone in science. The attosecond light flashes made it possible for the first time to make the ultrafast movements of electrons visible, to photograph them, so to speak. In recent years, Ferenc Krausz and his colleagues have succeeded in making numerous real-time film recordings of the movement of electrons in molecules and atoms.

The Wolf Prize is awarded in Israel. Since 1978, scientists and artists have been awarded for “achievements in the interest of humanity and friendly relations between people (…) without regard to nationality, race, colour, religion, sex or political views”. The Wolf Prizes in physics and chemistry are considered the most prestigious awards in these fields after the Nobel Prize.

“I feel greatly honoured by receiving the Wolf Prize, which I regard as a recognition of what has been achieved jointly, with a number of outstanding coworkers and collaborators, and an appreciation of the future prospects, ultrafast laser science offers for advancing frontiers of science and technology”, says Ferenc Krausz.

Ferenc Krausz shares the prize with his colleagues Paul Corkum from the University of Ottawa and Anne L’Huillier from Lund University. Both are also pioneers in the field of attosecond physics.

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