In honor of the 200th anniversary of Carl Zeiss the Ernst Abbe Fund tendered the "Carl Zeiss Award for Young Researchers" this year.

This prize should dignify promising young scientists in the field of optics and photonics, who have published outstanding scientific work in an internationally recognized scientific journal at least in the first three years after their graduation. Central award criteria are originality, innovativeness and methodological stringency of the submitted publication as well as the scientific life and the scientific reputation of the candidates.

A jury of the Ernst Abbe Fund Trustees, which is staffed with internationally renowned physicists has to adjudge about it. Alongside with two other scientists the judges declared Dr. Robert Keil for the first winner, who researched from 2006 to 2014 at our institution. The award-wining work, "The random mass Dirac model and long-range correlations on to integrated optical platform", published in Nature Communications", was carried out at the IAP.

It covers a class of materials with long-range correlations, which were disputed to be the origin of a range of exotic properties. Via some clever transformations, this system can be mapped to relativisitic fermions with spatially varying random mass, which, in turn, can be emulated in an optical system in the lab. This permitted Robert and his colleagues to observe the theoretically predicted long-range correlations in an experiment. Dr. Keil's work shows impressively how ideas from distant fields in physics can be transferred to photonics, which may, moreover, be harnessed for applications such as telecommunication and data processing over large distances.
Not least Dr. Robert Keil was also honored for his other professional achievements and social aspects of his work at the IAP. He is researching currently at the Institute for Experimental Physics of the University of Innsbruck in the group led by Prof. Gregor Weihs.
The Carl Zeiss Award of € 21,000 will be shared equally between the three winners. It will be officially presented at the Symposium "Optics in the Digital World" at the ZEISS Forum on 23rd June 2016 in Oberkochen.

Robert Keil Award 2014

In 2014, Robert Keil also received the  Doctoral Award of the Society of Friends
and Supporters of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena for
"Quantum random walks in waveguide lattices".

The Ernst Abbe Fund is a foundation for the promotion of science in the fields of precision mechanics, optics, electronics, glass and glass ceramic. It was constructed in 1987 by the Carl Zeiss Foundation on the occasion of their 100th anniversary and is held in trust by the Donors' Association for German Science. The Carl Zeiss Foundation is the sole shareholder of SCHOTT AG in Mainz and CARL ZEISS AG in Oberkochen. For more information on the Ernst Abbe Fund and the Carl Zeiss Award for Young Researchers please visit

Robert Keil, "The random mass Dirac model and long-range correlations on an integrated optical platform", Nature Communications, (4) 1368, 2013. doi:10.1038/ncomms2384

News from: 24.06.2016 14:51
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