Quantum Physics Researcher Wins €137,036
Austrian physicist Matthias Troyer has today been awarded the Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics. At a ceremony held at Planetarium Hamburg, Troyer was honored for his work on quantum Monte Carlo algorithms. Using random numbers, these algorithms can predict how tiny particles will interact within structures such as atoms and molecules. With his research, Troyer is playing a key role in the development of quantum computers, which could perform calculations much faster than today’s computers. Troyer has been employed as a quantum computing researcher at software company Microsoft since 2017 and, until summer 2019, was also a professor at ETH Zurich.
The Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics, which comes with an endowment of €137,036, is one of the most important German physics prizes. The amount of prize money takes its cue from Sommerfeld’s fine-structure constant, which plays an important role in the field of theoretical physics. Since 2010, the prize has been presented at a scientific symposium and is awarded jointly by the Joachim Herz Stiftung, the Wolfgang Pauli Centre at the University of Hamburg, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), and the cluster of excellence “CUI: Advanced Imaging of Matter.”
At the award ceremony, Dr. Henneke Lütgerath, Chairman of the Joachim Herz Stiftung, not only highlighted Troyer’s scientific achievements, but also his openness toward cooperation between research and industry. “He is spearheading intensive collaboration between science and business, which makes him a role model for the development of our city, where it would be good to see companies and research institutes working more closely,” remarked Lütgerath.
RESEARCH PLACEMENTS IN HAMBURG
The prize also entails teaching and research placements for Troyer in Hamburg. In this regard, he will be working with theoretical physics institutions, as well as other research facilities such as European XFEL at the Hamburg-Bahrenfeld campus.
“I am thrilled to have won this award. And I eagerly anticipate the discussions with my Hamburg-based colleagues over the next few months,” said Troyer.
ABOUT MATTHIAS TROYER
Following a physics degree at Johannes Kepler University Linz and ETH Zurich, he obtained his doctorate at the latter in 1994. He then worked as a Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science at the University of Tokyo before returning to ETH Zurich in 1998. Here, he was appointed as a Full Professor for Computational Physics in 2005. He also became a part-time Principal Researcher at Microsoft Quantum in the United States in 2017. In summer 2019, he stepped down from his professorship at ETH Zurich and has since been a Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft. Troyer has been a Fellow of the American Physical Society since 2010 and a Trustee of the Aspen Center for Physics since 2014. He received the Aneesur Rahman Prize in 2016.