Göran Johansson is head of Applied Quantum Physics Laboratory and was elected at the Academy's meeting on 13 January as a member of the Class for physics.
"I feel honored and actually I’m a bit shocked. I hope that I will be able to contribute with my expertise in quantum technology and my curiosity in other research areas. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is a heavy referral body in the Swedish research community and, among other things, does a very important work with the Nobel Prizes.”
According to the website, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is an independent organisation that aims to promote the sciences and strengthen their influence in society. The Academy also rewards outstanding research achievements through numerous prizes – the most famous are, of course, the Nobel Prizes in Chemistry and Physics. Being elected as a member of the Academy is seen as an exclusive recognition for efforts in research.
An overall goal of Göran's research is to understand how quantum physics works in nature and how to take advantage of quantum physical effects in practical applications. Among other things, he studies the dynamic Casimir effect, which describes how photons are created out of vacuum when a mirror accelerates and moves close to the speed of light.
A more applied question is how to best build a quantum computer. The Quantum bit, the smallest information carrier in a quantum computer, can have both the value 0 and 1 at the same time and can therefore provide a computational capacity much larger than today's fastest supercomputers. For example, a quantum computer could study complex molecular structures in medical research and provide new drugs. It could also give us completely new opportunities to see structures in large data sets in order to find better solutions to difficult optimization problems, such as traffic planning.
Text: Susannah Carlsson
Photo: Kerstin Jönsson