There is good reason to celebrate. The Austrian quantum physicist Anton Zeilinger has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2022, sharing the accolade with Alain Aspect (France) and John F. Clauser (USA).
All three have received the honour for their ‘groundbreaking experiments using entangled quantum states’, according to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ citation. The research of all three physicists has converted from theory into practice what Albert Einstein once dismissed as ‘spooky’: how particles can behave as a single unit, irrespective of the distance between them, and remain entangled with one another, sharing their physical properties.
Their research, which is based on quantum information, is influencing and enabling new fields of technology, including quantum computing, quantum networks and quantum-encrypted communications. Zeilinger considers the latter, also known as quantum cryptography, to be the most advanced field in which he is working.
Zeilinger joins the ranks of Austrian scientists who have significantly influenced the field of quantum research, and becomes the fourth Nobel laureate in Physics from Austria after Erwin Schrödinger, Victor Franz Hess and Wolfgang Pauli.
Anton Zeilinger first successfully teleported particles of light in 1997 in a momentous experiment that earned him the nickname ‘Mister Beam’. The passionate scientist told journalists that one has to trust one’s own intuition and crazy ideas. He also views the prize as encouragement for young people and has additionally thanked the many colleagues who have supported him in his research work over the years.
The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded annually since 1901 and now includes a cash award of ten million Swedish crowns. The prize-giving ceremony will be held in Stockholm on 10 December, the anniversary of benefactor Alfred Nobel’s death.