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The Nicholas Kurti Science Prize for Europe
2017 Winners

The 2017 Nicholas Kurti Science Prize for Europe

Oxford Instruments is delighted to announce Dr Francois Parmentier of Service de Physique de l'Etat Condensé, Université Paris-Saclay, France and Dr Erwann Bocquillon of Laboratoire Pierre Aigrain, France – as the joint winners of the 2017 Nicholas Kurti Science Prize. The Nicholas Kurti Science Prize promotes and recognises the novel work of young scientists working in the fields of low temperatures and/or high magnetic fields in Europe.

Dr Francois Parmentier is recognised for his contribution in research on electronic quantum transport in nanostructures at very low temperatures; in particular on the properties of noise and quantised heat transport in mesoscopic systems.

As the joint winner, Dr Erwann Bocquillon’s contribution to the field of topological insulators, in particular for evidencing the fractional Josephson effect in superconductor/topological-insulator weak-links, has been widely recognised by all. His radio-frequency measurements, performed on helical edge channels in HgTe quantum wells provide strong evidence for the expected 4π phase periodicity of Majorana-Andreev bound states.

“We are deeply honoured and delighted to share the Nicholas Kurti Prize together. We are grateful to the selection committee for the recognition of our works, and to Oxford Instruments for supporting young researchers. We also wish to warmly acknowledge the invaluable work of all our respective teammates and collaborators", commented Dr Parmentier and Bocquillon.

The winners will be formally presented with the Nicholas Kurti Science Prize trophy at the upcoming LT28 conference in Gothenburg in Sweden in August, where they will present their research work.

The Nicholas Kurti Science Prize selection committee was very pleased to recognise the winner’s efforts in quantum physics. The committee consists of leading European physicists, chaired by Professor George Pickett, Lancaster University, UK.

The objective of the Nicholas Kurti Science Prize is to promote and recognise the novel work of young scientists working in the fields of low temperatures and high magnetic fields within Europe. Oxford Instruments is aware that there is a critical and often difficult stage for many such researchers between completing their PhD and gaining a permanent research position. The company has therefore been helping individuals who are producing innovative work by offering assistance both financially and through promotion of their research work, through sponsoring the Nicholas Kurti Science Prize for over 10 years, together with other such prizes for research in physical science in the Americas, Japan, China and India. The Nicholas Kurti Science Prize is named in honour of the late Professor Nicholas Kurti (1908-1998). Professor Kurti is known for his distinguished work in ultra-low temperature physics at the Clarendon Laboratory, University of Oxford, UK which during his career earned the name “the coldest spot on earth” as a consequence of the ground-breaking research conducted there; using adiabatic demagnetisation Professor Kurti was able to create temperatures of a millionth of a degree above absolute zero.

The previous winners of the Nicholas Kurti Science Prize are Professor Dr Alexander Ako Khajetoorians, Dr Lapo Bogani, Professor Ronald Hanson, Professor Mathias Kläui, Professor Dr Christian Rüegg, Professor John Morton, Professor Lieven Vandersypen, Professor Kostya Novoselov, Professor Andreas Wallraff, Dr Silvano De Franceschi, Dr Isabel Guillamón and Dr Andrea Caviglia.