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Prof. Dr.

Christine Silberhorn

Year of election: 2012
Section: Physics
City: Paderborn
Country: Germany
CV Christine Silberhorn - Deutsch (pdf)
CV Christine Silberhorn - English (pdf)

Research

Research focus: quantum optics, properties of light, quantum communication, optical components, quantum devices

Christine Silberhorn is a physicist. Her research focus is experimental quantum optics. She studies light and its exceptional properties. Together with her research group she has demonstrated many characteristic quantum properties of light. Beyond that, she develops optical systems for applications in quantum technology. Her research contributes to the understanding of quantum theory and the development of new quantum devices.

Many technical developments would not be possible without quantum optics. Quantum mechanical effects play an important role in navigation systems, lasers, the internet and mobile phone networks. Quantum optics studies the fundamentals of light, its properties and the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and matter. Light exhibits both wave and particle properties. Christine Silberhorn studies such quantum properties of light through the use of waveguides. Together with her research group she conducted the world's first experimental demonstration of entangled states (quantum correlations) in the wave property of light and the simultaneous existence of wave- and particle nature of nonclassical correlations (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen states). A key property of entangled states is that changes to one particle necessarily have an effect on the other. Insights from quantum optics flow directly to developments in quantum technology.

Together with collaborating researchers, Christine Silberhorn also develops detectors that can count the number of photons contained in a pulse of light. In turn, information can be encoded in the light quanta, which thus can be used as information carriers. Quantum information enables secure and efficient information transfer between computers. Photons cannot be copied; as soon as the data has been read by one computer, the original “message” encoded onto the photons is destroyed. The transfer of information by sending single photons through the air or optical fibres (quantum communication) presents a new horizon in the security of information transfer.

To further her research, Christine Silberhorn and her group develop optical components (quantum devices) for single photons and photon pairs. These are the basis for most experiments in quantum optics. An important example is “quantum walks” which can be used to describe energy transport phenomena in biological systems as well as bringing understanding of the transport properties of quantum systems. For her work Silberhorn was awarded the Leibniz Prize of the DFG in 2011, the youngest scientist to receive such an award.

Career

  • since 2010 Full Professor of Applied Physics/Integrated Quantum Optics, Paderborn University
  • 2009-2010 Head of an independent Max Planck Research Group, Integrated Quantum Optics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Erlangen
  • 2008 Habilitation in Experimental Physics, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
  • 2005-2008 Head of an independent Max Planck Junior Research Group, Integrated Quantum Optics, Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, Garching/Munich
  • 2005 Research Assistant, Max Planck Research Group, Institute of Optics, Information and Photonics, Erlangen
  • 2003-2004 Post-doctoral Research Assistant at University of Oxford, Clarendon Laboratory, and Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford
  • 2003 Doctorate, Chair of Optics, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
  • 1999-2002 Research Assistant, Chair of Optics, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
  • 1993-1999 Study of physics and mathematics, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Projects

  • 2018-2021 Project B05 (project area B – materials) “Tailored KTP and LiNbO3 waveguide structures for counter-propagating parametric down-conversion processes” Project C01 (project area C – functional structures) “Engineered frequency conversion devices”
  • Project C02 (project area C – functional structures) “Integrated SU(1,1) interferometers” in the framework of DFG funded SFB TRR 142 “Tailored nonlinear photonics: from fundamental concepts to functional structures”
  • 2017-2022 ERC Consolidator Grant, EU Horizon 2020, QUPOPCORN: Quantum Particles on Programmable Complex Reconfigurable Networks    
  • 2017-2020 DFG project “Integrated quantum light sources for continuous variable systems”
  • 2015-2018 Partner of EU-Project, Horizon 2020, QCUMbER: Quantum Controlled Ultrafast Multimode Entanglement and Measurement”
  • 2015-2018 Partner of EU-Project, Horizon 2020, QUCHIP: Quantum Simulation on a Photonic Chip
  • 2014-2017 Project C01 (project area C – functional structures) “Direct measurement of time-frequency shaped ultrafast quantum pulses from parametric down-conversion and up-conversion processes”
  • Project C02 (project area C – functional structures) “Monolithic integration of a parametric down-conversion source and a two-photon interferometer” in the framework of DFG funded SFB TRR 142 “Tailored nonlinear photonics: from fundamental concepts to functional structures”
  • 2014-2018 BMBF project, Q.com-Q:  “Quantum Repeater” – subproject “Development of monolithic KTP waveguides devices bridging the wavelengths between stationary and flying Qubits”
  • 2013-2017 Partner of EU-Project, FP 7, PICQUE: Photonic Integrated Compound Quantum Encoding
  • 2013-2016 DFG project “Time-multiplexed integrated optical pure single photon source”
  • 2012-2017 Project A7 (project area A – periodic structures) “Entangled photon-pairs for applications in quantum communications” in the framework of DFG funded Research training group 1464 „Micro- and Nanostructures in Optoelectronics and Photonics”
  • 2010-2013 BMBF project, QUOREP: “Quantum Repeater” – subproject “Interconversion of multi-photon states between telecommunication and visible wavelengths
  • 2011-2018 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-grant of the German Research Foundation 
  • 2010-2013 Partner of EU-Project, FP7, Q-ESSENCE: Quantum Interference, Sensors and Communication using Entanglement
  • 2009-2011 Partner in G.I.F (German-Israel Foundation) project: Quantum Random Walk
  • 2010-2013 Partner of EU-Project, FP 7, CORNER: Correlated Noise Effects in Quantum Information Processing
  • 2005-2008 Partner in EU-Project, FP 6, QAP: Qubit Applications
  • 2005-2011 Max Planck Junior Research Group
  • 2005 Emmy Noether grant of German Research Foundation (declined in favour of Max Planck Junior Research Group)

Functions

  • 2015-2018 Vice President for Research and Junior Academics, Paderborn University
  • 2007 Board member of Die Junge Akademie der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Deutschen Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina

Honours and Memberships

  • 2017 ERC Consolidator Grant
  • 2015 Silver medal for outstanding international collaboration, Czech Technical University Prague
  • 2011 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • 2008 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • 2007 Hertha Sponer Prize for outstanding female scientists of the German Physical Society (DPG)
  • 2007 Medal of the Werner-von-Siemens-Ring Foundation for outstanding young scientists
  • 2006-2011 Member of Die Junge Akademie der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Deutschen Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina

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