Rupert Ursin

Group Leader
Ursin Group

Deputy Director
IQOQI Vienna

(+ 43) 664 8847 6595

Office Location
Boltzmanngasse 3, A-1090 Vienna
Fourth floor, Room 4.10

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Rupert Ursin is a group leader and senior scientist at the IQOQI. His main field of research is to develop quantum communication and quantum information processing technologies, mainly for free-space, but also for fibre-based systems. The scope of his work ranges from near term engineering solutions for secure key sharing (quantum cryptography) to more speculative research (de-coherence of entangled states in gravitational fields). Experiments on quantum communication and teleportation using entangled photon pairs is also among his interests, with the long- term goal of a future global quantum network based on quantum repeaters. He has been experimentally active in numerous international collaborations in Germany, Italy, Spain, USA as well as in China and Japan. Lead several ESA funded projects as well as on the national and EU level. These allowed him to perform highly recognized experimental studies e.g. on a 144 km free-space link between La Palma and Tenerife [1] (cited more than 450 times). His group is performing time-energy entanglement distribution over a turbulent atmosphere just recently [5]. To date he and his publication recived several international awards and prizes. He was invited to several prestigious conferences to deliver talks (e.g. IEEE, SPIE, QCMC and others) and serves to important conferences as a program committee member e.g. ICSOS, SPIE, QCrypt and others. He currently holds a guest professorship at the University of Science and Technology (USTC) in Shanghai, China.


Research interests

Research interests include fundamental physics experiments on topics related to quantum optics and quantum information and their applications. Focus on the development of technologies required to perform space-based experiments concerning quantum information technologies. Numerous project partners in various fields (academic as well as industrial) together with national space agencies and the European Space Agency (ESA) are involved in this project. Contacts to international collaborators in Japan, China and USA are important partners to perform quantum communication on a global scale.

  • Quantum Information science
  • Quantum cryptography
  • Space science
  • Space Technology

Education / Professional History:

Research / Career History:

A more detailed CV is available upon request.


[1] A. W. Ziarkash, S. K. Joshi, M. Stipčević, and R. Ursin, “Comparative study of afterpulsing behavior and models in single photon counting avalanche photo diode detectors,” Sci. Reports 2018 81, vol. 8, no. 1, p. 5076, Mar. 2018.

[2] S.-K. Liao et al., “Satellite-Relayed Intercontinental Quantum Network,” Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 120, no. 3, p. 30501, Jan. 2018.

[3] M. Fink et al., “Experimental test of photonic entanglement in accelerated reference frames,” Nat. Commun., vol. 8, 2017.

[4] J. Handsteiner et al., “Cosmic Bell Test: Measurement Settings from Milky Way Stars,” Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 118, no. 6, pp. 1–8, 2017.

[5] D. K. Oi et al., “CubeSat quantum communications mission,” EPJ Quantum Technol., vol. 4, no. 1, p. 6, 2017.

[6] F. Steinlechner et al., “Distribution of high-dimensional entanglement via an intra-city free-space link,” Nat. Commun., vol. 8, 2017.

[7] R. Kaltenbaek et al., “Macroscopic Quantum Resonators (MAQRO): 2015 update,” EPJ Quantum Technol., vol. 3, no. 1, p. 5, 2016.

[8] C. Pacher et al., “Attacks on quantum key distribution protocols that employ non-ITS authentication,” Quantum Inf. Process., vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 327–362, 2016.

[9] M. Krenn et al., “Twisted light transmission over 143 km,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., vol. 113, no. 48, pp. 13648–13653, 2016.

[10] C. Pacher et al., “Attacks on quantum key distribution protocols that employ non-ITS authentication,” Quantum Inf. Process., vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 327–362, 2016.

[11] T. Herbst et al., “Teleportation of entanglement over 143 km,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., vol. 112, no. 46, pp. 14202–14205, 2015.

[12] G. Humer, M. Peev, C. Schaeff, S. Ramelow, M. Stipčević, and R. Ursin, “A simple and robust method for estimating afterpulsing in single photon detectors,” J. Light. Technol., vol. 33, no. 14, pp. 3098–3107, 2015.

[13] M. Giustina et al., “Significant-Loophole-Free Test of Bell’s Theorem with Entangled Photons,” Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 115, no. 25, pp. 1–7, 2015.

[14] M. Stipčević and R. Ursin, “An On-Demand Optical Quantum Random Number Generator with In-Future Action and Ultra-Fast Response,” Sci. Rep., vol. 5, p. 10214, Jun. 2015.

[15] M. Krenn et al., “Communication with spatially modulated light through turbulent air across Vienna,” New J. Phys., vol. 16, 2014.

[16] A. Khrennikov, S. Ramelow, R. Ursin, B. Wittmann, J. Kofler, and I. Basieva, “On the equivalence of the Clauser–Horne and Eberhard inequality based tests,” Phys. Scr., vol. T163, no. T163, p. 14019, 2014.

