Ulf Leonhardt

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Ulf Leonhardt, FRSE (born October 9, 1965 in Schlema, Germany) is a German scientist. In 2006, he published the first scientific paper on invisibility cloaking with metamaterials at the same time Pendry's group published their paper in the journal Science. He has been involved with the science of cloaking objects since then.[1][2][3][4]

He is a Wolfson Research Merit Award holder from the Royal Society, and he is currently Professor of Physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science. He is involved in research pertaining to metamaterials. Specific disciplines are quantum electrodynamics in media, perfect imaging, optical analogues of the event horizon, reverse Casimir effect, metamaterial cloaking, quantum effects of optical phenomena involving Hawking radiation and Light in moving media.[1][5][6][7][8][9]


In 1993, Leonhardt earned his PhD (theoretical physics) from the Humboldt University of Berlin. From 1998 to 2000 he was in Stockholm at the Royal Institute of Technology as a Göran-Gustafsson Fellow. He held the chair (theoretical physics) at the University of St Andrews in Scotland between April, 2000 and 2012. Since 2012 he has been a Professor of Physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science[1]

Awards and honors[edit]

Professor Ulf Leonhardt is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is a recipient of the Otto Hahn Award of the Max Planck Society. In August 2009, the Royal Society's Theo Murphy Blue Skies award allowed Leonhardt to research a new theory for applying metamaterials to optical cloaking full-time.[1][10][11]

Books authored[edit]

Ulf Leonhardt has authored, coauthored or edited the following books:

  • Ulf Leonhardt (March 2010). Essential Quantum Optics: From Quantum Measurements to Black Holes. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-14505-3. 277 pages.
  • Ulf Leonhardt and Thomas Philbin (2010). Geometry and Light. The Science of Invisibility. Dover Publications, Inc. ISBN 978-0-486-47693-3. 278 pages.
  • Ulf Leonhardt (October 1997). Measuring the Quantum State of Light. Cambridge Studies in Modern Optics. Cambridge University Press. doi:10.2277/0521497302. ISBN 978-0-521-49730-5. 208 pages. PDF available here.

China Experiences[edit]

In 1999, Ulf was a Changjiang Scholar with Zhejiang University, in China, building his crucial ties with China. Ulf ventured into China again in 2011 to continue his research collaboration with researchers and academics. In particular, he participated in "China 1000 Talent" program and the "Guangzhou Leading Overseas Talent" program. Such programs come with both individual cash bonus and research funding. Ulf was hosted by a research center at South China Normal University in Guangzhou, China and in 2012, he was awarded funding for both programs. However, Ulf later realized there were possible foul play with the award money by his China counterparts. He later engaged a lawyer to investigate and Science magazine published an article entitled "Show me the Money?"[12] [13] in October 2014 to reveal more on the insights. Various news media began to cover on this topic [14] [15] [16] to warn foreign researchers and academics to be extra careful with foreign work contracts and in award funds handling and administration.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Biography "Geometry, Light, and a wee bit of Magic" (PDF). SINAM NANO Seminar presenting Professor Ulf Leonhardt. Center for Scalable and Integrated Nanomanufacturing (SINAM). November 30, 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
  2. ^ Hapgood, Fred; Grant, Andrew (2009). "Metamaterial Revolution: The New Science of Making Anything Disappear". Discover. pp. 4 pages. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
  3. ^ "Extending the Art of Concealment". Science. 312 (5781): 1712a. 2006. doi:10.1126/science.312.5781.1712a.
  4. ^ "High hopes for invisibility cloak". BBC News. August 20, 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-11. In 2006, I began my involvement in turning invisibility from fiction into science ...
  5. ^ Leonhardt, Ulf (2009). "Perfect imaging without negative refraction" (Free PDF download). New Journal of Physics. 11 (9): 093040. arXiv:0909.5305. Bibcode:2009NJPh...11i3040L. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/11/9/093040.
  6. ^ Highfield, Roger (August 6, 2007). "Physicists have 'solved' mystery of levitation". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  7. ^ "Ulf Leonhardt" (Online web page). University of St Andrews. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  8. ^ Leonhardt, U. (2006). "Optical Conformal Mapping" (free PDF download). Science. 312 (5781): 1777–80. Bibcode:2006Sci...312.1777L. doi:10.1126/science.1126493. PMID 16728596.
  9. ^ Leonhardt, Ulf (2011). "Fibre-optical analogue of the event horizon" (Online web page). University of St Andrews.
  10. ^ "Professor working on practical cloaking device". PhysOrg.com. University of St Andrews. August 20, 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-10. The Theo Murphy award aims to further 'blue skies' scientific discovery by investing in novel and ground-breaking research. Professor Leonhardt's work on invisibility, which he describes as the 'ultimate optical illusion' was deemed to fit the 'original and exciting' criteria.
  11. ^ "Royal Society funding brings invisibility cloak a step closer". Inside Science. The Royal Society. August 20, 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-10. Professor Ulf Leonhardt from the University of St Andrews has received the funding to develop his work on broadband invisibility and ultimately create the blueprint for a practical cloaking device.
  12. ^ "Show me the Money, Science Magazine, Vol. 346, Issue 6208, p 411-415, October 2014".
  13. ^ "Editor's Note, Science Magazine, Vol. 348, Issue 6233, April 2015".
  14. ^ "Scientist Alleges Fraud in China's "Thousand Talent" Foreign Expert Program".
  15. ^ "China's programme for recruiting foreign scientists comes under scrutiny, South China Morning Post, 03 Nov 2014".
  16. ^ "China's Search for a Thousand Talents by William Tucker, Stratfor Global Fellow, Feb 2018".

External links[edit]