University of Innsbruck
Mathias Scheurer
ERC-Preisträger Mathias Scheurer

ERC Starting Grant for Mathias Scheurer

Physicist Mathias Scheurer has received an ERC Starting Grant for his research in the field of theoretical quantum many-body physics. Together with the award for Hannes Pichler, this is already the second Starting Grant this year at the University of Innsbruck. The grant, endowed with over 1 million euros, is the most prestigious award for successful young scientists in Europe.

In September 2020, Mathias Scheurer came from Harvard University to the University of Innsbruck to continue his research on quantum many-body physics. Now, the young researcher has received a highly endowed ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council to further strengthen his research group at the Department of Theoretical Physics at the University of Innsbruck. The European Research Council supports pioneering research by outstanding scientists in Europe.

New states of matter

Scheurer works in the field of theoretical quantum many-body physics with a strong focus on applications in solids. The newly funded project focuses on two-dimensional materials such as graphene. If two graphene layers are placed on top of each other at a certain angle, the material becomes superconducting, i.e. it can transport electricity without loss. This discovery, made a few years ago, opens an entirely new world that Mathias Scheurer now wants to explore. "What I see as particularly promising about this discovery is that it opens up an almost infinite number of possibilities for twisting different combinations of layers of graphene and related materials against each other," Scheurer explains. That is the main motivation underlying his new project: through theoretical study of various innovative setups and geometries, he hopes to realize new quantum many-body states and find approaches to measure their properties. "These states are relevant both to improve our fundamental understanding of complex quantum systems and for possible quantum technological applications in the future," the physicist explains. Scheurer also wants to advance these goals in collaboration with the world's leading experimental groups.

On Mathias Scheurer

Mathias Scheurer (*1988) was born in Heilbronn, Germany, and studied physics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, where he received his PhD in 2016. From 2017 till 2020 he worked as a postdoc in the research group of Subir Sachdev at Harvard University. Since 2020, he has been an assistant professor at the Department of Theoretical Physics at the University of Innsbruck.