Rudolf Grimm bigraphy, stories - Austrian physicist

Rudolf Grimm : biography

10 November 1961 -

Rudolf Grimm (born 10 November 1961 in Mannheim, Germany) is an experimental physicist from Austria. His work centres on ultracold atoms and quantum gases. He was the first scientist worldwide who, with his team, succeeded in realizing a Bose-Einstein condensation of molecules.


The work of the experimental physicist concentrates on Bose-Einstein condensation of atoms and molecules and on fermionic quantum gases. In 2002 his working group succeeded for the first time ever to produce a Bose-Einstein condensate from caesium atoms.Bose-Einstein condensation of cesium, T. Weber, J. Herbig, M. Mark, H.-C. Nägerl, R. Grimm. In the following year, the team produced the first Bose-Einstein condensate of molecules (simultaneously with Deborah S. Jin's group at JILA, Boulder).Bose-Einstein condensation of molecules, S. Jochim, M. Bartenstein, A. Altmeyer, G. Hendl, S. Riedl, C. Chin, J. Hecker Denschlag, and R. Grimm. In 2004, the Innsbruck scientists achieved a Fermionic condensate. Their work was ranked among the top ten global achievements in the natural sciences for that year by Science. In his work on collective oscillations and pairing energies, Grimm found first evidence of the flow of particles without any loss of energy (superfluidity) in Fermi condensates. Meanwhile Grimm and his team have succeeded in producing more complex molecules in ultracold quantum gases. Currently Grimm is concentrating his efforts on producing mixed condensation from atoms of different elements. In 2006, his working group also managed to lift the veil on an old mystery of physics: they succeeded in the first experimental observation of Efimov States, mysterious quantum states that the Russian scientist Vitali Efimov had theoretically predicted in the early 1970s.Evidence for Efimov quantum states in an ultracold gas of caesium atoms. T. Kraemer, M. Mark, P. Waldburger, J. G. Danzl, C. Chin, B. Engeser, A. D. Lange, K. Pilch, A. Jaakkola, H.-C. Nägerl and R. Grimm.


Grimm graduated in physics from the University of Hannover in 1986. From 1986 to 1989 he was a post-graduate researcher at the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), then went on to the Institute of Spectroscopy of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Troitsk near Moscow for half a year. He spent the next ten years in Heidelberg as a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics. In 1994, Grimm applied to the University of Heidelberg to qualify as a professor by receiving the “venia docendi” in experimental physics. In the year 2000, he was appointed to a chair in experimental physics at the University of Innsbruck, where he has been Dean of the Faculty for Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics since 2005 and Director of the Research Center for Quantum Physics from 2006. Since 2003, Grimm has also held the position of Scientific Director at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW). Grimm is married, with three children.


Grimm has received numerous awards for his achievements. In 2005 he was presented with the Wittgenstein Award, Austria’s highest scientific accolade. In the same year, the Austrian daily paper Die Presse made him „Austrian (Researcher) of the Year 2005“. Years before, he had won the Gerhard Hess Prize, a new blood stipend of the German Research Foundation (DFG) (1996), and the Silver Medal of the ETH Zurich (1989). Recently he received the Beller Lectureship Award of the American Physical Society (APS) (2007), the Science Award of the Region of Tyrol (2008) and was named „Austrian Scientist of the Year 2009“ by the Austrian Club of Education and Science Journalists. In 2006, Grimm became a full member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

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