Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) honors quantum physicist Professor Rainer Blatt of the University of Innsbruck by presenting him with its 2022 Gutenberg Research Award. This is the most eminent research prize awarded by the university. It comes with an endowment of EUR 10,000 and is conferred annually by the Gutenberg Research College (GRC), the central institution designed to promote top-level research at JGU. Rainer Blatt is a professor at the Department of Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck. Here he heads one of the world's leading research groups in the field of trapped ion quantum computing that creates simulation algorithms for use in research on solid-state physics, molecular physics, and high energy physics. After the award ceremony he intends to remain in Mainz for several days to meet with JGU colleagues working in various research groups and labs to discuss their latest theories and research projects. “Rainer Blatt is among the world's most prominent researchers and he enjoys an outstanding reputation. By giving him the 2022 Gutenberg Research Award, we are recognizing the major contribution he has made to quantum optics by means of his pioneering experiments, in addition to his other achievements,” emphasized GRC Director Professor Siegfried Waldvogel.
A true trailblazer in the field of quantum computing
“Rainer Blatt and his profile complement the research landscape in Mainz perfectly. He combines a passion for precision, like that practiced in the PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence, with new approaches to quantum computing, which is also one of the top-level research areas here at JGU,” affirmed Professor Ferdinand Schmidt-Kaler of JGU's Institute of Physics, who nominated Blatt for the award. “In addition, Rainer Blatt is exploring the simulation of chemical processes using quantum computing and he is looking at ways of linking quantum processors and standard high-performance computers. Thus, he will be able to provide us with advice and ideas in this connection. He is particularly fascinated by new applications and research fields and, moreover, he has strong ties to the region,” added Schmidt-Kaler. Blatt was born in Idar-Oberstein in Rhineland-Palatinate in 1952 and studied and obtained his doctorate at JGU. He subsequently entered the world of research, collaborating in the USA with the eventual Nobel Prize winner John Lewis Hall. He holds numerous scientific prizes, including the Stern-Gerlach Medal, i.e., the most distinguished award given by the German Physical Society (DPG), the John Stewart Bell Prize of the University of Toronto, and the Micius Quantum Prize of China.