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The Swiss Physical Society (SPS) is the national professional association of Physicists coming from teaching, research, development and industry. The diversity of modern research in physics is reflected in ten specific sections.

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The Winners of the SPS Awards 2007

SPS Award for General Physics, sponsored by ABB

Carla Fröhlich obtained her physics diploma at the University of Basel in 2003. During her studies she spent a year as an exchange student at the Simon Fraser University in Canada. As a PhD stu­dent of Prof. Thielemann in Basel she investigated nuclear reactions taking place in supernovae. She is defending her thesis at the University of Basel one of these days. Carla Fröhlich’s work has led to one of the most important discoveries in the field of nuclear astrophysics in the past few years. It includes pioneering investigations of the impact of neutrinos on the nucleosynthesis of core collapse supernovae and of their role in determining the type of ejectas produced. In this fra­mework, some long standing problems, such as the overproduction of neutron-rich iron and nickel isotopes, are now much better understood.

SPS Award Winner 2007 Carla Fröhlich
SPS Award Winner 2007 Carla Fröhlich

Award winner Carla Fröhlich together with Karl Alex Müller and Frank Kassubek (representative of the sponsor ABB)

SPS Award for Condensed Matter Physics, sponsored by IBM

Santiago Serrano-Guisan is currently working at the "Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt" in Braunschweig (Germany). After having obtained his Bachelor degree in physics at the University of Barcelona in 1998, he continued his studies in the field of Material Engineering at the Polytechnical University of Catalunya. He then did his Master work at the Université de Paris-Sud in Orsay, specializing in material science and thin film technology and, after this, he came to Switzerland in order to become a PhD student of Prof. Ansermet (the previous president of our society) at the EPF in Lausanne. His thesis had the title "Spin-dependent thermoelectrical effects in magnetic nanostructures" and, therefore, he carried out a novel type of measurement which was developed in the group of J.-Ph. Ansermet, showing the "magnetothermogalvanic voltage". Usually, the influence of the electronic spin on transport is studied by measuring the electrical conductivity, giant magnetoresistance being demonstrated in this way. However, the innovation in our laureate’s work was to look into thermoelectrical transport coefficients, which do not have the same temperature and magnetic field dependence as the resistance, giving thus interesting new insights into the be­haviour of the electronic spins.
As a researcher in Germany he is now working on "Magnetic Random Access Memory" (MRAM) technologies, for which his wide experience with magnetic structures is, without a doubt, very precious.

SPS Award Winner 2007 Santiago Serrano-Guisan
SPS Award Winner 2007 Santiago Serrano-Guisan

Award winner Santiago Serrano-Guisan together with Paul Seidler (representative of the sponsor IBM) and Karl Alex Müller

SPS Award for Applied Physics, sponsored by OC Oerlikon

Emanuel Marc Lörtscher studied at ETH Zürich, where he got his diploma in physics in 2003. He was interested in Quantum Electronics already at that time and his diploma work was performed at the IBM Research Laboratory in Rüschlikon. This famous center impressed him so much that he continued working there for his PhD thesis. He was devoted to studying charge-carrier transport through single molecules. He then obtained his doctoral degree at the University of Basel, Prof. Christian Schönenberger being his advisor. Still at the IBM Lab, Emanuel Lörtscher continues to investigate the behaviour of single or small groups of molecules in electronic circuits. Thanks to his exceptional experimental skill, he has been the first to provide clear evidence that the switching effects observed in such devices has a truly molecular origin. This is a fascinating kind of "nano­physics" one could only dream of a couple of decades ago. It builds the bridge between basic quantum mechanics, determining the electronic states of the molecules, and promising future electronic applications.

SPS Award Winner 2007 Emanuel Marc Lörtscher
SPS Award Winner 2007 Emanuel Marc Lörtscher

Award winner Emanuel Marc Lörtscher (SPS Award for Applied Physics, sponsored by OC Oerlikon) together with SPS President Tibor Gyalog and Karl Alex Müller