Stern-Gerlach Medal for Prof. Dr. Joachim Ullrich
PTB President receives the DPG’s most prestigious award in the field of experimental physics – Joint press release of Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Joachim Ullrich, President of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (MPIK), has been honored with the Stern-Gerlach Medal by the German Physical Society (DPG). He received this award “in recognition of his groundbreaking experimental contributions to atomic and molecular physics, and specifically to the development and application of reaction microscopes for the complete kinematic reconstruction of the interaction processes between atoms, molecules and photons”. This is the DPG’s most prestigious honor for outstanding achievements in experimental physics, and it is awarded for work covering the whole field of physics.
Joachim Ullrich (born in 1956) has been President of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany’s national metrology institute, since 1 January 2012. Prior to that, from 2001 to 2011, he was a director and scientific member of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg, where he headed the “Experimental Few-Particle Quantum Dynamics” Division. Joachim Ullrich’s background in physics lies in atomic, molecular and laser physics as well as in precision spectroscopy. The groundbreaking work that he pioneered began with his doctoral thesis at the University of Frankfurt studying recoil-ion momentum spectroscopy and its further development to reaction microscopes. While thinking back over his career and about receiving this honor, Joachim Ullrich said: “As I studied and obtained my doctorate at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, where Stern and Gerlach performed their groundbreaking experiments, I am particularly honored to be receiving this recognition. In the group in Frankfurt, then at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and later at the MPI for Nuclear Physics, I had the privilege to work under outstanding conditions and above all with excellent colleagues, meaning that the techniques were continuously refined.”
With his group at the MPI for Nuclear Physics, he looked among other things into the interaction of atoms and molecules with high-intensity laser pulses. Here, he studied the dynamics of chemical reactions on the femtosecond scale and carried out experiments with ultra-short X-ray pulses at the free-electron laser at DESY in Hamburg and at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Stanford, USA. Joachim Ullrich deserves special recognition for his achievements in setting up the Hamburg Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL), which is supported by the Max Planck Society, DESY and Hamburg University.
Among the most important honors in his scientific career are the Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) awarded in 1999 and the Philip Morris Research Award received in 2006. In 2013 he was appointed as an External Scientific Member of the MPI for Nuclear Physics. In 2017 he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, Class 1 of the Federal Republic of Germany. Leibniz University Hannover conferred him with an honorary doctoral degree in 2018. In November 2020 the Council of the DPG elected Joachim Ullrich to be its future president. The DPG is the largest physics society in the world and has over 55 000 members. Joachim Ullrich’s term as president will last for two years and will begin in April 2022.
Prof. Dr. Joachim Ullrich, President, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Bundesallee 100, 38116 Braunschweig, Phone: +49 531 592-1001, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PD Dr. Bernold Feuerstein, Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Postfach 103980, 69029 Heidelberg, Phone: +49 6221 516-281, Email: email@example.com