News Release 

Laser physicist Dr. Jan Rothhardt from the Helmholtz Institute Jena receives Röntgen Prize

GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

Award Announcement


IMAGE: Röntgen award winner Dr. Jan Rothhard during his work in the laboratory. view more 

Credit: Walter Oppel

The laser physicist Dr. Jan Rothhardt from the Helmholtz Institute Jena (HI Jena), an institute of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, located on the campus of the Friedrich Schiller University (FSU) Jena, receives the renowned Röntgen Prize. The prize will be awarded during the digital academic ceremony of the Justus-Liebig-University Gießen. The 39-year-old leader of a Helmholtz Young Investigator Group, who works at HI Jena and the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, receives the award in recognition of his outstanding contributions in the field of laser technology, in particular for the development and application of laser sources for extreme ultraviolet (XUV) radiation and soft X-ray radiation.

Dr. Jan Rothhardt intensively conducts research in applications of these laser systems and was able to show both mathematically and experimentally for the first time that efficient conversion into the XUV spectral range is also possible with high-power lasers of high pulse repetition frequency. The XUV sources developed by him were already successfully used for high-resolution lensless imaging processes. In addition to applications in nanotechnology, these methods in future should also be able to track ultra-fast processes on the nanoscale, which are the basis of future data memories.

Furthermore, the new XUV sources will enable worldwide unique laser spectroscopy experiments on heavy ion storage rings. Quantum electrodynamics (QED), relativistic effects, but also nuclear properties and ultrafast processes are at the center of these interdisciplinary experiments. First pioneering experiments were already realized at the CRYRING in Darmstadt. CRYRING is one of the storage rings in the unique portfolio of traps and storage facilities for heavy ions of the future accelerator center FAIR, currently under construction at GSI.

Dr. Rothhardt studied physics in Jena and received his doctorate in 2011. Since 2014, the internationally renowned laser physicist is leader of a junior research group at the Helmholtz Institute Jena and author and co-author of almost 70 publications in scientific journals. He regularly receives excellent student evaluations for his lectures and seminars at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. In addition, he is engaged in inspiring school students for laser technology with a special experimental lecture at schools.

In memory of Nobel Prize winner Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, who was a professor in Giessen from 1879 to 1888, Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) has been awarding the renowned Röntgen Prize since 1960. It is endowed with prize money of € 15,000, which is jointly donated by Pfeiffer Vacuum and the Ludwig Schunk Foundation. This year there will be a "hands-on" prize for the first time: To mark the Röntgen Year, JLU and the founders initiated the production of a miniature of the famous Gießen Röntgen monument.

JLU traditionally gives the Röntgen Prize winners the opportunity to present their research area in a public lecture event on the eve of the Academic Ceremony. Due to the corona pandemic, the prizewinner will not travel to Giessen this year. The Röntgen lecture with the title "High-resolution lensless microscopy with extreme ultraviolet radiation" will take place on Thursday, November 26, 2020, as a Webex stream. At the digital academic ceremony on the following Friday, November 27, Dr. Rothhardt will be connected via video.


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