General description

Aalto physics colloquium is a high-level colloquium series covering all branches of physics in the Aalto university. Its aim is to invite Nobel-level physicists from all around the world to tell about their research. The lectures should be general and interesting to all the physicists. Colloquia are organized approximatively once a month during the term time and the invitation responsibility circulates between all physics professors on the Aalto campus. The colloquium is partially funded by the Aalto department of Applied Physics, Academy of Finland center of excellence COMP (Computational Nanoscience) and Low Temperature Laboratory.

Aalto University is created through a merger between the Helsinki School of Economics, the University of Art and Design Helsinki and the Helsinki University of Technology. Aalto contains the top Finnish condensed matter physics research units, with specialization especially in materials research, optics, low temperature physics, nanophysics, medical physics and energy technology.


Motivation for the colloquium series

The aim of the colloquia is to educate Aalto physicists about the top-level physics in the world with as wide spectrum as possible. At the same time the aim is to create an event that brings all Aalto physicists together once a month.

Participating institutes

Low Temperature Laboratory, Department of Applied Physics, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Computational Science and part of the Department of Micro and Nanosciences.


Colloquia are by default organized on every second Friday of the month, in the afternoon between 15:15 and 16:15. The typical location for the colloquium is hall 213 in the Otaniemi K building (former machine engineering). However, the time and place will be flexible, depending on the wishes and needs of the speakers. Every participating professor should remind their group members and make sure that most of them come to the colloquium. Also undergraduate students are invited to the colloquia. Before the start of the colloquia, there will be coffee served in the lobby close to the lecture hall (assuming there will be funding for this). In addition, the speaker will be taken for dinner either after or before the colloquium, the hosts being the inviting professor, colloquium coordinator and possibly a couple of other researchers.

The colloquium coordinator will make a list of the speakers for the coming year by asking these names from the inviting professors. The procedure is as follows:

  1. Each autumn, the colloquium coordinator asks for suggestions for the speakers from the 8-10 inviting professors whose turn it is to invite the next year's speakers.
  2. The suggested names will be brought to the colloquium committee (see below) that decides if the speakers are accepted to give the talk.
  3. Once the committee has accepted the speakers, they are invited by the inviting professors and the dates for each speaker are fixed.
  4. The colloquium coordinator makes the list of colloquia for the following year and announces it to the physics laboratories, to the students and to the media.

The coordinator will also take care of the practical organizations (coffee, hall reservations, dinner).

The colloquium coordinator will be changed every couple of years. The first coordinator is Tero Heikkilä.

Selection committee

The selection committee for the Aalto physics colloquium consists of the following people:

  • Matti Kaivola
  • Risto Nieminen
  • Jukka Pekola

The colloquium coordinator acts as a secretary of the committee. The committee meetings will be informal and non-public. If desired, more people (up to three) can be added to the committee especially from the Energy technology units, from the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Computational Science and from the Department of Micro and Nanosciences.