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Two Nobel Symposia held in Southern Sweden within one month

Nobel Symposia logo

Normally, Nobel Symposia are quite rare, therefore it is quite remarkable that NanoLund researchers were the main organizers of two symposia that took place nearly at the same time.
The Nobel Symposium NS 173: “Exploring complex molecular and condensed phase processes and functions by multidimensional spectroscopy from THz to X-rays” was held from August 7-11, 2022 in Båstad.
The Nobel Symposium NS166: “Emerging Quantum Technologies” was held from August 25-28, 2022 in Malmö.

The Nobel Foundation’s symposium activities were initiated in 1965. Over the years they have achieved a high international standing. Since 2019, the symposia are administrated by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Currently the Academy holds two Nobel Symposia each year, one in chemistry and one in physics. The Nobel Symposia present an opportunity for the Swedish academic community to organize conferences at the highest scientific level, bringing Swedish researchers in direct contact with the international research frontier.

Progress in multidimensional spectroscopy achieved over the past 20 years has come to permit temporal resolution relevant for chemical reactions. This has tremendous potential for fundamental science and sustainable development because we can study small molecules, nanocrystals, molecular aggregates, and even whole photosynthetic bacteria

says Tõnu Pullerits, the chairman of the organizing committee of the Nobel Symposium on multidimensional spectroscopy.

The power of disentangling complex spectra by spreading them in more than one dimension has been tremendously successful in the field of 2D NMR. Over the past 20 years, advances in laser spectroscopy have enabled extending the concepts of multidimensional spectroscopy to optical regime with temporal resolution relevant for chemical reactions. These methods, collectively called coherent multidimensional spectroscopy (CMDS), are capable of resolving dynamics and functional processes in complex systems at ultrafast time-scales. The research areas using CMDS are numerous. New insights have been gained in understanding

Group photo of the participants at the Nobel Symposium about multidimensional spectroscopy in August 2022
Participants in the Nobel Symposium about multidimensional spectroscopy, held in August 2022

function of wide range of systems and materials. Notable highlights include studies of solvation and hydrogen bond dynamics in water, revealing the details of protein dynamics including photo-induced processes in polypeptides, excitation dynamics in light harvesting antennae, multi-body effects in charge carrier transport in semiconductors and in various nanomaterials. The CMDS field has grown in many directions. Photons in the THz, IR and optical range have been employed. The most recent developments include using quantum properties of light and implementations in the X-ray spectral region enabled by the new XFEL light sources. Small molecules, nanocrystals, molecular aggregates, even the whole photosynthetic bacteria with their full complexity are being investigated. The field has tremendous potential with anticipated significant contributions to fundamental science and sustainable development.

The symposium gathered the key scientist of this rapidly developing field, to share and discuss the current achievements and identify the most promising future challenges and directions. The organizing committee members were Maria Abrahamsson, Bo Albinsson, Johan Mauritsson, Tõnu Pullerits (Chair), Villy Sundström, and Donatas Zigmantas.

 

There are strong reasons to believe that we now, during the beginning of the 21st century, are at the brink of a second quantum revolution.

says Martin Leijnse from the organizing committee of the Nobel Symposium on Emerging Quantum Technologies.

The birth and development of quantum physics is one of the main scientific achievements of the 20th century. It has led to a revolution in our understanding of almost all aspects of the world around us and forms the basis of essentially all modern physics and chemistry. Advances in quantum physics have also directly or indirectly been responsible for some of the most important technological breakthroughs of the last century, for example in the semiconductor technologies which powers the digital revolution.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, a new paradigm shift has become discernible at the horizon, based on harnessing the full power of quantum states and applying it, for example, in computing, simulation, sensing, communication and cryptography. Significant discoveries have been made in the past decade, and in recent years there has been a remarkable shift where future technology is developed in lockstep with basic research. Quantum technology is emerging as an area where fundamental physics discoveries are likely to have a truly paradigm shifting impact on mankind.

The purpose of this symposium was to provide leading experts with an opportunity to gain an overview of the latest developments in scientific fields like quantum optics and theory of quantum information and thermodynamics, and the progress towards technology based on those developments. An intended outcome was the identification of common fundamental questions and challenges that may be addressed by the development of new theoretical concepts and tools, or experimental development, e.g., regarding synergies in materials science, nanofabrication and methods for material and process characterization.

Members of the organizing committee were the NanoLund members Martin Leijnse, Heiner Linke, Stefan Kröll, Lars Samuelson, Anne L’Huillier, together with Per Delsing (Chalmers), Gunnar Björk (KTH), and Mohamed Bourennane (Stockholm University).

Nobel Symposia funded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Nobel Symposia are proposed by the  Swedish academic community and, upon approval by the Programme Committee of the Nobel Foundation, funded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. 

The Nobel Symposia are international conferences at the highest scientific level, bringing Swedish researchers in direct contact with the international research frontier. Since the start in 1965, more than 160 Nobel symposia have been held.