Wolfgang Peter Schleich Named 2021 Herbert Walther Award Recipient

WASHINGTON – The Optical Society (OSA) and the Deutsche Physikalische Gesell­schaft (DPG) have named OSA Fellow Wolfgang Peter Schleich, Universitat Ulm, Germany, the 2021 recipient of the Herbert Walther Award.

Schleich is recognized “for pioneering contributions to topics including gyroscopes and general relativity, Schleich-Wheeler oscillations, quantum state engineering, quantum optics in phase space, Gauss-sum factorization and wave packet dynamics and the red shift controversy resolution in atom interferometry.”

“As a trailblazer in quantum optics research, Wolfgang Peter Schleich has greatly contributed to our fundamental understanding of quantum mechanics and a myriad of topics ranging from interference to black holes,” said 2020 OSA President Stephen Fantone. “He has broadened our knowledge and served the optics and photonics community on a scale befitting this distinguished recognition.”

The award commemorates Max Planck Institute of Quantum Physics Professor Herbert Walther’s groundbreaking innovations in quantum optics and atomic physics as well as other wide-ranging contributions to the scientific community. The Herbert Walther Award, administered jointly by OSA and DPG, recognizes distinguished contributions in quantum optics and atomic physics as well as leadership in the international scientific community.

Wolfgang Peter Schleich, Chair-Professor of Theoretical Physics, Universitat Ulm, is a theoretical physicist with a 40 year career of demonstrated leadership and groundbreaking research. He is most well-known for providing the theoretical support for the Bose-Einstein condensate on a chip sounding rocket experiments.

Schleich received a Diplom Physik and Ph.D. in Physics from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany. During his Ph.D. work, he studied for a year with Dr. Marlan O. Scully in the United States. He became a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Theoretical Physics in Austin, Texas, USA upon completion of his Ph.D. In 1989, he received the Dr. rer. nat. habil. at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany. Before joining the Universitat Ulm in 1991, he worked with Herbert Walther at the Max- Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik.

In 2019 he established the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Quantum Technologies, which pursues fundamental precision measurements with cold atoms, Bose-Einstein condensates, and atom interferometers in micro-gravity. He leads this center as Acting Director.

Schleich is active in the community, serving as a reviewer for numerous scientific journals and funding agencies, as a member and participant in his professional societies, and as an editor and speaker. He is organizer or co-organizer of 35 international conferences on quantum optics. His many awards include the Personal Medal of the Cardinal of Duka, the Archbishop of Prague; the Equal Opportunity Award of Ulm University; the Medal of the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering of Czech Technical University; the Willis E. Lamb Award and others. He is a Fellow of OSA, the Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, and the European Optical Society; an elected member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Academia Europaea; and an Honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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