[17] T. Scheidl, F. Tiefenbacher, R. Prevedel, F. Steinlechner, R. Ursin, and A. Zeilinger, “Crossed-crystal scheme for femtosecond-pulsed entangled photon generation in periodically poled potassium titanyl phosphate,” Phys. Rev. A, vol. 89, no. 4, p. 42324, 2014.

[18] D. E. Bruschi, A. Datta, R. Ursin, T. C. Ralph, and I. Fuentes, “Quantum estimation of the Schwarzschild spacetime parameters of the Earth,” Phys. Rev. D, vol. 90, no. 12, p. 124001, 2014.

[19] J.-Å. Larsson, M. Giustina, J. Kofler, B. Wittmann, R. Ursin, and S. Ramelow, “Bell-inequality violation with entangled photons, free of the coincidence-time loophole,” Phys. Rev. A, vol. 90, no. 3, p. 32107, 2014.

[20] R. Ursin, “Quantum communication to the inside of the International Space Station,” in SPIE Defence + Security: Paper 9254-2, 2014.

[21] F. Steinlechner et al., “Efficient heralding of polarization-entangled photons from type-0 and type-II spontaneous parametric downconversion in periodically poled KTiOPO_4,” J Opt Soc Am~B, vol. 31, no. 9, pp. 2068–2076, 2014.

[22] I. Capraro et al., “Turbulent single-photon propagation in the Canary optical link,” in AIP Conference Proceedings, 2014, pp. 128–130.

[23] N. Gigov, “Quantum Key Distribution Data Post-Processing with Limited Resources : Towards Satellite-Based Quantum Communication,” 2013.

[24] M. Giustina et al., “Bell violation using entangled photons without the fair-sampling assumption,” Nature, vol. 497, pp. 227–239, May 2013.

[25] S. Ramelow et al., “Highly efficient heralding of entangled single photons,” Opt. Express, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 6707–6717, 2013.

[26] M. Stipčević, D. Wang, and R. Ursin, “Characterization of a Commercially Available Large Area, High Detection Efficiency Single-Photon Avalanche Diode,” J. Light. Technol., vol. 31, no. 23, pp. 3591–3596, 2013.

[27] T. Scheidl, E. Wille, and R. Ursin, “Quantum optics experiments using the International Space Station: a proposal,” New J. Phys., vol. 15, no. 4, p. 43008, 2013.

[28] X.-S. Ma et al., “Quantum erasure with causally disconnected choice,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., vol. 110, no. 4, pp. 1221–1226, 2013.

[29] R. Ursin and R. Hughes, “Quantum information: Sharing quantum secrets,” Nature, vol. 501, no. 7465, pp. 37–38, 2013.

[30] B. Wittmann et al., “Loophole-free Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen experiment via quantum steering,” New J. Phys., vol. 14, no. 5, p. 53030, May 2012.

[31] X.-S. Ma et al., “Quantum teleportation over 143 kilometres using active feed-forward,” Nature, vol. 489, no. 7415, pp. 269–273, Sep. 2012.

[32] F. Steinlechner et al., “A high-brightness source of polarization-entangled photons optimized for applications in free space,” Opt. Express, vol. 20, no. 9, pp. 9640–9649, 2012.

[33] X.-S. Ma et al., “Experimental quantum teleportation over a high-loss free-space channel,” Opt. Express, vol. 20, no. 21, pp. 23126–23137, 2012.

[34] I. Capraro et al., “Impact of Turbulence in Long Range Quantum and Classical Communications,” Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 109, no. 20, p. 200502, 2012.

[35] X.-S. Ma et al., “Experimental delayed-choice entanglement swapping,” Nat. Phys., vol. 8, no. 6, p. 479, 2012.

[36] D. Elser et al., “Network Architectures for Space-Optical Quantum Cryptography Service,” in Proc. International Conference on Space Optical Systems and Applications (ICSOS) 2012, Post-1, Ajaccio, Corsica, France, October 9-12 (2012), 2012.

[37] M. Jofre et al., “Active and passive optical sources for QKD,” in Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe (CLEO EUROPE/EQEC), 2011 Conference on and 12th European Quantum Electronics Conference, 2011, p. P4.

[38] M. Jofre et al., “Fast optical source for quantum key distribution based on semiconductoroptical amplifiers,” Opt. Express, vol. 19, no. 5, pp. 3825–3834, 2011.

[39] T. Scheidl et al., “Violation of local realism with freedom of choice,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., vol. 107, no. 46, pp. 19708–19713, 2010.

[40] P. Villoresi, R. Ursin, and A. Zeilinger, “Single photons from a satellite: quantum communication in space,” SPIE Newsroom, pp. 1–2, 2009.

[41] R. Ursin et al., “Space-QUEST: Experiments with quantum entanglement in space,” Europhys. News, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 26–29, 2009.

