Scientific Research Project Title

Anyons in new settings

Research Institution

Aarhus University

Department of Physics and Astronomy & Research Institution: 
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems


Theoretical quantum physics


Phone: +49 351 871 1121


Research leader

Anne Ersbak Bang Nielsen

Max Planck Research Group Leader, PhD, born 1982

Project title

Quantum particles in new settings

What is your project about?

Physical systems, such as materials, can exhibit surprising properties when they are cooled down to very low temperatures. One of them is the possibility to form anyons. Anyons are a kind of particles having properties that normal particles cannot have, and it is necessary to develop new methods to analyze and understand them. Their properties are also interesting, because they point out a particularly robust way to build computers that are extremely fast.

The aim of the project is to move the current limits of anyon research by realizing anyons in systems that are different from those systems where anyons have been found previously. We will also develop methods to achieve better control of the dynamics of anyons, which is important for technological applications.

Anne Bang Nielsen - torus.png


How did you become interested in your particular field of research?

I have always been very interested in natural science and math and been curious about understanding how things and nature work. Theoretical physics caught my interest, because one can find very many answers just by systematically analyzing a problem starting from a few fundamental principles. I chose to work with quantum physics, because it is tangible and also has practical applications.

What are the scientific challenges and perspectives in your project?

The primary scientific challenge is to find a simple understanding of which physical properties very complex systems exhibit. This is difficult even when using a super computer. We aim at building systems with new properties, and this will also necessitate the development of new tools to analyze the systems. The project will contribute to a better understanding of, under which conditions anyons can appear in physical systems, and which methods we can use to control their dynamics. Anyons have so far only been observed under extreme conditions, and we are particularly interested in finding out, whether it is possible to create anyons and exploit their properties under conditions that are easier to realize.

What is your estimate of the impact, which your project may have to society in the long term?

The next generation of technology will build on quantum mechanical effects. In our research, we investigate, which properties physical systems can have, and under which conditions a particular property is present. In this way, we contribute to identifying, which fundamental building blocks we have available for building technology. The properties of anyons are particularly interesting for the development of very fast quantum computers.

The project will also contribute to educating and developing scientists and students, who can subsequently make use of their skills at various public and private work places.

Which impact do you expect the Sapere Aude programme will have on your career as a researcher?

The Sapere Aude grant is a great help to further develop my research career. The grant will enable me to move my research activities to Denmark after a longer stay in Germany. It takes time to build up a research group with the necessary expertise and experience, and the grant ensures that I can continue building on top of what I have already built up. I also expect that the grant will make my research more visible in Denmark, and the grant will help me to maintain and expand my international network, for instance in Germany, Canada and Spain.

Background and personal life

In my spare time, I like to do different kinds of sport, in particular running and biking. I also like to repair and build things.

City of your current residence 
Landkreis Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge in Germany

High school
Ringkjøbing Gymnasium.