The Justus Liebig University of Giessen (JLU) is awarding this year's Röntgen Prize to Dr. Lars von der Wense. The award winner is a scientific employee of the Faculty of Physics at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. He receives the award for his outstanding contributions in the field of nuclear physics.
Von der Wense has succeeded in directly detecting the thorium isomer Thorium-229m, which has been the subject of intensive research for over 40 years, within the framework of his dissertation. Thus von der Wense created the basis for the future development of an atomic clock. In contrast to optical atomic clocks, an atomic nucleus clock would allow a much more accurate time measurement. Such a clock could even be used to investigate whether certain natural constants are actually constant or whether they change minimally over time. An atomic core clock could be relatively compact and then, for example, shot into space in a satellite for the next generation of the GPS navigation system.
The Röntgen Prize is awarded for outstanding theses in foundational research into the physics and biology of radiation. It is named after Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, who was a professor at Gießen from 1879 to 1888. The prize is usually awarded to papers written by junior scientists. Half of the 15,000 Euro prize is funded by Pfeiffer Vacuum and the Dr. Erich Pfeiffer Foundation as well as the Ludwig-Schunk-Stiftung e. V. (Ludwig-Schunk-Foundation).