2012 Thomson medal and prize

Professor Michael Köhl, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge.

For his pioneering experimental work in Bose-Einstein condensates and cold Fermi gases.

Michael Köhl has won an international reputation for his pioneering experiments in the field of Bose-Einstein condensates and atomic Fermi gases. In this unique atomic physics environment, his mastery of experimental technique has made possible a series of critical tests of key phenomena and theoretical understanding. These include atom lasers, the transition from a superfluid to a Mott insulator in low dimensions, Bose-Fermi mixtures, and the Hubbard model using fermionic atoms in optical lattices. This work has paved the way towards using ultra-cold fermionic atoms as quantum simulators for unresolved questions of condensed matter physics. The technique has been replicated in many laboratories throughout the world.

More recently, he has made the first observation of a single trapped ion inside a Bose-Einstein condensate providing a new approach to quantum information processing in hybrid quantum systems. His latest work on two-dimensional Fermi gases revealing a pairing pseudogap, is a significant step in emulating high Tc superconductors.