Prof. Anton Zeilinger doctor honoris causa UG a Nobel Prize winner!

Prof. Anton Zeilinger,  fot. Austrian Academy of Sciences press photos, Jacqueline Godany

University of Gdańsk's honorary doctor of science prof. Anton Zeilinger, as well as Alain Aspect and John Clauser, have been awarded the Nobel Prize for their experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell's inequality and pioneering quantum computing. Two of the Nobelists - prof. Anton Zeilinger and Alain Aspect - are collaborating with the International Centre for Quantum Theory at the University of Gdańsk.

Scientific cooperation and friendship link prof. Anton Zeilinger with prof. dr hab. Marek Żukowski from the International Centre for Theory of Quantum Technologies, UG. Their first joint publication appeared in 1991. Together, they have authored about thirty papers, the last of which was published in 2021. 

'This is a great scientific and personal friendship. I am delighted. In 1991, when prof. Anton Zeilinger was forming his team in Innsbruck, he invited me as a visiting professor,' - recalls prof. Marek Żukowski. - 'During those three semesters, we managed to produce several fundamental publications, including a paper on entanglement exchange. It was this that later served as the theoretical basis for the teleportation experiment that brought Anton great fame. The article was published on December 11, 1997, which was my birthday. Intermittently, I spent nearly five years in Vienna working with Anton and his students.'

After fifteen years of working together, prof. Marek Żukowski became the supervisor of prof. Anton Zeilinger's honorary doctorate at the University of Gdańsk. In 2006, the UG Senate awarded the title to the Austrian scientist for his 'series of fundamental experimental tests of the quantum nature of the world and his contribution to the development of quantum information'.

'Each year the competition is enormous, but in the end, the Nobel Prize is awarded to a person who has been associated with us for many years. He was honoured for the outstanding quality of the science she has practised in connection with our work, among other things, and long before this award. So the anticipation that our honorary doctor is an absolutely outstanding person was very apt,' - said prof. dr hab. Piotr Bojarski, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics of UG.

Prof. Marek Żukowski with prof. Piotr Bojarski during the inauguration of the 2022/2023 academic year at the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science.

The information about the awarding of prof. Anton Zeilinger was the icing on the cake of the inauguration of the academic year at the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics. At the end of the ceremony, the good news was announced by prof. Marek Żukowski together with prof. Piotr Bojarski. The information aroused great joy among those gathered not only because the honorary doctor of the UG had received a Nobel Prize, but also because this distinction is also an appreciation of the work of the scientists of the WMFiI UG who have been working with the Nobel Prize winner since the 1990s.

'In 2005, we suspected that Anton would be honoured with this award, but it fell through. This year marks the centenary that Einstein and Bohr were awarded the Nobel Prize. The Foundation probably felt that this was an appropriate year to recognise them,' - said prof. Marek Żukowski.

The collaboration between UG scientists and Prof. Anton Zeilinger resulted in the creation of the UG National Centre for Quantum Informatics, which was established one year after the award of an honorary doctorate to the eminent physicist, and the International Centre for Theory of Quantum Technologies (ICTQT), established in 2018. Alain Aspect, the winner of this year's Nobel Prize in Physics, is a committee member of the latter institution.

Anton Zeilinger

Anton Zeilinger, Anton Zeilinger fot. Austrian Academy of Sciences, Sepp Dreissinger

Marcel Jakubowski / Press Office UG