Quantum Computing

Oxford Instruments NanoScience Announces 2023 Nicholas Kurti Science Prize Winners

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Insider Summary

  • Samuli Autti, EPSRC Fellow, University of Lancaster, has been selected as the winner of the 2023 Nicholas Kurti Science Prize.
  • Autti’s work on macroscopic quantum systems at ultra-low temperatures, led the way to understanding exotic topological defects, time crystals and their interactions, quantum turbulence decay, and unconventional superfluid microstructures.
  • The Nicholas Kurti Science Prize is to promote and recognize new work by young scientists working in low temperature and/or high magnetic field fields in Europe.
  • Critical Quote: “Dr Autti is a very deserving winner of this year’s prize and his work is very interesting. It’s very inspiring to see the groundbreaking work being done in low-temperature physics that can make a real difference in the field of quantum technology.” — Matt Martin, Managing Director at Oxford Instruments NanoScience

PRESS RELEASE — Oxford Instruments is pleased to announce that Dr. Samuli Autti, EPSRC Fellow, University of Lancaster, has been selected as the winner of the 2023 Nicholas Kurti Science Prize.

This award recognizes the work of Dr. Autti on macroscopic quantum systems at ultra-low temperatures, led the way for understanding exotic topological defects, time crystals and their interactions, quantum turbulence decay, and unconventional superfluid microstructures.

Dr Samuli Autti said “I am grateful and honored to receive this award. I want to point out that experimental physics is teamwork, and much credit goes to the many brilliant people I have worked with and have instructed in the past.”

He went on to express pride in being part of the community researching 3He superfluids, stating that “the 3He superfluid is probably the most versatile and influential macroscopic quantum system in the laboratory. It has touch points and conceptual exchanges with seemingly distant fields of physics, such as particle physics and cosmology. Being a part of the community effort to leverage this is what I appreciate the most.”

Dr Autti’s research has made a significant contribution to the field through experiments carried out at very low temperatures using magnetic cooldown techniques, particularly in the study of the 3He superfluid. His work with such experiments has led to important discoveries such as the observation of a half-quantum eddy, which was theoretically proposed in 1976 and later discovered by Autti in 2016, and his observations of the Kelvin wave cascade with his colleagues in 2020. This research explains quantum turbulence. study, but difficult to understand, fills an important gap in the theoretical understanding of turbulence.

Matt Martin, Managing Director at Oxford Instruments NanoScience said, “Dr Autti is a very deserving winner of this year’s prize and his work is very exciting. It is very inspiring to see the groundbreaking work being done in low-temperature physics that can make a real difference in the field of quantum technology.”

The purpose of the Nicholas Kurti Science Prize is to promote and recognize new work by young scientists working in low temperature and/or high magnetic field fields in Europe.

The selection committee for the Nicholas Kurti Science Prize 2023 is chaired by Professor George Pickett, University of Lancaster and includes Professor Rolf Haug, Universität Hannover, Professor Vladimir Dmitriev, PL Kapitza Institute, Moscow, Professor Dominik Zumbühl, University of Basel and Dr Silviano De Francheshi, Institute for Nanosciences and Cryogenics, Grenoble.

After receiving his PhD in 2017 from Aalto University, Finland, Dr Autti came to Lancaster on a highly competitive Wihuri Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, awarded through the Council of Finnish Foundations. He currently holds the prestigious 5-year EPSRC Open Fellowship facilitating his work focused on the interface between classical and quantum physics on topics spanning high profile research endeavors such as the quest to build a quantum computer. He has also published four first-author Physical Review letters and two first-author Nature Communications on research involving quantum time crystals and bound fermions in the zero temperature limit. Beyond his academic research, as a member of the Young Academy, Dr Autti also regularly writes policy statements on science, education and industry law for the Finnish government.

Nicholas Kurti Science Prize

Oxford Instruments recognizes that there is a critical and often difficult stage for many people between completing a PhD and securing a permanent research position. Therefore, companies want to help individuals who produce innovative work by offering assistance either financially or through the promotion of their research work. The award is named after Professor Nicholas Kurti (1908-1998), known for his outstanding work in ultra-low temperature physics at the Clarendon Laboratory, University of Oxford.

Previous winners of the Nicholas Science Prize include Professor Angelo di Bernardo, University of Konstanz, Dr Alexander Grimm, Institut Paul Scherrer, Rebeca Ribeiro-Palau, Center de Nanosciences et de Nanotechnologies (C2N), and Landry Bretheau, Institut Polytechnique de Paris.

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