Tilman Esslinger

Visiting professor


Electrical Engineer

Lattice Team

Cavity Team

Lithium Team


Prof. Dr. Tilman Esslinger

ETH Zurich
Institute for Quantum Electronics
Quantum Optics Group
Schafmattstr. 16, HPF D4
8093 Zurich

Tel.: +41 44 63-32340
Fax: +41 44 63-31254

Email: esslinger(at)phys.ethz(dot)ch

Research interests

  • Quantum gases and optical lattices
  • Quantum many-body physics
  • Cavity QED
  • Atom lasers

Short CV

  • Since October 2001: Full professor at ETH Zurich, Department of Physics
    • Research area: Quantum gases, quantum many-body physics, quantum optics
    • Major scientific accomplishments: first experimental realization of a Fermi-Hubbard model and the Mott insulator using a fermionic quantum gas trapped in an optical lattice, measurement of the critical exponent of the correlation length in a Bose gas, pioneering work on strongly interacting quantum gases, first realization of a one-dimensional atomic quantum gas, merger of quantum gas experiments with cavity quantum electrodynamics, observation of the Dicke quantum phase transition
  • 1995-2001: Group leader in T.W. Hänsch’s laboratory at the University of Munich
    • Field of research: Bose-Einstein condensation, optical lattices
    • Major scientific accomplishments: demonstration of the quantum phase transition between a superfluid and a Mott-insulating state, measurement of the long-range order in a Bose-Einstein condensate, pioneering work on atom lasers
  • 1991-1995: Research assistant, Max-Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, Garching
    • Field of research: Laser cooling of neutral atoms
    • Major scientific accomplishments: first demonstration of subrecoil laser cooling of rubidium atoms, pioneering work on laser cooling and atom optics in near-resonant optical lattices, demonstration of a mirror for neutral atoms exploiting a surface plasmon resonance

Other Professional Activities

  • Since 2013: Chair of Department of Physics at ETH Zurich
  • 2009-2013: Vice-chair of Department of Physics at ETH Zurich
  • Since 2008: heading search committees as a delegate of the President of ETH Zurich
  • 2004 - 2008: Member of the strategic planning commission of ETH Zurich
  • 2005 - 2007: Head of Institute of Quantum Electronics, ETH Zurich

Prizes, Honours, Patents

  • ERC advanced grant, 2010
  • Phillip Morris Research Prize (shared with T.W. Hänsch and I. Bloch), 2000
  • Guest professorship at University of Innsbruck, 2001
  • US patent on „Device and method for generating and manipulating coherent matter waves“
  • Prizes for PhD students in my group:
    • Henning Moritz: Prize for General Physics of the Swiss Physical Society 2005
    • Thilo Stöferle: ETH medal and Chorafas Prize 2006
    • Ferdinand Brennecke: ETH medal

Organization of Conferences

  • 2011: Chair for the 5th biannual conference on Bose-Einstein Condensation, Sant Feliu
  • 2009: Co-organizer, workshop on “Ab-initio modeling of cold gases”, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2009: Co-organizer, workshop on “Quantum Engineering”, Monte Verita, Switzerland
  • 2009: Vice-Chair “Bose-Einstein Condensation 2009”, Sant Feliu, Spain (chair: Peter Zoller)
  • 2005: Workshop chair “Control and Manipulation of Quantum Systems”, Monte Verita, CH
  • 2002: Chair of the European Research Conference on Quantum Optics
  • 2001: Vice-Chair of the European Research Conference on Quantum Optics
  • 1999: Symposium „Laser cooling and Bose-Einstein condensation“, DPG-meeting, Heidelberg