19 August 2021

Asbjørn's thesis on mathematical quantum mechanics was the best


The Danish Mathematical Society has awarded the Edlund-DMF Thesis Prize for 2020 to Asbjørn Bækgaard Lauritsen, a graduate of the University of Copenhagen. He receives the prize for the thesis “A Mathematical Formulation of the Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer Theory of Superconductivity”, supervised by Professor Jan Philip Solovej.

Asbjørn Bækgaard Lauritsen

Asbjørn Bækgaard Lauritsen will be celebrated on Wednesday 22 September 2021 together with the award recipient from 2019, Malte Bødkergaard Nielsen, whose award ceremony was postponed due to corona.

This year, four mathematics theses submitted in 2020 to Danish universities were nominated. The chairman of the assessment committee, Professor Vagn Lundsgaard Hansen, DTU, writes:

“These are four very different theses, all of which are at a very high professional level. It is a difficult task to nominate a winner among these excellent theses, who could all deserve the prize. However, the committee members agree that the thesis from Asbjørn Bækgaard Lauritsen is particularly distinguished by its depth and impressive presentation of a very difficult area”.

Superconductors and functional analysis

The assessment committee recommended the thesis with the following description and motivation:

“The thesis covers several different topics related to "the mathematical quantum mechanics" and it contains a detailed analysis of the effective Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer model for superconductors. The author demonstrates extensive knowledge of a wide range of deep results in functional analysis, which are necessary to formulate and prove the many main theorems of the thesis.

“For example, one of these theorems (Thm. 3.1) is about minimizing non-linear functionals, where one derives the so-called “gap equation”, while in chapters 4 and 5 spectral methods à la Birman-Schwinger are used to investigate how the gap parameter depends on the coupling constant.

“It should be noted that most of the theory is taken from other sources. However, the text contains several original technical lemmas which show that the author has an in-depth understanding of the subject. Chapter 7 contains a number of new results, which are about expanding the class of permissible potentials."

Asbjørn's thesis can be read here.

PhD student in Austria

Following his master's degree from the University of Copenhagen, Asbjørn has been a PhD student at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria, north of Vienna, since September 2020. His research builds on the work from the thesis:

“My PhD project is within the subject of mathematical physics, where physical systems are analyzed using mathematical methods. Specifically, in my PhD project, I am investigating quantum mechanical many-body systems. Such systems are often very complicated. Therefore, we study approximate theories instead, e.g. the BCS theory that my thesis was about, or a limit of the system where a well-chosen parameter is small, e.g. the density of particles. There are a lot of exciting mathematical problems in this”, says Asbjørn.

Lectures, awards and reception

The event will be held in auditorium 1 at the HC Ørsted Institute Wednesday 22 September 2021, at 17:00 - 19:30, where both Asbjørn Bækgaard Lauritsen and last years prize winner, Malte Bødkergaard Nielsen, will give a lecture about their research.

The event ends with a reception in front of the auditorium at 19:00. The Danish Mathematical Society offers a refreshment. Everyone is welcome.

The Edlund-DMF Thesis Prize has been awarded every year since 2008 and has been sponsored by Edlund A/S throughout the years. Edlund A/S provides solutions for the management of life insurance and pension portfolios.