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International distinctions for the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas

Jul 20, 2006

The recent announcement of Dr. Christos Panagopoulos being awarded the European Young Investigator Award (EURYI Award) was an important distinction for the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH). Dr. Panagopoulos is an affiliated research scientist at the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser of FORTH (IESL/FORTH), visiting professor at the Physics Department of the University of Crete and academic researcher of the British Academy of Sciences at Cambridge University, where he leads a research team working on the field of superconductivity. His award-winning research proposal involves innovative electromagnetic structures in quantum materials and is accompanied with a funding of €1,200,000 for a period of 5 years.

The European Young Investigator Awards (EURYI Awards) were established in 2003. They are bestowed annually upon young scientists and constitute an initiative of EUROHORCS (European Heads Of Research Councils), in association with ESF (European Science Foundation). The aim of EURYI Awards is to attract outstanding young researchers, from all over the world, to work in Europe for the further development of European science, contributing to the building up of the next generation of leading European researchers.

The research activity of Mr. Panagopoulos has also received an important distinction by EE Marie Curie Excellence Grants. The award is accompanied by a grant of €1,400,000 aimed to further reinforce the above research activity. The ultimate goal is the creation of the first Low Temperature and High Magnetic Fields Research Center in the world for examining the occurrence of new and complex electromagnetic phenomena on materials whose electromagnetic behavior is regulated by the change of quantum parameters.

It is worth noting that the research activity of Dr. Panagopoulos has previously been recognized and received awards from the Royal Academy of Sciences and the Council for Physical Sciences of Great Britain, Trinity College of Cambridge, the Japanese Society for the Advancement of Sciences etc.

The above combination of European prizes and grants paves the way for basic physics and new materials physics to follow a new direction in the 21st century. It aims at uniting quantum mechanics with statistical physics, an emerging field of the new millennium with a view to the understanding of complex electronic phenomena. The program has applications in other important state-of-the-art fields, such as biosciences, cosmology and quantum computing. Besides, it opens new horizons for the improvement of cryotechnology applications, as well as fields like detector technology and magnetic freezing.

The second important distinction for FORTH was the recent award of a Marie Curie Excellence Grant to Dr. Stelios Tzortzakis. Dr. Tzortzakis is an affiliated research scientist at the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser of FORTH (IESL/FORTH) and Researcher of the French National Research Centre (CNRS) at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France.

The prize is accompanied by a grant of €1,900,000 for the establishment of a new scientific team and research laboratory, lead by Dr. Tzortzakis. The main objective of the new laboratory is the development of a novel generation of pulsed laser radiation sources with extremely short duration (the duration of each pulse is of the order of some trillionths of a second). These sources essentially span across the whole electromagnetic spectrum, from microwaves up to X-rays. Combining high spatial and temporal resolution they enable the exploration of fundamental ultrafast phenomena in physics and other scientific disciplines like chemistry, biology and biomedicine.

It is worth noting that the above Excellence Grants are extremely competitive programs. This year, only 5 such awards were given in the field of Physics for the whole EU, of which the first two (in ranking order) to Dr. Panagopoulos and Dr. Tzortzakis.

For more information please contact:

Dr. Christos Panagopoulos, IESL Researcher
Tel.: +30 2810 391397, e-mail:
Dr. Stelios Tzortzakis, IESL Researcher
Tel.: +30 2810 391396, e-mail:

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