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Talent award for young quantum physicist

Anne E. B. Nielsen has received the H.C. Ørsted Selskabet research talent award for her ground-breaking work within electromagnetism and quantum mechanics. The award is for talented early career researchers employed at Danish universities, and it amounts to DKK 10,000.

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[Translate to English:] Anne E. B. Nielsen modtager HC Ørsted-Selskabets forskningstalentpris 2020. (Privatfoto)

In 1820, H.C. Ørsted discovered that an electrical current can produce a magnetic field. He called the phenomenon electromagnetism, and his discovery came to profoundly influence our understanding of the world. His discovery opened a new field of research, with new opportunities for science that, in addition to major scientific discoveries, have also given us everything from hard drives, loudspeakers and mobile phones, to induction cookers, electric motors and dynamo lamps.

Research into electromagnetism is still shaping research breakthroughs, just as much as it did back then, and throughout the world, the phenomenon remains an important key to create new experiments and models to make the world just a bit more understandable.

One of the researchers at the very forefront is Anne E. B. Nielsen from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Aarhus University, and a research group leader at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. She is now receiving the H.C. Ørsted Selskabet research talent award 2020 for her work examining how extremely strong magnetic fields can get materials to behave in new ways.

"I’m trying to open up new opportunities by combining H.C. Ørsted's discovery with quantum mechanics and exploring the properties materials can have when exposed to very low temperatures and very strong magnetic fields. I’m very pleased with the nomination and I’d like to thank H.C. Ørsted Selskabet for the honour and the prize. This recognition means a lot to me, and it may make a big difference in my future career," says Anne E. B. Nielsen.

New paths through research

The combination of very strong magnetic fields and extremely low temperatures can produce what is called the fractional quantum-Hall effect. In this state, the electricity-conductive particles of materials are converted into anyons that can be used to store and process quantum information, for example. It is thought that this will be the foundation of the next technological revolution.

Anne E. B. Nielsen has contributed many new ideas to anyon research, as well as new methods and models, and she has made ground-breaking discoveries that may help spur the technological revolution, including within the electromagnetic waves of light. Her research opens several new paths for interesting phenomena that combine electromagnetism and quantum mechanics.

Celebrating the bicentennial

In collaboration with the Municipality of Langeland and with support from the Ørsted energy company, H.C. Ørsted Selskabet presented this year’s H.C. Ørsted research award and two H.C. Ørsted research talent awards. The awards salute H.C. Ørsted's influence on culture, art and science, and on the occasion of the bicentennial of H.C. Ørsted's discovery of electromagnetism, focus has been on researchers working with electromagnetism and its wider use.


"I’m very pleased that we’ve again found very qualified award winners this year. They all deserve a great deal of recognition for their ground-breaking research. It’s also very appropriate that the research conducted by all the award winners has clear ties back to H.C. Ørsted's discovery of electromagnetism 200 years ago," says the chairman of the award committee, Professor Jacob Østergaard.



Assistant professor Anne E. B. Nielsen,
Department of Physics and Astronomy,
Aarhus Universitet,
Email: annebn@phys.au.dk