MPL Theory Division: MPL welcomes Prof. Florian Marquardt as its fourth director

01.08.2016, 08:00

The MPL Theory Division, led by Florian Marquardt, deals with both the quantum and classical dynamics of systems relevant for modern optics research, especially at the interface between nanophysics and quantum optics. Topics include the theory of optomechanics, quantum optics in superconducting circuits, transport in photonic systems, fundamental questions of quantum many-body theory, nonequilibrium nonlinear dynamics, and decoherence. The group applies a variety of approaches, ranging from analytical studies to numerical simulations.

Florian Marquardt studied physics in Bayreuth (Diploma 1998). He then went to the University of Basel (Switzerland), where he defended his PhD thesis in condensed matter in the Christoph Bruder group in 2002. From there he moved to Yale University (USA), where he worked as a postdoctoral student with Steve Girvin. In 2005 he returned to Germany, where he was first a junior professor and then Emmy Noether group leader at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich. For his fundamental work on the theory of optomechanics, he was awarded the Walter Schottky Prize of the German Physical Society in 2009. Since 2010 he has been a professor at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, where he was appointed Director of the MPL in August 2016.

The history of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light is based on a long tradition of optics research in Erlangen. The focus is on basic research in the field of modern optics and optical materials, nano-optics, quantum information processing, optical sensors and non-linear optics. The aim of science at the MPL is essentially to investigate the light and its interaction with matter in all respects: in space and time, in polarization and in its quantum properties. The MPL now consists of four departments, several independent research groups and three technology development- and service units.

At present, about 220 employees work at the MPL. Since its founding in 2009, the MPL has been housed in rental premises of Siemens AG. In the spring of 2011, Fritsch + Tschaidse (Munich) designed the winning design for a new building at an architectural competition. After the foundation of the new building in July 2013 and the topping-out ceremony in November 2014, the new building moved to Staudtstraße at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen in October 2016.

The Division began operation August 1st 2016 and is currently in the process of being established.

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