Three Clusters of Excellence in Innsbruck
With highly endowed clusters of excellence, the Austrian Science Fund FWF creates Austrian flagships of basic research. The University of Innsbruck will coordinate the Cluster of Excellence for Quantum Sciences and is involved in two Clusters of Excellence on political, social and cultural developments in Eurasia and on materials for energy conversion and storage.
Two-dimensional quantum freeze
Researchers at ETH Zurich and TII Abu Dhabi, with the support of quantum optics theorists from Innsbruck, Austria, have succeeded in simultaneously cooling the motion of a tiny glass sphere in two dimensions to the quantum ground-state. This represents a crucial step towards a 3D ground-state cooling of a massive object and opens up new opportunities for the design of ultra-sensitive sensors.
Quantum Chemistry: Molecules caught tunneling
Physicists led by Roland Wester of the University of Innsbruck have now for the first time observed a quantum mechanical tunneling reaction in experiments. The observation can also be described exactly in theory. With the study published in Nature, the scientists provide an important reference for this fundamental effect in chemistry. It is the slowest reaction with charged particles ever observed.
High-performance computer with quantum coprocessor
With 9 million euros in funding from the NextGenerationEU recovery plan for Europe, the University of Innsbruck will combine a quantum computer with a supercomputer in the coming months. The novel system will be used in various fields such as computer science, physics, mathematics and beyond and will be open to all scientists in Austria for research and teaching.
Tracing the origin of life
A team of scientists from France and Austria has discovered a new abiotic pathway for the formation of peptide chains from amino acids - a key chemical step in the origin of life. The current study provides strong evidence that this crucial step for the emergence of life can indeed occur even in the very inhospitable conditions of space.
Detective work at sea: whale research via environmental DNA
Detailed knowledge about whales in European waters will be provided by the Biodiversa+ project "eWHALE", which started in January and is led by molecular ecologist Bettina Thalinger from the University of Innsbruck. The transnational research project brings together partners from science, industry and the public to establish a far-reaching, non-invasive cetacean and biodiversity monitoring system using water samples.
COVID-19: The current semester
Even though Corona will remain and we will all have to live with it in the long run, we are currently in a very good situation - from the point of view of society as a whole as well as within the university. Therefore, all currently valid regulations at the University of Innsbruck regarding COVID-19 will be lifted with immediate effect. The Rector's team is very concerned about the health of all university employees, which is why the situation around COVID-19 will be monitored in the future in order to be able to take necessary steps if necessary.
Entangled atoms across the Innsbruck quantum network
Trapped ions have previously only been entangled in one and the same laboratory. Now, teams led by Tracy Northup and Ben Lanyon from the University of Innsbruck have entangled two ions over a distance of 230 meters. The experiment shows that trapped ions are a promising platform for future quantum networks that span cities and eventually continents.
Rina Alluri is the new UNESCO Chairholder in Innsbruck
On 26 January, peace researcher Rina M. Alluri was inducted as the new UNESCO Chairholder for Peace Studies in Innsbruck. She succeeds Wolfgang Dietrich and is also co-director of the Master's programme "Peace and Conflict Studies".
A Quantum Video Reel
When it comes to creating ever more intriguing quantum systems, a constant need is finding new ways to observe them in a wide range of physical scenarios. JILA Fellow Cindy Regal and JILA and NIST Fellow Ana Maria Rey have teamed up with Oriol Romero-Isart from the University of Innsbruck and IQOQI to show that a trapped particle in the form of an atom readily reveals its full quantum state with quite simple ingredients, opening up opportunities for studies of the quantum state of ever larger particles.
Underlying assumptions of air quality need to be redefined
Long-term measurements in the urban area of Innsbruck, Austria, show that the fraction of ozone near the surface tends to be overestimated in atmospheric models. Consequently, a fundamental assumption for air quality forecasting has to be reinterpreted for urban areas. Measurements by an international team led by atmospheric scientist Thomas Karl of the University of Innsbruck also show that direct nitrogen dioxide emissions are overestimated.
Anton Zeilinger awarded honorary doctorate
Today, quantum physicist Anton Zeilinger was awarded an honorary doctorate in the Aula auditorium of the University of Innsbruck. The Nobel Prize winner of 2022 was honored for his outstanding scientific achievements. Zeilinger was a professor at the Department of Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck from 1990 to 1999, where he carried out much of the work recently honored with the Nobel Prize.
Blast Chiller for the Quantum World
The quantum nature of objects visible to the naked eye is currently a much-discussed research question. A team led by Innsbruck physicist Gerhard Kirchmair has now demonstrated a new method in the laboratory that could make the quantum properties of macroscopic objects more accessible than before. With the method, the researchers were able to increase the efficiency of an established cooling method by an order of a magnitude.
Quantum entanglement sharpens measurements
According to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, two complementary properties, for example single components of a magnetic field, cannot be determined with arbitrary precision at the same time. An international team of scientists has now tested a new method on about a dozen quantum computers with which multiple parameters can be optimally determined simultaneously using entangled copies of a quantum state.
International experts introduce new master's degree in pharmacy
Since the winter semester 2022/23, the University of Innsbruck and the Medical University of Innsbruck offer the joint master's programme "Pharmaceutical Sciences". International experts from industry and regulatory authorities were guests at the kick-off.
Digital information platform for refugees
At the International Conference on Information Systems ICIS 2022 in Copenhagen, Maximilian Schreieck from the Department of Information Systems, Production Management and Logistics has been awarded the AIS Impact Award for his support of digital solutions for refugees.
