Departement News

Rules for Emergency Operation

Dear members of the Physics Department,

As you know, since Monday, the University of Basel has switched its research to emergency operation (see email from of 22.03.2020, 21:28) due to the public health emergency. Each department has been asked to reduce all research activities that require a physical presence at the university to a minimum and to develop a framework for the continuation of necessary research operations.

Our guiding principle is that – whenever possible – both lab and office work will be carried out remotely. Access to labs will be allowed only for research requiring the physical presence of researchers. Likewise, access to offices will be allowed only if absolutely necessary. In most cases, access to offices should be rare and short in duration, e.g. to trouble-shoot a computer system, pick up a text book, or sign invoices.
Until further notice, we will operate under the following rules:

1) Researchers will only be allowed to work in the Department in designated rooms. These rooms are identified in the attached table. Each room will be accessible only to a restricted number of users, i.e. the research or work group indicated in the table. Furthermore, each room has a maximum number of simultaneous users, shown in the table, to ensure that – at any given time – each user has a minimum personal space of 30 m^2 for him or herself. A closed electronic sign-up system (based on Google Calendar) will ensure that the maximum number of users in a room is never exceeded at one time (your PI will coordinate this, the clean-room area is a special case using its own system). During work, all researchers are to observe social distancing and hygiene regulations set out by BAG (2-m separation, hand-washing, etc.).

2) In the event that a user presents corona virus symptoms or tests positive for the virus, his or her access to the department will immediately be interrupted. All users with access to the same rooms will be notified and sent home for self-quarantine.

3) Cleaning/disinfecting material and latex gloves will be placed in each designated room, to which more than 1 user has access. Cleaning of common surfaces is to be done by each user before and after use.

4) Access to multiple-user bathrooms will be limited to 1 user at a time, using a two-sided occupied/unoccupied sign on the door.

5) Access to all common rooms, coffee kitchens, will be prohibited. Access to lifts will also be prohibited, with the exception of their unmanned use for the movement of large packages, equipment, and cryogenic liquids. These prohibitions will be clearly communicated with signs.

6) All planned meetings between Department members will be done electronically (even between 2 people).

7) Anyone in at-risk categories will not be allowed in the Department.

8) Those with access to the Department should behave in such a way as to protect themselves and their colleagues both inside and outside the Department.  They should follow the recommendations given by the BAG (, including being in public only when necessary, washing hands frequently, and keeping their distance from others.

9) The supply of cryogenic liquids (liquid nitrogen and liquid helium) for essential experiments will be ensured by a rotating member of the machine-shop staff.
 Compliance with these rules will be ensured by once or twice daily walk-throughs of the Department. The Department is locked and should only be entered by personnel who have a key.
*In case any of the above rules are infringed, all research activities in the department will be immediately and indefinitely stopped.*

Please, take these rules seriously.  Let me repeat: infringement of these rules will result in a complete and indefinite stop to all research in the department.

Martino Poggio, Department Chair

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Nachruf für Prof. Dr. Hermann Rudin

Prof. Dr. Hermann Rudin, (5. April 1931 – 27. Februar 2020)

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Departement closed due to Coronavirus

Dear members of the Physics Department,


Starting Tuesday 16.03.2020, the Department of Physics will be *closed*

to unauthorized people until further notice. All of you who have a key,

will still be able to enter, but you are only to do so, if given

permission by your direct superior (PI, head of workshop, head of

administration, etc.). Most of you should already have received

instructions from your superior in the last day or so and, if not,

please clarify with him/her.


We are taking these measures, because with a minimal number of people in

the department, we do not want create the opportunity for theft or for

unauthorized people to enter.



Martino Poggio, Department Chair

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Watch the Saturday Morning Physics 2020 Video here!

Neben spannenden Vorträgen über «Gravitationswellen aus dem frühen Universum » sowie über «Wie passt der Energieerhaltungssatz in der Physik zum Energieverbrauch im Alltag?» wurde auch an der diesjährigen Ausgabe ein Experimente-Park organisiert.

Eine Zusammenfassung der beiden Tage können Sie hier im Video geniessen.

Ein herzliches Dankeschön an die zahlreichen Besucher, die beiden Referenten, das Gymnasium Kirschgarten und das Phaenovum Lörrach sowie den vielen Physik Helfern.


Das Departement Physik

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International Day of Women and Girls in Science

The Department of Physics of the University of Basel invites you to the "International Day of Women and Girls in Science" on Tuesday 11/2/2020 .

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The winner of the golden chalk, the golden correction pen & the golden scale HS2019 are known!

Congratulations to the winner of the golden chalk, the golden correction pen & the golden scale!

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Departement of physics heads NCCR "SPIN" for development of silicon-based quantum computer

This morning, Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin announced six new National Centers of Competence in Research (NCCR), two of which are directed by the University of Basel: the NCCR “AntiResist”, led by Professor Christoph Dehio from the Biozentrum, and the NCCR “SPIN”, led by Professor Richard J. Warburton of the Department of Physics, in collaboration with IBM Research – Zurich.


Researchers around the world are looking for suitable ways to develop a quantum computer. At present, there are a number of approaches for the building blocks that could make up the supercomputer of the future. The realization of a quantum computer that can cope with previously unsolved tasks of high practical importance poses an immense challenge with every approach. The main problem is the limited scalability of existing systems.


This is where the NCCR "SPIN: Spin-Qubits in Silicon" comes in. The aim is to develop an exceptionally scalable technology that will enable the construction of a universally usable quantum computer. Prof. Dr. Richard J. Warburton and his team are focusing on the semiconductor silicon, which has proven itself in industry for decades. They are convinced that silicon technology is extremely promising for enabling the on-chip integration of billions of devices. This would lead to particularly powerful quantum computers.

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Patrick Maletinsky receives ERC Consolidator Grant

Prof. Patrick Maletinsky will study atomically thin magnetic systems, with the help of novel quantum sensors.The so-called Van der Waals magnets have only recently been discovered, but already constitute a very active field of research. The quantum sensors developed in Basel, which will be used in this project, form a central pillar of the emerging field of quantum technologies and will allow new insights into Van der Waals materials. The aim is to bring the atomically thin magnets closer to possible applications in spintronics.


Patrick Maletinsky was appointed assistant professor with tenure-track in experimental physics at the University of Basel in 2012 and promoted to associate professor in 2017.

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Oliver Müller awarded Amerbach Prize

The Amerbach Prize, funded by the University of Basel, was awarded to physicist Dr. Oliver Müller in recognition of his outstanding dissertation on the distribution and motion of dwarf galaxies in the constellation Centaurus A. He identified common motion patterns around the main galaxy, and his work represents a major breakthrough in astronomy and cosmology.

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Basler Start-up Qnami wirbt 2,6 Millionen Franken ein

Qnami entwickelt hochpräzise Quantensensoren, die magnetische Strukturen im Nanobereich untersuchen können. In einer Finanzierungsrunde konnte das Basler Start-up nun 2,6 Millionen Franken Kapital einwerben. Damit will Qunami ein Quantenmikroskop auf den Markt bringen.

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