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March 28, 2023

Robert Seiringer Awarded Schrödinger Prize

Mathematical physicist and Professor receives the ÖAW’s prestigious science award

The Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) honored Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) Professor Robert Seiringerwith the Erwin Schrödinger Prize in a ceremony yesterday. Seiringer was recognizedfor his outstanding scientific achievements in the field of mathematical physics, in particular for his work on the stability of many-particle systems. He is the fifth ISTA professor to receive the annual award.

ISTA mathematical physicist Robert Seiringer. A professor at ISTA since 2013, Seiringer works to precisely analyze many-particle systems in quantum mechanics. © ISTA

One of the central goals in physics is to express the laws of nature as precise mathematical equations and use these equations to make predictions about concrete physical effects. In practice, however, the complexity of these equations means that even modern computers are unable to find exact solutions. Systems of many interacting particles, which have a huge number of degrees of freedom, represent a particularly difficult—and particularly fascinating—case. The Seiringer group develops novel mathematical tools for the rigorous analysis of these systems in quantum mechanics, which are at the heart of a variety of phenomena, from superfluid behavior in atomic gases to stability issues in neutron stars. With his focus on mathematical physics, Seiringer is inspired by the fruitful interplay between the two areas: “Mathematics is essential for the formulation and analysis of the laws of nature, while mathematical problems motivated by physical phenomena are often of independent interest, and advance mathematics as a whole.”

Seiringer says of the award, “It is an enormous honor for our research to be recognized by the Academy. I have much to thank the dedication and keen interest of my group, as well as the productive interactions with colleagues at the Institute and around the world.” The Erwin Schrödinger Prize is awarded to scholars working in Austria who have accomplished outstanding scientific achievements in the subjects represented in the mathematical and scientific class of the ÖAW. Four other ISTA professors have received the award in the past: mathematical biologist Nick Barton (2013), plant biologist Jiří Friml (2015), neuroscientist Peter Jonas (2018), and mathematician László Erdős (2021).

Deep in thought. Seiringer and his group explore exotic phenomena in quantum gases. Here the group leader and former postdoc Andreas Deuchert discuss a paper in Office Building West. © ISTA/Nadine Poncioni.


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