Francesca Ferlaino
Professor, Institute for Experimental Physics, University of Innsbruck Scientific and Managing Director, Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI)

Francesca Ferlaino is a Professor at the Institute for Experimental Physics, University of Innsbruck, and a Scientific and Managing Director of the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI). She was born on 23th December 1977 in Napoli, Italy. She studied physics at the University of Federico II in Napoli and she then moved to Trieste, where she studied for her theoretical diploma thesis at the ISAS. After few months of wandering around the world, she has started her PhD in Florence (Italy) at LENS on experiments with ultracold quantum gases, receiving her PhD degree in 2004. She spent two additional years at LENS as a PostDoc before coming to Innsbruck in 2006 as a visiting scientist in the group of Rudi Grimm. At the beginning her stay was just planned for 3 months. The 3 months became 6. The 6 months 1 year. 1 year easily doubled to 2 years, and the 2 years doubled again, and again :). Francesca is now Full Professor at the University of Innsbruck and Research Director at the Institute for Quantum optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI). She won the Lise-Meitner postdoctoral fellowship granted by the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF), the START Prize from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMWF) and the ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council. Recently, she obtained the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Professorship. Francesca’s research is dedicated to the experimental study of fundamental few- and many-body phenomena realized with ultracold quantum gases of atoms and molecules. The main focus here is the realization of exotic states of matter such as giant three-body states, quantum dipolar gases of highly magnetic atoms and ultracold polar molecules. Francesca is leading the ERBIUM Team and the Theory Team at the Univ. of Innsbruck and the Er-Dy Team and the T-Reqs at the IQOQI. Over the last years, she focuses specifically on the strongly magnetic, and rather unexplored, Erbium and Dysprosium atomic species, realizing in 2012 world’s first Bose- Einstein condensation of Erbium, and in 2018 the first dipolar quantum mixture of Erbium and Dysprosium. In 2019, she was able to prepare the first long-lived supersolid state, an elusive and paradoxical state where superfluid flow and crystal rigidity coexist. Aside from physics, Francesca has spent a lot of time travelling around (more than 50 different states), behind the objective of her photo camera, and with its family.

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