Experimental physicist Prof Ido Kaminer (Technion Israel Institute of Technology) with the Stanisław Lem European Science Prize for 2023. The chapter’s decision was announced during the Celebration of Wrocław University of Science and Technology Day.
The Lem Prize, worth 100,000 PLN, is awarded to young scientists (under 40 years of age) studying or conducting research in the European Union and associated countries. The international chapter evaluates their recent discovery or significant achievement in the broadly defined fields of science and engineering, with a strong focus on technology, interdisciplinarity, creativity, and vision.
Sixteen applications were submitted for this year’s competition from ten different countries, including three from Poland. During a ceremony at the Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Prof Arkadiusz Wójs, rector of the university, announced that the award for 2023 went to Dr Ido Kaminer, professor at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology.
In the opinion of the chapter, Prof Ido Kaminer is an outstanding scientist who combines the brilliance of a theorist and the mastery of an experimentalist in the study of fundamental aspects related to the interaction of light and matter. His work has had a significant impact on the scientific and technological communities.
Particularly appreciated was his “Pioneering experimental and theoretical contributions to quantum electrodynamics of photonic quasiparticles, and establishing the foundations of quantum optics with free electrons””.
– He is a researcher with diverse interests in condensed matter physics, quantum optics, nanoscience and other fields. The scope, scale and impact of his achievements on the scientific community are in keeping with the high profile of the Lem Prize,’ justifies Professor Arkadiusz Wójs, rector of Wroclaw Tech.
Prof. Ido Kaminer helped established the framework of light–matter interactions of photonic-quasiparticles. The foundations of the field are based on macroscopic quantum electrodynamics (MQED), which he developed in new optical systems such as hyperbolic materials, nanophotonic platforms, and 2D materials, predicting new phenomena in optical physics.
He is a pioneer in the interactions of light with free electrons: using electrons to create X-rays in novel ways, to probe coherent light–matter interactions with nanometer resolution, and to record the dynamics of photonic quasiparticles.
Prof. Ido Kaminer’s research created a paradigm shift in the understanding of free-electron radiation: in contrast with the common belief that free-electron radiation takes the form of a classical wave, he showed that the radiation can instead become entangled with the emitting electron.
This led to the first experiment, achieved by prof. Ido Kaminer’s lab, demonstrating that the quantum statistics of photons can be imprinted on the electron.
Prof Ido Kaminer will receive the award at a special ceremony next year. The author of the commemorative statuette for the laureate is Prof. Przemysław Tyszkiewicz.
The Stanisław Lem European Science Prize (Lem Prize) was established to commemorate the centenary of the birth of the eminent Polish science fiction novelist, who received an honorary doctorate from Wrocław University of Science and Technology in 1981. Each year, the laureate is chosen by a chapter composed of prominent academics from abroad and the Wrocław University of Technology and Tomasz Lem, the writer’s son.
The first winner in 2021 was genetic engineering expert Prof Randall J. Platt from the ETH Zurich,a year later, the award went to Professor Samuel Stranks of Cambridge University, a specialist in optoelectronics.
Dr Ido Kaminer is an Associate Professor at the Technion. In his PhD research, Ido discovered new classes of accelerating beams in nonlinear optics and electromagnetism, for which he received the 2014 American Physical Society (APS) Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Laser Science. He was the first Israeli to win an APS award for his PhD thesis.
As a postdoc at MIT, he established the foundations of macroscopic quantum electrodynamics (MQED) for photonic quasiparticles and used it to enable forbidden electronic transitions in atoms.
As a faculty member, Ido created a paradigm shift in the understanding of free-electron radiation, connecting it to the field of quantum optics. He performed the first experiment on electron microscopy with quantum light, demonstrating that the quantum statistics of photons can be imprinted on the electron.
For his achievements as a faculty member, prof. Ido Kaminer was recently elected to the Israeli Young Academy, which includes 32 young Israeli faculty members below the age of 45.
He has won multiple awards and grants, including the ERC Starting Grant, the Moore foundation grant, and the 2022 Schmidt Science Polymath Award. Ido is the laureate of the 2021 Krill Prize, the 2021 Blavatnik Award in Physical Sciences & Engineering in Israel, and the recipient of the 2022 Adolph Lomb Medal, the top international award for a young scientist (age 35 or younger) in the field of optics. He was recently selected for the 2024 ACS Photonics Young Investigator Award.