Kylmälaboratorio, the Finnish name of the LTL is widely known among the big public. The  name was selected nearly 40 years ago by Olli V. Lounasmaa, the founder and long time director of the laboratory. In year 2003, after the death of Academician Lounasmaa, Paavo Uronen, the Rector of the Helsinki University of Technology, suggested that the LTL should be renamed after its founder. The suggestion was discussed among the personnel of the laboratory and a popular vote was organized. The members of the LTL rejected the renaming by a wide margin of 32 vote against and 9 in favor. Instead it was decided that a Prize/Lecture series, carrying the name of Olli V. Lounasmaa, should be established. The Lounasmaa Family has kindly given permission to use its name for this purpose.

Only one third of the funding of the LTL is coming from its host organization, the HUT. This is a painfully low percentage for a laboratory which is specializing in basic experimental  research. Consequently, the other funding sources, granting long-term research contracts, are becoming important for the continuation of the unique research program of the laboratory. In FP6, the European Union’s 6th Framework Program, the support for Research Infrastructures continued on slightly reduced funding level. The ULTI application of the LTL was one of the 24 funded Research Infrastructures and the only one from Finland. The ULTI proposal received the second highest points among about 200 applications, and will be funded for the period of 1.4. 2003 – 31.4. 2008.

The hard and innovative work of the scientists of the LTL was recognized also outside the laboratory. Academy Professor Riitta Hari shared, together with Wolfgang Baumeister and Nikos K. Logothetis, the 2003 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine. This prestigious Swiss prize was granted on the 18th time. The value of the prize is best reflected by the fact that 20% of the previous winners have later received the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Professor Riitta Salmelin was the first recipient of the new Philips Nordic Prize for her studies on dyslexia. The Philips Prize is established for improvement of the research on children’s neurological disorders and it was handed to Salmelin by the Crown Princess Victoria. Academy Professor Matti Krusius was granted the title of Knight, First Class, of the Order of the White Rose of Finland. Dr. Markus Ahlskog was elected to the Professorship in applied physics in University of Jyväskylä. The previous holders of this professorship are the undersigned from 1992 to 1995 and Academy Professor Jukka Pekola from 1996 to 2002. DIs René Lindell and Leif Roschier participated in the VentureCup Finland competition. Their business idea called Cryoamp placed among the 10 finalist in the field of 252 participants.

The LTL has over the years enjoyed of the visits of several famous scientists. The year 2003 was not an exception. The 2003 Nobel Prize in physics was granted to Alexei Abrikosov, Vitaly Ginzburg and Anthony Leggett for their pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids (, and The Nobel Committee used in its justification of the Prize material produced by the ROTA group of the LTL. Professor Legget has visited the LTL in 1970s. Academician Ginzburg and Professor Leggett visited the Low Temperature Laboratory on 15.12. 2003. The LTL organized, in collaboration with the Finnish Physical Society, two symposia, one for about 100 physics students of the HUT (Meet the Nobel Laureates 2003), and the other one for general public at House of Estates (Nobel Symposium).


Mikko Paalanen

Director of the LTL