Lea Richtmann

PhD student in the Quantum Control group

What is your current position at our institute?

I'm a PhD student in the Quantum Control group.

How and when did you choose to do physics?

Even though I was interested in physics after high school, I first studied political science. At the end of my Bachelor I enrolled in the University of Buenos Aires in philosophy. There I also had the chance to take a math course which I did because I was still curious about science. During this course I understood that I preferred to learn about the world with the means of equations.

What is your academic education?

  • Bachelor of Arts in political science and philosophy at University of Mannheim, Erasmus semester at Science Po Lille (France)
  • Bachelor of Science in Physics: Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina), Sapienza Università di Roma (Italy), Leibniz Universität Hannover
  • Master of Science in Physics: Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN (USA), Leibniz Universität Hannover.

What were your previous academic positions?

I wrote my master thesis as a Technical Student at CERN analyzing experimental data and doing simulations for machine protection for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). 

What would you recommend to a young woman wanting to start a career in physics?

When questions like this are raised answers usually read something like “you can do everything if you really try” and “you should have a lot of self esteem”. These answers suggest that structural problems can be overcome with individual action. It is not true that everybody has the same opportunities and you also cannot walk into a grocery store and buy yourself a bag of self esteem. Rather than telling young women what they can do to fit into the current structures, I guess the question should read: What does this institute want to do to strive towards a welcoming and safe atmosphere for everybody?

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