2015 Walter Hälg Prize

It is a great pleasure to announce that the 2015 Walter Hälg Prize has been awarded to Prof Dr Helmut Rauch for his outstanding and seminal contributions to the fundamental aspects of neutron physics and optics and many related aspects of quantum physics.

His contributions to the development of neutron interferometry in the 1970’s have led to an understanding of important aspects of neutron physics and quantum mechanics. Importantly his contributions provided confirmation of the wave nature of the neutron over macroscopic length scales, and the proof of the 4π symmetry of neutron spin ½ particles. More broadly the development of neutron interferometry has led to the development and application of ultra-small angle scattering, USANS. His contributions have led to a greater understanding of many key fundamental issues in quantum mechanics, involving the non-separability and non-locality of quantum physics, the Bell-like inequality and quantum contextuality.


Prof Dr Rauch studied at the Technical University in Vienna, where he obtained his Diploma and Doctorate. He was appointed full professor in Experimental and Neutron Physics at the Technical University in 1970. He was director of the Nuclear Physics Institute of the Technical University for almost 20 years, and director of the Atominstitut of the Austrian Universities in Vienna for more than 3 decades. His pioneering work was carried out largely at the TRIGA reactor in Vienna and at the high flux reactor at the Institute Laue Langevin, in Grenoble, France.