06. August 2021

Future Prize winner presents physics experiment to University of Bonn Future Prize winner presents physics experiment to University of Bonn

Physicist and alumnus Dr. Michael Kösters provides part of prize money for demo experiment

How is it possible for a picture of Albert Einstein to turn into Marylin Monroe? Physics students and lecturers at the University of Bonn now have a new experiment at their disposal that illustrates "Fourier optics", a method particularly useful for the targeted processing of images. The experiment came about through an initiative by physicist and alumnus Dr. Michael Kösters. Last year, he and two colleagues received the German Future Prize, which is awarded by the President of Germany for outstanding research and development projects in the field of technology and innovation. In a lecture at the Physics Colloquium of the University of Bonn, Michael Kösters spoke about his field of research, namely laser systems for the generation of extreme ultraviolet light for Mikrochip manufacturing, and presented the demo experiment. It will be used in lectures and practical courses.

Download all images in original size © Video: Benjamin Scheeben/ Institute of Applied Physics, Uni Bonn

The German Future Prize was awarded to Michael Kösters, who works at Trumpf, together with colleagues from Zeiss and the Fraunhofer IOF in Jena for their contribution to the development of EUV lithography, which can be used to manufacture microelectronic components with extremely fine structures. A year ago, the jury said that "by using light in the extreme ultraviolet, the researchers have taken the method of optical lithography, which is well established in chip manufacturing, to a new level." The new process should make it possible to produce microchips that are particularly powerful and energy-efficient.

Michael Kösters supports physics teaching at the University of Bonn with part of the prize money so that junior researchers of the future are introduced to modern methods at an early stage. "The University of Bonn is my alma mater, and I have fond memories of my undergraduate and doctoral years. I want to give something back from that," says Michael Kösters. He obtained his PhD in physics in Bonn and worked at the Institute of Physics as a research assistant before moving into industry. "We congratulate Dr. Michael Kösters on his great success and are delighted that he still feels connected to the university," says Prof. Dr. Dieter Meschede from the Institute of Applied Physics.

The already completed apparatus was developed in a bachelor thesis and illustrates Fourier optics. This describes the propagation of light in a mathematical way using the so-called Fourier transform. The new demo experiment makes it possible to "watch" in detail how the mathematical processes impressively transform a picture of Albert Einstein into that of Marylin Monroe. The experiment will be used in the optics lectures of physics courses, but is also available to schools as part of the Physics Workshop Rhineland. A specially produced instructional video further illustrates Fourier optics.

Dr. Michael Kösters
Dr. Michael Kösters - German Future Prize winner, during his lecture at the Physics Colloquium at the University of Bonn © Barbara Frommann/ Uni Bonn
The team of scientists involved in establishing the experiment
The team of scientists involved in establishing the experiment - Prof. Dr. Dieter Meschede from the Institute of Applied Physics, alumnus Dr. Michael Kösters, Benjamin Scheeben, who developed the apparatus in his bachelor thesis, and Dr. Frank Vewinger from the Institute of Applied Physics (from left). © Barbara Frommann/ Uni Bonn
The new demo experiment illustrates Fourier optics
The new demo experiment illustrates Fourier optics - The experiment makes it possible to "watch" in detail how the mathematical processes transform a picture. © Barbara Frommann/ Uni Bonn

Prof. Dr. Dieter Meschede
Institute of Applied Physics
University of Bonn
Email: meschede@iap.uni-bonn.de
Phone: +49 228 733471

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