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Prof. Dr. Christine Silberhorn

Quantum Optics, University of Paderborn

Prof. Dr. Christine Silberhorn

Prof. Dr. Christine Silberhorn

© DFG / David Ausserhofer

Aged thirty-six, Christine Silberhorn is the youngest Leibniz Prize laureate in 2011. Despite her young age Silberhorn already holds a top position with enormous international visibility as a leading expert on experimental quantum optics. Her research on quantum information processing is exceptional for both its broad scope and her use of continuous rather than discrete variables. Silberhorn's research ranges from quantum systems with individual photons and continuous variables to the implementation of entangled quantum states of light based on glass fibres and waveguides, and quantum networks comprised of numerous channels. Her work on the realisation of Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen states and quantum cryptography with continuous variables has attracted widespread attention, and her more recent work on the realisation and measurement of so-called Fock states with large numbers of photons has proven to be equally important.

After studying to be a teacher of physics and mathematics in Erlangen-Nuremberg, Christine Silberhorn wrote her doctoral thesis on quantum information processing, a work which won her the Ohm Prize. After completing post-doctoral research in Oxford, she gained her habilitation from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in 2008, and was called to the Chair of Experimental Physics at the University of Paderborn in 2010. In 2008 Christine Silberhorn won the most important award for early career researchers in Germany, the prestigious Heinz Maier Leibniz Prize of the DFG and the German Ministry of Education and Research, which is now being followed by the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize just two years later.