Quantum Science Pioneers of 21st Century Receive Micius Quantum Prize in Hefei

  • [2019-09-22]


    On September 20 2019, during the International Conference on Emerging Quantum Technology, award ceremony for The Micius Quantum Prize was held in Hefei, China. 12 brilliant scientists from all over the world received the prize for 2018 and 2019 respectively. USTC Prof. PAN Jianwei is one of the laureates for 2019.


    an overall picture of the laureates

    Medal for Micius prize 


    The prize, awarded by the Micius Quantum Foundation, was set to recognize outstanding advances achieved in quantum science and technology, ranging from relatively early conceptual contributions to the recent experimental breakthroughs. Funded by generous private entrepreneurs with a sum of 100 million yuan, the prize was named after the 5th B.C. Chinese philosopher who discovered that light travels straight, and wrote an earlier version of Newton’s first law of motion a century earlier than Aristotle, which reads “力, 刑之所以奋也,” that is, “Force, the reason of an object being excited (accelerated).” He believed that objects can be infinitely divided down to the smallest fundamental unit of particle – a concept that resonates with modern quantum physics.

    Nobel laureate YANG Zhenning expressed his congratulations and expectations to the receivers. “Till now 20 years has been into the 21st century, and it’s clear that additional quantum developments will dominate the remaining 21st century,” he said. BAI Chunli, president of Chinese Academy of Sciences, also congratulated the laureates in an exclusively recorded video.


    the video from YANG Zhenning



    PRIZE AWARDING


    The prize is divided into theoretical and experimental parts. USTC president, BAO Xinhe and chairman of USTC Councilor, SHU Gequn handed over the prize to each receiver. The 2018 laureates are: David Deutsch (Uni. of Oxford), Peter Shor (MIT), Ignacio Cirac (Max Planck Inst. of Quantum Optics), Peter Zoller (Uni. of Innsbruck), Rainer Blatt (Uni. of Innsbruck), David Wineland (Uni. of Oregon); The 2019 laureates are: Stephen Wiesner, Charles Bennett (IBM), Gilles Brassard (Uni. de Montreal), Artur Ekert (Uni. of Oxford), Jian-Wei Pan (USTC) and Anton Zeilinger (ÖAW).

    (You can read the full nomination reason here.)

    Receivers delivered short speeches to the audience with their feelings about their abundant experiences in the past. They thanked their colleagues and family members for the firm support all the way.


    David Wineland, Nobel laureate and 2018 Micius Quantum laureate


    2019 experimental laureate Prof. PAN Jianwei, a leading researcher at USTC, is the only Chinese receiver of the prize. He thanked his wife for her 20 years of support, and thanked his brilliant teacher, Anton Zeilinger (who also received the prize), for his patient and robust guidance into science. Furthermore, he expressed his gratitude to the incremental openness of the country, which made the prosperity of his own laboratory come true.


    PAN Jianwei Pan from USTC



    NEVER THE END


    As one of the laureates said, “I know it’s big. But how big it will be, I don’t know.”

    But there is one thing we can be sure of, that our journey of new discoveries not only will continue, but also deserves elaborate attention from us. Max Planck could never imagine that an epiphany can attract so many geniuses searching together, looking for further understanding of quantum science, part of basic sciences. Just as Charles Bennett said at the ceremony, “The enormous breakthroughs that China has made in quantum science revealed its determination on basic science research.” The Micius Prize is more than a golden medal -- but more importantly, a vigorous appeal for more public attention on basic science research.



    Written by QIANG Jiaxuan and LIU Zige, edited by JIANG Pengcen, USTC News Center.

    Photos provided by the Micius Quantum Foundation


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