Prof. Dr. Wojciech H. Zurek


Academic positionAssociate Professor, Senior Lecturer, Reader
Research fieldsTheoretical Physics,Atomic Physics, Molecular Physics, Laser Physics,Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics
KeywordsDecoherence, quantum chaos, Bose-Einstein condensates, information theory

Current contact address

CountryUnited States of America
CityLos Alamos
InstitutionLos Alamos National Laboratory
InstituteTheory Division, T-DOT

Host during sponsorship

Prof. Dr. Christof WetterichInstitut für Theoretische Physik, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg
Start of initial sponsorship01/03/2006


2005Humboldt Research Award Programme

Nominator's project description

Professor Zurek has shaped our modern understanding of the connection and transition between quantum physics and classical physics. The meaning of quantum states and measurements in quantum physics has for a long time remained a philosophical and conceptual discussion. The issue is full of paradoxes, like Schrödinger's question, why a cat cannot be half alive and half dead, or more precisely, cannot be a superposition of these two states. Professor Zurek has promoted the understanding of decoherence, describing quantitatively why and how quantum states become classical. More simply, this tells us why a cat is either alive or dead. Professor Zurek has also made central contributions to quantum information theory. In particular, his "no cloning theorem" is very important for quantum cryptography. In Germany he continues to work on decoherence theory and its applications to ultracold and nonlinear systems