Rainer Blatt is an experimental physicist recognized for his work on quantum optics and quantum information with trapped atomic
ions. He is known particularly for his work on entangling strings of trapped ions and their use for metrology, for quantum simulations and for the realization of a universal quantum computer. Blatt was born and grew up in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. He graduated from University of Mainz, where he received his PhD in physics in 1981. He was a postdoctoral fellow at JILA/University of Colorado, working with J. L. Hall on laser cooling of an atomic beam, and in 1984 he became a research assistant at the University of Hamburg, working on quantum optics with trapped ions. After being a Heisenberg fellow (1989 – 1994), Blatt became professor of physics at the University of Göttingen (1994) and finally moved to the University of Innsbruck in 1995 as chair in experimental physics. Since 2003 he is a scientific director of the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and has been a member and vice-chairman of the Austrian Science Board.

Research Interests

Rainer Blatt's and his group's research focuses on quantum optics, quantum metrology as well as on quantum simulation and quantum computation with trapped ions. After implementing the basic quantum gate operations, they have developed a quantum toolbox and realized quantum computers with strings of trapped ions. With these, they demonstrate, benchmark and evaluate quantum algorithms and work towards quantum error correction. Quite generally, the creation, manipulation and the control and
measurement of entanglement of many ions is at the heart of their investigations. Using the quantum toolbox with strings of ions, a
universal quantum simulator has been built, simulating the dynamical behavior of many-body quantum systems in a (digitally)
programmed way. In an analog approach, long ion strings have been used for the quantum simulation of quantum many-body
interactions and are currently employed for variational quantum simulations. In order to realize a quantum internet, the group has
built an ion-photon interface using cavity QED techniques and they are currently implementing a three-node quantum network.
Employing quantum logic spectroscopy, they study quantum protocols for optical atomic clocks.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 13: Physics

Secondary Section

Section 33: Applied Physical Sciences