Departement News

Katharina Laubscher is awarded Emilie-Louise-Frey-Preis 2018

At the 558th Dies Academicus, the Emilie Louise Frey-Preis 2018 is awarded to Katharina Laubscher for her Master thesis "Universal quantum computation using a hybrid quantum double model” carried out in the group of Prof. Daniel Loss.

Currently, Katharina is an Excellence Fellow of the PhD School “Quantum Computing and Quantum Technologies” and is doing her PhD in the group of Prof. Jelena Klinovaja in the field of topological quantum computing.


In her Master thesis, Katharina showed that it is possible to build novel planar quantum codes based on the combination of two different quantum double models, and that such hybrid codes constitute a novel pathway to universal fault-tolerant quantum computation. From a purely theoretical point of view, this is an important proof of principle and a large step towards a complete understanding of the quantum double models and their potential for quantum computation. From a more practical point of view, there may be direct advantages in terms of time- and special overhead of such a hybrid model compared to other techniques that enable universal fault-tolerant quantum computation, the most prominent one being a particularly resource-intensive procedure called magic state distillation.


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Fabrizio Nichele is awarded a SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowships

Dr. Fabrizio Nichele received his doctorate in solid state physics from ETH Zurich in 2014. Since then he has been doing research at the University of Copenhagen and working as a consultant for Microsoft Research. Currently he is working at IBM Research Zurich. In 2018, the European Research Council awarded him an ERC Starting Grant. His project at the Department of Physics deals with fundamental physical questions and novel approaches to topological quantum states in lateral Josephson geometries.

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Certifying the building blocks of quantum computers

Bell’s theorem has been proposed to certify quantum sources and measurements in a way that is independent of the imperfections of the actual implementation. The team of Prof. Sangouard showed how Bell’s theorem can be used to certify coherent operations for the storage, processing, and transfer of quantum information. This completes the set of tools needed to certify all building blocks of a quantum computer. These results have been published in Physical Review Letters and highlight by the SNF.

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Jelena Klinovaja promoted to rank of associate professor

Following outstanding evaluation by the tenure committee, approval by the Faculty of Natural Sciences, the Rectorate, and finally the Council of the University of Basel, Prof. Dr. Jelena Klinovaja was awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor.

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Quantum Technologies Flagship: Basel physicists participate in three research consortia

Today, the European Commission launched its flagship initiative on quantum technologies. Three research groups from the Department of Physics at the University of Basel are involved. The aim of the 1 billion euro research and technology funding program is to develop radically new and powerful quantum technologies by exploiting various quantum effects.

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Metal leads to the desired configuration

Scientists at the University of Basel have found a way to change the spatial arrangement of bipyridine molecules on a surface. These potential components of dye-sensitized solar cells form complexes with metals and thereby alter their chemical conformation. The results of this interdisciplinary collaboration between chemists and physicists from Basel were recently published in the scientific journal ACS Omega.

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ALL YOU CAN LEARN investigating phonons in a nanoscale heterostruture

Raman spectroscopy can allow the determination of lattice dynamics, chemical composition, strain level, and some electronic properties of semiconductors, including nanowires. In this work, we make a step forward in the use of Raman spectroscopy in nanowires by investigating for the first time the most challenging type of heterostructure in nanowires (a nanoscale heterostructure with constant material composition). The heterostructure is made by small (∼20 nm) domains with hexagonal crystal phase formed in cubic nanowires. We assess the phonon properties of hexagonal Ge and, remarkably, reconstruct the relative orientation of the cubic and hexagonal domains. Furthermore, information about the band structure alignment are inferred using phonons as a probe. The general procedure that we establish can be applied to several types of heterostructures. Published in Nano Letters and selected for a cover of the issue.

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Master in Physics: A Video-Testimonial by Märta Tschudin

Master Student Märta Tschudin on her graduate student experience at the University of Basel.

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Not so fast on modified gravity

An international group of astronomers including Oliver Müller from the University of Basel has debunked another premature claim that a leading modified gravity theory is dead – publishing their results in the prestigious journal Nature.

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