Sep 9 – 15, 2023
Hotel Eden Roc
Europe/Berlin timezone

BEC Awards 2023

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The TOPTICA Senior and Junior BEC Awards 2023 honor outstanding research in Experimental and/or Theoretical Physics of Quantum Degenerate Atomic Gases. The senior prize recognizes a specific work that is firmly established and has significantly advanced the field of quantum degenerate gases. The junior prize recognizes outstanding work by a young scientist for research early in his or her academic career. The TOPTICA BEC Award for Lifetime Achievements 2023 recognizes longstanding important contributions to the field. Each prize consists of a 2500 Euro cash award, and a certificate citing the contributions of the recipients. The prizes are awarded under the auspices of the biannual BEC conference and are sponsored by TOPTICA Photonics AG. 

The 2023 laureates for the Toptica BEC Awards are:

TOPTICA Junior BEC Award 2023

Monika Aidelsburger
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich

For her seminal contributions to experimental research on synthetic gauge fields and topological physics with ultracold gases.


TOPTICA Senior BEC Award 2023

Tilman Pfau
University of Stuttgart

For his pioneering experiments on long-range interacting quantum gases of dipolar atoms and Rydberg excitations.


TOPTICA BEC Award for Lifetime Achievements

Alexander Fetter
Stanford University


Wilhelm Zwerger
Technical University Munich 

For their individual foundational theory works on quantum many-body physics and superfluidity of ultracold gases.



Rules & Eligibility 

Nominations may be made by any member of the international scientific community. Senior, junior, and lifetime prizes shall ordinarily be awarded to one person but may be shared when all recipients have contributed to the same accomplishment. Only exceptionally the award may be split among different accomplishments. Junior awards are given to scientists who have received their last academic degree less than about 10 years ago, for work that they have done in any role (e.g., student, postdoc, group leader, other). The senior awards are given for scientists with more than about 10 years since completing their PhD degree, for their independent work. The specific work for which they are awarded should be relatively recent, for instance from the last 10-15 years. The lifetime award is given for a scientist with a long career whose cumulative impact is remarkable to the field. In general, recipients of the Nobel Prize and previous BEC Awards are not eligible for the TOPTICA BEC Awards 2023, unless the accomplishments cited in the nomination represent new or different work. 

Nomination & Selection Process 

Nominations should be sent by email to no later than June 30, 2023. The nomination must include, as a single pdf attachment, a letter by the nominator(s) describing the accomplishments to be recognized and a citation. A CV and a list of relevant publications may be included but are not required. Self-nominations are not accepted, and nominees should not be involved in or informed of the nomination process. Nor should the members of the selection committee be nominated. The nominations from the previous two rounds are automatically valid and considered, thus nomination is not needed in these cases although can be amended if necessary.

2023 Committee members 

Päivi Törmä (Chair of the TOPTICA BEC Awards 2023), Tilman Esslinger, Rudolf Grimm, Jason Ho, William Phillips, Klaus Sengstock, Martin Zwierlein. The Scientific Committee of the BEC conference elected the committee members.

Past recipients:

BEC Lifetime Award 2021: Tin-Lun (Jason) Ho 
BEC Senior Award 2021: Tilman Esslinger and Rudolf Grimm
BEC Junior Award 2021: Martin Zwierlein

BEC Senior Award 2019: Lev Pitaevskii and Sandro Stringari  
BEC Junior Award 2019: Francesca Ferlaino

BEC Senior Award 2017: Jean Dalibard 
BEC Junior Award 2017: Cheng Chin

BEC Senior Award 2015: Tom Greytak, Harald Hess, Daniel Kleppner 
BEC Junior Award 2015: Shina Tan

BEC Senior Award 2013: Immanuel Bloch 
BEC Junior Award 2013: Markus Greiner

BEC Senior Award 2011: Gora Shlyapnikov 
BEC Junior Award 2011: Ian Spielman