Prof. Marek Żukowski, PhD hab. – FNP Prize 2013 laureate
Born in 1952 in Gdynia, quantum physicist. A graduate of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry of the University of Gdańsk. He defended his doctoral dissertation cum laude in 1983 (supervisor: Prof. Jan Fiutak) and obtained his postdoctoral degree in 1995 (at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń); he became a professor in 2003. He has been working at the University of Gdańsk since 1976. He was head of the Department of Quantum Optics at the UG Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics in 1996-2005, becoming the Institute’s director in 2005.
He has been a visiting professor at many foreign universities: University of Innsbruck (multiple times in 1991-1999), University of Vienna (multiple times in 1999-2011), Tsinghua University in Beijing (2005). He has also visited the University of Singapore (several times in 2003-2005) as well as many other scientific institutions in Europe and around the world. He is currently a visiting professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2010-2013). He was a beneficiary of the Wenner-Gren Foundations in Stockholm (2006).
A member of the founding group of the National Quantum Information Centre in Gdańsk and of the scientific board of the National Laboratory of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (FAMO) at the Nicolaus Copernicus University. He has been an editor of the International Journal of Quantum Information since 2002. He has been and is the local coordinator of many international research projects. He has written approx. 140 papers published in leading scientific journals, including several in Nature. He has supervised six doctoral dissertations.
He received an individual prize from the Minister of National Education four times (1983, 1994, 2000, 2007) and was a recipient of the University of Gdańsk Rector’s Prize three times (1993, 1998, 2005). A beneficiary of the Batory Foundation (1988) and recipient of the FNP’s academic grant for professors (2003).
Prof. Marek Żukowski, winner of the FNP Prize in 2013 in the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences, for his research on multiphoton entangled states, which led to the formulation of information causality as a principle of physics.
Prof. Marek Żukowski conducts research that expands our understanding of the laws of quantum mechanics. He applies the theoretical apparatus of quantum mechanics to planning of experiments that enable testing of fundamental principles describing the relations between the observer and the act of observing physical phenomena.
In principle, in classical physics the observation act does not influence the system under observation. The view that a physical system or its properties exist “by the very nature of things”, regardless of observation acts, is called “realism”. However, it has no application in quantum physics, in which it is impossible to measure the quantum state of a single quantum system (e.g. a photon). Measurement (i.e. the interaction between a quantum system and classical observation tools) causes an irreversible change of the studied object’s state – the only thing we can determine is its state after measurement (but not before). The theoretical dispute around attempts to restore the notion of “realism” in quantum mechanics was resolved in the 1960s with the formulation of Bell’s theorem which proves that such attempts are inconsistent – either with the laws of quantum mechanics or with the principle of Einstein causality.
Prof. Marek Żukowski and his associates have developed a series of quantum optical experiments to test what are called Bell inequalities as well as deriving new inequalities of this kind. The tests yield results that are compatible with the fundamental assumptions of quantum theory and confirm the validity of the “orthodox” interpretation of quantum mechanics (Bohr and others). This research has led Prof. Żukowski and his associates to formulate a new principle of physics: information causality. It is based on the very simple assumption that a message cannot contain access to a greater amount of information (measured in bits) than the amount of information it contains. Though trivial, this principle enables the maximum value of quantum correlations to be determined accurately. Thanks to this, it can constitute an element of the set of fundamental physical principles leading to the reconstruction of quantum theory.
The results of Prof. Żukowski’s research on the correlations between entangled photons do not have just theoretical implications. They are also important for the development of multiphoton interferometry which is the foundation of experimental realizations of prototypes of future quantum information technologies (e.g. quantum teleportation, quantum cryptography).Back