Dr. Zeilinger's Nobel Prize in Physics win met with joy by HU officials

The 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Dr. Anton Zeilinger of Austria and two others — Professor Alain Aspect of France and American physicist John Clauser — for their work in generating quantum entanglement of multiple photons, using it to verify the violation of Bell's inequality, and pioneering the fundamentals of quantum information science.

In 2003, when the International Project Center for Integrated Research on Quantum Information and Life Science was established at Hiroshima University (HU), Professor Zeilinger, who was then visiting the university, was asked to be the center’s advisor. This started the research exchanges between him and Assistant Professor Masataka Iinuma and Professor Noriyuki Hatakenaka from HU’s Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering.

In a lecture given by Prof.
Zeilinger in November 2003 at the Advanced Comprehensive Research Building of Hiroshima University.
(Left: Assistant Professor Masataka Iinuma, Right: Professor Noriyuki Hatakenaka)

Assistant Professor Iinuma was engaged in research at the University of Vienna for about two months on the generation of "quantum entanglement of photons," a topic related to the award. After studying experimental techniques at the University of Vienna, which at that time had the most advanced technology in the field, he established research on the fundamentals of quantum mechanics using light and related experimental research in quantum information science at HU. Discussions with Professor Zeilinger during that period led to his first research findings.

Meanwhile, in 2011 Professor Hatakenaka co-authored a paper with Professor Zeilinger and then Waseda University Professor Susumu Kurihara at the University of Vienna on a problem related to the fundamentals of quantum mechanics: the generation of light from an empty vacuum (the dynamical Casimir effect).

Ahead of the Nobel Prize ceremony on December 10, Assistant Professor Iinuma expressed his congratulatory remarks to Professor Zeilinger.

"I am very happy that Professor Zeilinger has won the Nobel Prize. It has been a great inspiration for our basic research in quantum mechanics at our university,” he said.

Professor Hatakenaka also expressed his delight.

"I am very happy that Professor Zeilinger, who has been a great help to me at the Project Center, has received the prize. Professor Zeilinger has been consistently engaged in research on the fundamentals of quantum mechanics. The number of students engaged in this field is increasing at the university. I look forward to seeing exciting results from our university."

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