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The European Physical Society honours PTB with its Berlin Institute as an EPS Historic Site


Big names in physics and important scientific discoveries characterized the first decades of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) at the end of the 19th and at the start of the 20th centuries. The then Imperial Institute, whose founding fathers were Werner von Siemens and Hermann von Helmholtz, thus laid the experimental foundations of quantum mechanics with their precision measurements of the radiation of a black body - to name just one example. Not least because of this, is the European Physical Society awarding PTB the distinction of being a Historic Site. The ceremony, at which the Physics Nobel Prize Laureate Wolfgang Ketterle will give the commemorative speech, will be attended by many prominent guests from the fields of science, industry and politics and will take place on 8 October 2013 from 4:00 p.m. onwards in the Berlin Institute of PTB (Charlottenburg, Abbestr. 2-12). Press representatives are warmly welcome.

The Observatory of PTB's Berlin Institute - the historic first building of the then Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt (Imperial Physical Technical Institute), which was founded on the joint initiative of Werner von Siemens and Hermann von Helmholtz.

The EPS Historic Site award is a recently established honour, which the European Physical Society (EPS) is now presenting to an institution in Germany for the first time. The discovery of fundamental laws of physics and effects such as Wien's radiation law, the Einstein-de Haas effect, the Meissner-Ochsenfeld effect and precision measurements of black-body radiation represent the scientific reputation of the Reichsanstalt - all scientific findings, which have significantly led to this award. The President of EPS, John Dudley, together with the President of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, Johanna Stachel, will award PTB the honour of being a Historic Site in a ceremony on 8 October 2013 at the Berlin Institute. Wolfgang Ketterle of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Physics Nobel Prize 2001) and a member of PTB's Kuratorium (Advisory Board) will give a commemorative lecture on "Observing Quantum Matter near Absolute Zero Temperature". The Federal Minister of Economics and Technology (BMWi) as well as the Federal Minister of Education and Research (BMBF) have said that they will attend the ceremony.

Press representatives are warmly welcomed to the ceremony which is taking place on the same day as the announcement of this year's Nobel Prize in Physics by the Nobel Prize Committee in Stockholm. Please register in advance with the Press and Information Office of PTB (presse@ptb.de) if you wish to attend. Please also let us know if you have any specific interview requests.

EPS Historic Site, PTB's Berlin Institute, Abbestraße 2-12

Programme of the Ceremony on 8 October 2013

Start: 4:00 p.m.
Welcome by the President of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)
Prof. Dr. Joachim Ullrich

Address by the Federal Minister of Economics and Technology (BMWi)
Dr. Philipp Rösler

Address by the Federal Minister of Education and Research (BMBF)
Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka

Address by the President of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG) )
Prof. Dr. Johanna Stachel

Presentation of the commemorative plaque by the President of the European Physical Society (EPS) )
Prof. Dr. John Dudley

Historical review: "Discovering the Quantum Nature of Light")
Prof. Dr. Hans Koch, Head of the Berlin Institute (PTB)

Commemorative lecture: "Observing Quantum Matter near Absolute Zero Temperature")
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ketterle (Physics Nobel Prize 2001, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT)

Stand-up reception: about 6:00 p.m.

Opportunities to take photos during the ceremony:

4:45 p.m. / 5.00 p.m.
Presentation and awarding of the EPS Historic Site commemorative plaque

6:30 p.m.
Attaching the commemorative plaque at the entrance to the Siemens Building of the Berlin Institute