When 38-year-old Tobias Meng sits down at his desk, he starts to calculate. Using pen and paper, he immerses into the world of the smallest particles – and finds big effects. The young father designs revolutionary quantum materials, which for example promise to conduct electricity without loss, or to store gigantic amounts of information – building blocks for the high tech of the 21st century.
In his research, Meng uses a Nobel Prize-winning approach: topological physics. It is currently the most important theme in condensed matter physics, and allows one to understand the inner workings of complex quantum materials. Topological materials are particularly robust and can protect sensitive quantum states from perturbations.
In recognition of his outstanding scientific achievements, Tobias Meng is awarded the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize 2022 of DFG and BMBF. In their statement, Meng is praised for his groundbreaking research on topological physics and topological quantum materials. Meng has worked on a wide range topics, including superconductivity, strongly correlated systems, transport phenomena, and quantum computing, and uses a broad spectrum of methods.
Prof. Matthias Vojta, chair of Theoretical Solid State Physics at the TU Dresden and co-spokesperson of the Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat, compliments Meng on his work: “I am always impressed by Tobias Meng’s creativity in combining different methods and theoretical concepts in his research. He clearly is one of the best early career theoretical physicists in Germany, and also internationally very visible.”
“The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize is a wonderful recognition for the work that my team and I have done over the last years. We take it as an encouragement to find out much more about topological quantum materials!” comments Meng, who leads the Emmy Noether research group “Quantum Design” at TU Dresden’s Institute of Theoretical Physics. In 2021, Meng has furthermore received about one million Euro of funding for a collaborative project jointly with colleagues from the University of Luxembourg. Meng studied Physics in Karlsruhe and Grenoble and received a PhD degree from the University of Cologne. After research stays in the USA and Switzerland, he joined TU Dresden in 2014, where the Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat started in 2019.
Since 1977, the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize is awarded each year by DFG and BMBF in recognition of outstanding early career achievements, this year to ten researchers. The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize is considered the most important award for early career researchers in Germany. A total of 155 researchers across all scientific disciplines were nominated this year.
The award ceremony will take place on May 3rd, 2022 in Berlin and will be broadcasted via live streaming.
Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat
The Cluster of Excellence ct.qmat–Complexity and Topology in Quantum Matter is a joint research collaboration by Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg and Technische Universität (TU) Dresden since 2019. More than 270 scientists from 34 countries and four continents perform research on topological quantum materials that reveal surprising phenomena under extreme conditions such as ultra-low temperatures, high pressures, or strong magnetic fields. If it becomes possible to exploit these unusual properties under ambient conditions, they will serve as a foundation for revolutionary quantum chips and new types of technological applications. The Cluster of Excellence is funded within Excellence Strategy of the federal and state governments–as the only cluster in Germany that traverses federal state boundaries.
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