ZEISS Symposium
"Optics in the Quantum World"

Including ZEISS Research Award Ceremony

What's the ZEISS Symposium about?

The ZEISS Symposium is held every two years following the same format. It is intended as a platform for optics experts to identify trends and research requirements in this field. The results are published in a series of additional white papers.

The first ZEISS Symposium “Optics in the Digital World” was held in 2016 and networked around 200 international scientists and leading industry representatives. The next Symposium will be about "Optics in the Quantum World".

The ZEISS Research Award Ceremony will be held following the topical workshops at the ZEISS Symposium.

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ZEISS Symposium "Optics in the Quantum World"

18 April 2018

Quantum effects are in use since the 20th century and have led to market shaping innovations like semiconductor electronics and lasers. In the 21st century, quantum technology developments focus on the controlled quantum state of individual or coupled systems. While this quantum technology is still in the research stage, it offers an enormous potential and a number of initiatives worldwide have been formed to foster the technology and its commercial potential.


Some quantum technologies might prove to be of particular importance in optics and will be in the focus of our symposium:

  • Quantum computers are currently under fierce development and can be of considerable interest in the fields of Pattern recognition, machine learning and optimization problems.
  • Quantum Simulation offers opportunities in the development of materials.
  • Quantum sensors and metrology uses quantum effects to measure physical parameters with highest accuracy and allows reliable and robust measurements with direct reference to fundamental standards.
  • Quantum-Enhanced Imaging uses the quantum properties of the light to improve the optical image or to achieve new imaging modalities allowing e.g. to beat both the shot noise limit and the resolution limit.


The focus of this topical meeting is on the interrelation of the emerging applications and technologies. The meeting will be organized in a manner to allow intensive discussions and a fruitful exchange of ideas with a single keynote session and subsequent workshop-style presentations and discussions compiling whitepapers on the research needs of the addressed topics.

The results are the basis for a panel discussion of high ranking representatives of industry and academia working out the focus fields with need for joint action.

Specialized in scope and restricted in number of participants the topical meeting organized in the heartland of Germany’s optics industry will give you the opportunity to easily establish contacts and to initiate new research collaborations and business relations.

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Keynote Speakers

Evening Lecture

Due to illness, Jian-Wei Pan is unable to fly and had to cancel last minute.
Due to illness, Jian-Wei Pan is unable to fly and had to cancel last minute.

Christine Silberhorn

University of Paderborn

Photo: IBM
Photo: IBM

Heike Riel

IBM Research

Photo: David Ausserhofer
Photo: David Ausserhofer

Jörg Wrachtrup

University of Stuttgart

Photo: Institut d'Optique
Photo: Institut d'Optique

Alain Aspect

Institut d‘Optique Palaiseau

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Topical Workshops

Quantum Sensors and Metrology
e.g. quantum entanglement and applications like magnetometers, atomic clocks, quantum lithography and quantum enhanced imaging

Invited Speakers:

Kai Bongs (University of Birmingham)
Pascale Senellart (CNRS, Paris)
Tracy Northup (Innsbruck University)


Quantum Computing and Communication
e.g. general purpose quantum computers, quantum error correction, quantum algorithms, quantum repeaters, quantum cryptography, encoding mechanisms

Invited Speakers:

Colin Williams (D-Wave)
Norbert Lütkenhaus (U. Waterloo & EvolutionQ Inc)
Dirk Englund (MIT)

Chair of Program Committee

Jürgen Mlynek
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Program Committee

Heike Riel
IBM Research, Switzerland

Elisabeth Giacobino
Ecole Normale Supérieure, France

Tommaso Calarco
University of Ulm, Germany

Andrew Shields
Toshiba, United Kingdom

Jörg Wrachtrup
University of Stuttgart, Germany

Michael Totzeck 
ZEISS, Germany

Panel Discussion

A panel discussion will round off the ZEISS Symposium. After the presentation of the findings of the technical sessions the identified trends, technology gaps, challenges and needed actions will be addressed during this panel discussion with Industry Executives and keynote speakers.

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ZEISS Research Award

The ZEISS Research Award honors outstanding achievements in international research. Prize money to the value of EUR 40,000 has been allocated to it.

International scientists from the fields of optics and photonics but also general physics nominate possible prizewinners. An illustrious, international jury (see aside) then determines the winner.

The ZEISS Research Award, conferred for the first time in 2016, carries on the idea of the Carl Zeiss Research Award that used to be presented by the Ernst Abbe Fund in the Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany.

From 1990 until 2013, the Carl Zeiss Research Award, which was worth EUR 25,000, was conferred on many renowned research scientists in the field of optics. It has identified groundbreaking research findings by many scientists, some of whom went on to win the Nobel Prize.

Since 2016, the Ernst Abbe Fund has presented the Carl Zeiss Award for Young Researchers that honors the work of excellent, emerging young scientists in the fields of optics and photonics.

Following the topical workshops at the ZEISS Symposium, the winners will receive their awards during an official ceremony. The Symposium participants are invited to attend the main event and the subsequent networking dinner.

The Jury

Jürgen Mlynek
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Anne L’Huillier
University of Lund, Sweden

Stefan Hell
Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany

Andreas Tünnermann
Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, Jena, Germany

Alain Aspect
Institut d‘Optique Palaiseau, France

Ulrich Simon
Carl Zeiss AG, Oberkochen, Germany


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ZEISS Symposium "Optics in the Quantum World" 2018

For more information about the ZEISS Symposium 2016 "Optics in the Digital World" visit this page.

Facts & Figures

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Quantum Question

What quantum product do you expect to be using in 2030?

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White Papers

Workshop Summaries

Presentation Slides

ZEISS Research Award Ceremony

Prof. Tobias J. Kippenberg
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Prof. Jean-Pierre Wolf
University of Geneva

Alain Aspect (Special guest)
Institut d‘Optique Palaiseau

Keynote Speakers ZEISS Symposium

Heike Riel
IBM Research

Jörg Wrachtrup
University of Stuttgart

Christine Silberhorn
University of Paderborn

ZEISS Research Award

Carl Zeiss Award for Young Researchers

ZEISS Symposium Plenum



Special Talk

Press releases & further information


ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the optics and optoelectronics industries. The ZEISS Group develops, produces and distributes measuring technology, microscopes, medical technology, eyeglass lenses, camera and cinema lenses, binoculars and semiconductor manufacturing equipment. With its solutions, the company constantly advances the world of optics and helps shape technological progress. ZEISS is divided up into the four segments Research & Quality Technology, Medical Technology, Vision Care/Consumer Products and Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology. The ZEISS Group is represented in more than 40 countries and has over 50 sales and service locations, more than 30 manufacturing sites and about 25 research and development centers around the globe.

In fiscal year 2016/17 the company generated revenue approximating €5.3 billion with around 27,000 employees. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. Carl Zeiss AG is the strategic management holding company that manages the ZEISS Group. The company is wholly owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation).


If you have questions about the ZEISS Symposium please contact zeiss-symposium@zeiss.com.