In 2005, the LTL will celebrate its 40th anniversary. Most of our facilities were built in 1970s. At the beginning of 2006 we will finally move to new premises, which will be renovated for us in Puutalo, at the center of the TKK campus. The renovation of Puutalo, built in 1963, will start in summer of 2005, and during 2004 we have been quite busy in finishing the plans of the new laboratory. The floor space of our laboratory will increase from 2100 to over 3000 m2, providing enough room for about 100 people working in our brain research, nanophysics and low temperature physics research groups.

The year 2004 was started with a workshop on Quantum Phenomena at Low Temperatures in Lammi, Finland, on January 6–11. The workshop, attended by 87 scientists from 18 countries, was organized as a users meeting of the ULTI facility, which the LTL is operating by the funds from the European Commission. The first day of the workshop was dedicated to the memory of Academician Olli V. Lounasmaa, who passed away on 27th of December, 2002. The following colleagues of Olli had accepted the invitation to speak in the memorial session:

The contributions to the memorial session were published in a special issue of JLTP 135, 5/6, June 2004. The issue contained altogether 23 articles from scientist who had known Olli during his long career in low temperature physics and neuromagnetism.

In 2003, the LTL established a Memorial Prize carrying the name of late Academician Olli V. Lounasmaa. In 2004 an International Selection Panel of Professors Mauri Airila, Pekka Hautojärvi, Mikko Paalanen (chairman), Hans Ott and Stig Stenholm was formed to seek candidates and elect the first Prize winner. The panel received three nominations. The first Olli V. Lounasmaa Memorial Prize was awarded to Professor John Clarke from University of California, Berkeley, for his pioneering research and development work on ultra sensitive magnetometers called SQUIDs. The Prize was financially supported by Helsinki University of Technology, Finnish Academy of Sciences and Letters, and Finnish Cultural Foundation.

The international Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) visited the LTL on May 6th, 2004, for the biannual evaluation meeting. The members of the board, Professors Fernando Lopes da Silva and  Hans Ott, had been elected by the Academy of Finland already in year 2000 when our laboratory became one of the 26 Centers of Excellence (CoEs) for the funding period of 2000-2005. This evaluation meeting was the 3rd and the last one of this Board, and the reports can be found in Appendix I and II. The previous reports of the same Board were published in the 2000 and 2002 Annual Reports.

The call for new national CoEs for the funding period 2006-2011 was opened in 2004. The Academy of Finland received altogether 143 applications. The LTL submitted two proposals for the CoE program, one in Low Temperature Quantum Phenomena and Devices and another one in Systems Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.  Both of our proposals were among the 56 applications which survived to the second round. The final selection of 20 new CoEs will take place in June 2005. 

Two scientists of the LTL received special recognition in 2004. Riitta Hari was elected, among 17 other foreign scientists, to the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, and Grigory Volovik was awarded the 2004 Simon Prize by the Institute of Physics of UK. The National Academy of Sciences of the USA, founded in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln, has about 2340 American and 342 foreign members, Riitta being presently the only one from Finland. The Simon Prize has been awarded since 1959 to 21 scientists, and 5 of them have later received the Nobel Prize.


Mikko Paalanen
Director of the LTL