[42] M. Peev et al., “Response to ‘Vulnerability of “A Novel Protocol-Authentication Algorithm Ruling Out a Man-in-the-Middle Attack in Quantum Cryptography,”’” Int. J. Quantum Inf., vol. 7, no. 7, pp. 1401–1407, Oct. 2009.

[43] T. Scheidl et al., “Feasibility of 300 km quantum key distribution with entangled states,” New J. Phys., vol. 11, no. 8, p. 85002, 2009.

[44] A. Fedrizzi et al., “High-fidelity transmission of entanglement over a high-loss free-space channel,” Nat. Phys., vol. 5, no. 6, pp. 389–392, 2009.

[45] T. Jennewein, R. Ursin, M. Aspelmeyer, and A. Zeilinger, “Performing high-quality multi-photon experiments with parametric down-conversion,” J. Phys. B At. Mol. Opt. Phys., vol. 42, no. 11, p. 114008, 2009.

[46] R. Ursin, “Verschränkt im Weltraum,” Physik Journal, vol. 8, no. 8, p. 87, 19-Aug-2009.

[47] J. M. Perdigues Armengol et al., “Quantum communications at ESA: Towards a space experiment on the ISS,” Acta Astronaut., vol. 63, no. 1–4, pp. 165–178, 2008.

[48] C. Schmid, N. Kiesel, U. Weber, R. Ursin, A. Zeilinger, and H. Weinfurter, “Quantum teleportation and entanglement swapping with linear optics logic gates,” New J. Phys., vol. 10, no. 3, p. 33008, 2008.

[49] P. Villoresi et al., “Experimental verification of the feasibility of a quantum channel between space and Earth,” New J. Phys., vol. 10, no. 3, p. 33038, 2008.

[50] T. Schmitt-Manderbach et al., “Experimental Demonstration of Free-Space Decoy-State Quantum Key Distribution over 144 km,” Phzsical Rev. Lett., vol. 98, no. 1, p. 10504, 2007.

[51] C. Schmid, N. Kiesel, U. Weber, R. Ursin, and H. Weinfurter, “Experimental analysis of a simple linear optics phase gate,” in International Journal of Quantum Information, 2007, vol. 5, no. 01n02, pp. 235–240.

[52] R. Ursin, F. Tiefenbacher, T. Jennewein, and A. Zeilinger, “Applications of quantum communication protocols in real world scenarios toward space,” Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik, vol. 124, no. 5, pp. 149–153, 2007.

[53] R. Ursin et al., “Entanglement-based quantum communication over 144 km,” Nat. Phys., vol. 3, no. 7, pp. 481–486, 2007.

[54] R. Ursin, T. Jennewein, F. Tiefenbacher, and A. Zeilinger, “Applications of quantum entanglement on a iss-spaceplatform,” in International conference on space optics, 2006, vol. 10567.

[55] N. Kiesel, C. Schmid, U. Weber, R. Ursin, and H. Weinfurter, “Linear Optics Controlled-Phase Gate Made Simple,” Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 95, no. 21, p. 210505, Nov. 2005.

[56] K. J. Resch et al., “Distributing entanglement and single photons through an intra-city, free-spacequantum channel,” Opt. Express, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 202–209, Jan. 2005.

[57] G. Molina-Terriza, A. Vaziri, R. Ursin, and A. Zeilinger, “Experimental Quantum Coin Tossing,” Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 94, no. 4, p. 40501, Feb. 2005.

[58] M. Peev et al., “A Novel Protocol-Authentication Algorithm Ruling Out a Man-in-the-Middle Attack in Quantum Cryptography,” Int. J. Quantum Inf., vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 225–231, 2005.

[59] N. Kiesel et al., “Experimental analysis of a four-qubit photon cluster state,” Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 95, p. 210502, 2005.

[60] A. Poppe et al., “Practical Quantum Key Distribution with Polarization-Entangled Photons,” Opt. Express, vol. 12, no. 16, pp. 3865–3871, 2004.

[61] P. Walther, J.-W. Pan, M. Aspelmeyer, R. Ursin, S. Gasparoni, and A. Zeilinger, “De Broglie wavelength of a non-local four-photon state,” Nature, vol. 429, no. 6988, pp. 158–161, 2004.

[62] R. Ursin et al., “Quantum teleportation across the Danube,” Nature, vol. 430, no. 7002, p. 849, 2004.

[63] J.-W. Pan, S. Gasparoni, R. Ursin, G. Weihs, and A. Zeilinger, “Experimental entanglement purification of arbitrary unknown states,” Nature, vol. 423, no. 6938, pp. 417–422, May 2003.

[64] M. Aspelmeyer et al., “Long-Distance Free-Space Distribution of Quantum Entanglement,” Science (80-. )., vol. 301, no. 5633, pp. 621–623, 2003.

[65] G. Gabrielse et al., “First positron cooling of antiprotons,” Phys. Lett. B, vol. 507, no. 1–4, pp. 1–6, 2001.