MPHQ Graduate Exchanges

Below our PHd exchange students are reporting on their exchange experience to our partners at Harvard

Johannes Knörzer was awarded with the first MPHQ travelling grant and just completed his PhD Harvard exchange recently. He visited our partners in Harvard in April 2018

What were the major scientific aspects of your research stay at Harvard Johannes?

Johannes Knörzer (MPHQ PhD exchange student) Zoom Image
Johannes Knörzer (MPHQ PhD exchange student)

During my stay in Prof. Lukin’s research group, I’ve had the pleasure to learn about and discuss various aspects of the diverse research activities at Harvard. In stimulating discussions with Prof. Mikhail Lukin and his group members, I have received valuable input both from experimentalists and other theorists. In close collaboration with Prof. Lukin, his Post-Doc M. Schuetz (formerly at MPQ),  and other group members, we have worked on and finalized a joint research project between the Cirac and Lukin groups investigating solid-state architectures for quantum simulation. Already in this short preliminary period, we have developed fresh ideas for new research projects on quantum technologies and platforms based on a novel class of atomically thin semiconductors.

What was the most vital scientific added value you derived from the exchange?  In numerous fruitful discussions and inspiring talks given by Harvard researchers and visiting scholars, I have been exposed to many different research directions and open problems in current quantum optics research. This is also thanks to a welcoming atmosphere and wide range of research topics covered at Harvard. Since many of the technologically most promising and relevant platforms for physical implementations of quantum science are present at Harvard and in the labs of the Lukin group, my research stay has not only provided me an excellent overview of state-of-the-art experiments in quantum optics and quantum-information science, but has also been extremely useful for my own research on novel implementations of quantum science.

How will the exchange enrich your scientific work at MPQ? My visit has brought me in contact with exciting research and researchers, both in theory and experiment, and triggered new project ideas which we will continue working on in close collaboration with the Lukin research group. I’ve had the pleasure to make interesting new acquaintances with scientists from vastly different scientific backgrounds, illustrating the interdisciplinary character of a significant portion of the work carried out in quantum optics and, more general, in quantum science, which I find truly enriching.

Will your stay lead to any prospective collaborations or joint publications with the visited group(s) at Harvard? Together with Prof. Lukin, members of the Lukin group, and my supervisor Prof. Cirac, we have initiated a collaborative research project, which we will continue to work on after my stay. The project lies at the heart of current 2D material research and technology and brings together the expertise from both groups at Harvard and MPQ.

What did you like the most about the exchange from a personal perspective? From a personal perspective, I am most grateful for all of the pleasant encounters with  interesting and kind people who conveyed to me the open research culture at Harvard. Also, in and around Cambridge and Boston, there are many regular cultural and sports events taking place; for Jazz enthusiasts like me, the daily concerts make the Cambridge area a true El Dorado.


Nicola Pancotti (PhD student Ignacio Cirac) is currently on his first MPHQ visit and will remain at Harvard for three months. More information on his exchange visit will be published soon! Zoom Image
Nicola Pancotti (PhD student Ignacio Cirac) is currently on his first MPHQ visit and will remain at Harvard for three months. More information on his exchange visit will be published soon! [less]

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