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The Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters has awarded Mika A. Sillanpää for his outstanding contributions to promote quantum research

The physics award of the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters and Professor Theodor Homén has been granted to Professor Mika A. Sillanpää for his significant contributions in the research of quantum optomechanics, superconductive qubits and magnetoacoustics
Mika Sillanpää, Aalto University. Photo: Mikko Raskinen.
Photo: Mikko Raskinen

The physics award of the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters and Professor Theodor Homén has been granted to Professor Mika A. Sillanpää for his significant contributions in the research of quantum optomechanics, superconductive qubits and magnetoacoustics.

The research team led by Sillanpää was able to establish quantum entanglement between a pair of macroscopic drumheads. Sillanpää, Assistant Professor Laure Mercier de Lépinay and the rest of the team were able to simultaneously measure the position and the momentum of the two drumheads. This should not be possible according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The achievement was awarded the Physics World Breakthrough of the Year 2021.

Sillanpää has been thrice awarded the grant from the European Research Council. In 2021, he received EUR 2.5 million of ERC Advanced Grant funding from the European Research Council for the GUANTUM project. The goal of the project is to determine the effect of gravity on the quantum-mechanical states and vibrations of two gold spheres on a very small scale, and at extremely low temperatures.

‘With this research, we are trying to solve a hundred-year-old mystery of physics: The incompatibility of the general relativity and quantum mechanics,’ says Sillanpää.

 

Contact information:

Mika Sillanpää

Professori (Associate professor)

Read more about Sillanpää's research:

The drumheads exhibit a collective quantum motion. Picture: Juha Juvonen.

Aalto researchers awarded Physics World Breakthrough of the Year for macroscopic quantum entanglement

Aalto University Professor Mika A. Sillanpää, his team and collaborators at the University of New South Wales in Canberra, Australia, have won the Physics World 2021 Breakthrough of the Year. The prize was awarded for establishing quantum entanglement between a pair of macroscopic drumheads – two mechanical resonators that were tiny but still much larger than the subatomic particles that are usually entangled. The award has previously been given for the first direct observation of a black hole and for the detection of gravitational waves, which also received a Nobel Prize.

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The drumheads exhibit a collective quantum motion. Picture: Juha Juvonen.

Evading the uncertainty principle in quantum physics

New technique gets around 100-year-old rule of quantum physics for the first time

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The highly competed ERC Advanced Grant, awarded to leading top researchers, is the third ERC grant won by Professor Mika A. Sillanpää. In 2009, he received the ERC Starting Grant targeted at talented young researchers and, in 2013, he was awarded the ERC Consolidator Grant intended for top researchers establishing their careers. Picture: Aalto University.

Physicist Mika A. Sillanpää wins a multi-million euro research grant to support work reconciling quantum mechanics and general relativity

The team is trying to solve a hundred-year-old mystery of physics with the help of small gold spheres and extremely low temperatures. The observation of tiny gravitational forces between vibrating spheres may solve the mystery.

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