Boltzmann Lecture 2024 - Francesca Ferlaino - February 20th


The traditional Boltzmann Lecture for this year will be held on Tuesday, February 20th, at 16:00 in room 128-129. 

The seminar will be presented by Francesca Ferlaino, Professor at the Institute for Experimental Physics, Universität Innsbruck, Austria & Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI), Austrian Academy of Science. 

The event can also be attended online via this link:

Abstract: Quantum physics often challenges our classical intuition with conceptual paradoxes, especially in the realm of many-body systems where interactions play a pivotal role. This talk delves into how dipolar interactions, which differ fundamentally from van der Waals forces due to their orientation-dependence and non-locality, facilitate the creation of new quantum phases. These phases range from ultra-dilute quantum droplets to supersolid and crystalline states, characterized by spatially organized gaseous atoms forming ordered density waves with minimal energy cost. The lecture will highlight discoveries made using quantum degenerate gases of erbium and dysprosium atoms, drawing on experiments conducted in Innsbruck.

Francesca Ferlaino studied physics at the University of Federico II of Naples and received her master degree in 2000 for a theoretical work on Bose-Einstein condensates, jointly conducted in Naples and at SISSA in Trieste.
As PhD student, she then re-directed her research interest towards experimental physics and started her PhD study at the University of Florence and at the European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy (LENS) in Florence under the supervision of Prof. M. Inguscio. At LENS, Francesca was involved in the first realization of quantum gases mixture of different alkali atomic species. After receiving her PhD degree in 2004 and few years of post-docs at LENS, , Francesca  moved to Austria first as a visiting scientist in the group of Prof. Grimm, then as postdoctoral Lise-Meitner fellow focusing on few-body and Efimov physics. In 2009, thanks to a START-Prize (FWF) and an ERC Starting Grant, Francesca could establish her independent research group. She funded the Dipolar Quantum Gas Group and started the so-called “ERBIUM” experiment, realizing the world-first Bose-Einstein condensate of Er in 2012.
Since 2014, Francesca is Full Professor at the University of Innsbruck and Scientific Director at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) of the Austrian Academy of Science (ÖAW). During the last years, she was awardee of numerous prestigious prizes and distinctions, including the Feltrinelli prize, the Alexander-von-Humboldt Professorship, the Science Prize of the City of Innsbruck, the Ignaz L. Lieben Prize, and the Fritz-Kohlrausch Prize for experimental physics. In addition, she received the START Prize, one ERC-Starting, one ERC-Consolidator grant and one one ERC-Advanced grant.