Heat and cold as health hazards
Both hot and cold environments trigger a stress response in the human body and can lead to cardiovascular problems. Physiologist Justin Lawley from the Department of Sport Science and colleagues have recently investigated both factors in scientific studies. The results, which were published in the Journals Scientific Reports and Experimental Physiology, are especially interesting in light of the current multiple global crises.
Leveraging Ethics to Make Quantum Research Sustainable
Innsbruck is a leading center in the development of new quantum technologies. In order to understand the processes of societal change triggered by these technologies and to be able to develop corresponding ethics frameworks, the University of Innsbruck is founding today the Innsbruck Quantum Ethics Lab (IQEL), in which experts from various disciplines will work together.
Statistics: Brazil is the clear favourite going into the FIFA World Cup
After being eliminated in the quarter-finals four years ago, the Brazilian national team is once again the clear favourite to win the FIFA World Cup. But Argentina, the Netherlands, Germany and France also have a good chance of winning the title – as shown by an international team of researchers from the Universities of Innsbruck, Ghent and Luxembourg and the Technical Universities of Dortmund and Munich.
Method to characterize large quantum computers
Quantum devices are becoming ever more complex and powerful. Researchers at the University of Innsbruck, in collaboration with the Johannes Kepler University Linz and the University of Technology Sydney, are now presenting a method to characterize even large quantum computers using only a single measurement setting.
Ultra-cold mini twisters
A team of quantum physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, led by three-time ERC laureate Francesca Ferlaino has established a new method to observe vortices in dipolar quantum gases. These quantum vortices are considered a strong indication of superfluidity, the frictionless flow of a quantum gas, and have now been experimentally detected for the first time in dipolar gases.
New form of universal quantum computers
Computing power of quantum machines is currently still very low. Increasing it is still proving to be a major challenge. Physicists at the University of Innsbruck now present a new architecture for a universal quantum computer that overcomes such limitations and could be the basis of the next generation of quantum computers soon.
Meet the locals: Teatime in the Botanical Garden
Social events for international researchers and professionals are periodically organised by the Welcome Service Tyrol team of the Standortagentur (Business Location Agency). These very popular meetings, whether it is a small get-together or the big autumn event for the whole family with a guided tour at the Alpenzoo, offer a great opportunity to network with other internationals and newcomers to Tyrol in a pleasant atmosphere.
Build an advanced European quantum internet ecosystem
The Quantum Internet Alliance has started a seven-year program to build an innovative Quantum Internet ecosystem in Europe. The first phase has a budget of 24 million euros. The research groups led by Tracy Northup and Benjamin Lanyon at the Department of Experimental Physics of the University of Innsbruck and the quantum computer spin-off AQT will be involved in the project.
Prominent researchers’ work gets published more easily
Research work by renowned researchers is rated significantly better than work by lesser-known researchers, despite the same quality. This was the conclusion reached by a team of researchers led by Jürgen Huber from the Department of Banking and Finance in a recently published study. The collaboration of Vernon Smith, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics, was crucial to the success of the study.
Migration as morality politics
Migration often serves as an arena for conflicting values. In this context, religious groups, civil society organisations and local authorities often show a more liberal attitude than the state. The political scientist Julia Mourão Permoser applies a new analytical approach to this as yet unexplored aspect.
IMC 2022: 800 mountain researchers met in Innsbruck
From 11 to 15 September, the University of Innsbruck hosted the second International Mountain Conference, the world's largest conference exclusively on mountain issues. Over the course of four days, numerous experts from a wide range of disciplines engaged in an interdisciplinary exchange on various aspects of mountain research. The organizers Wolfgang Gurgiser and Stefan Mayr from the University of Innsbruck’s Research Area "Mountain regions" sum up the conference positively and are considering a next edition of the IMC in 2025.
Reading old handwriting with Transkribus
Using artificial intelligence, computers can decipher handwritten texts and make them readable for everyone. The Transkribus platform, co-developed at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, makes this technology available to scholars and the general public. An ever-growing group of people are using Transkribus to research their family history. On 29 and 30 September 2022, users from all over the world are going to meet in Innsbruck.
Studies showcase long-term effects of drought
With the effects of climate change underway, drought is becoming an increasing problem in many parts of the world. Michael Bahn, researcher from the Department of Ecology at the University of Innsbruck, was involved in several studies on the impact of drought on ecosystems. These give insight into the complex processes and highlight the importance of biodiversity in enabling natural systems to resist drought.
The role of religion in the Russian “culture war”
In recent years, the Russian Orthodox Church has tried to become an international influencer propagating conservative moral values. This is the research finding of Kristina Stoeckl, a sociologist of religion. Following Russia's attack on Ukraine, many religiously inspired right-wing groups distanced themselves from Moscow at least for the time being. It remains to be seen whether this rejection will be long term.
Hannes Pichler wins New Horizons in Physics Prize
Quantum physicist Hannes Pichler receives a highly endowed research prize. He will be awarded a New Horizons Prize in Physics at the Breakthrough Prize Awards Ceremony. The $100,000 award is given to early-career scientists who have already made a significant impact on their field.
Astrophysics: Star-childhood shapes stellar evolution
In classical models of stellar evolution, so far little importance has been attached to the early evolution of stars. Thomas Steindl from the Department of Astro- and Particle Physics at the University of Innsbruck now shows for the first time that the biography of stars is indeed shaped by their early stage. The study was published in Nature Communications.