Invited speakers

The list of speakers is constantly updated during Fall 2008.


Wilfried Buchmüller, DESY Hamburg

Dark Matter in the Cosmos and at the LHC

Wilfried Buchmüller is a member of the theory group at the Hamburg site of the Deutsche Elektronen-Synchrotron (German Electron Synchrotron) facility.

Buchmüller's areas of research include the theoretical studies of deep inelastic electron-proton scattering at DESY's late HERA experiment and the interplay of cosmology and particle physics, covering topics such as the baryon asymmetry, its connections to neutrino physics and dark matter and cosmic inflation.

Roberto Car, Princeton University

Ab-initio Molecular Dynamics: a Virtual Laboratory for the Study of Matter

Roberto Car is an acclaimed expert in the field of computational condensed matter and molecular physics, best known for the highly popular Car-Parrinello method for ab initio molecular dynamics.

The Car-Parrinello method, introduced in 1985 by Car and Michele Parrinello, has dramatically influenced the field of electronic structure calculations for solids, liquids and molecules, and initiated the field of quantum molecular dynamics. In recognition of his contributions, Car has been awarded the Raman Prize for Computational Physics from the American Physical Society in 1995 and the Europhysics Prize from the European Physical Society in 1990.

Andre Geim, University of Manchester

Graphene: Magic of Flat Carbon

Andre Geim is Director of the Manchester Centre for Mesoscience and Nanotechnology and a leading expert in the field of mesoscopic physics, especially two-dimensional atomic crystals.

In 2004, the research group led by him opened up a novel research area in condensed matter physics by first isolating graphene. Since their original discovery, Geim's group has among other things studied new methods for graphene production and the unique physical properties of this material. More recently, Geim and his long-time collaborator Kostya Novoselov were awarded the 2008 Europhysics Prize for their discoveries.

Lene Vestergaard Hau, Harvard University

Slow Light in Bose-Einstein Condensates: a New Paradigm for Quantum Control

Lene Hau is an internationally acclaimed expert in bosonic condensates, optics and light-matter interactions, best known for her research in ultraslow light based on Bose-Einstein condensates.

The research led by Hau has opened up new ways to study the fundamental properties of Bose-Einstein condensates and the remarkable optical properties of such systems her group has demonstrated has opened a new territory of nonlinear optics at extremely low light levels, with interesting prospects for various areas of quantum optics.

Hau is a MacArthur Fellow and member of the Royal Danish and Royal Swedish Academies of Sciences and has been awarded numerous prizes including Harvard University's George Ledlie Prize.

Panu Helistö, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Superconducting Detectors for the Universe, the Earth and the Airports

Panu Helistö is Senior Research Scientist at the Quantum Sensors group of VTT. The group's main fields of study are the development of novel SQUID-based components for applications such as terahertz imaging and X-ray telescopy and Josephson junction based control and readout circuits (RSFQs) for quantum bits.

The VTT group collaborates with the Low Temperature Laboratory as part of the Low Temperature Quantum Phenomena and Devices Centre of Excellence, nominated by the Academy of Finland for the years 2006-2011.

Anthony Leggett, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Testing Quantum Mechanics towards the Level of Everyday Life: Recent Progress and Current Prospects.

Anthony Leggett is a widely recognized world leader in the theory of low-temperature physics, whose work on superfluidity was recognized by the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Leggett has shaped the theoretical understanding of normal and superfluid helium liquids and other strongly coupled superfluids and set directions for research in the quantum physics of macroscopic dissipative systems and use of condensed systems to test the foundations of quantum mechanics. His current research interests lie mainly within the fields of theoretical condensed matter physics and the foundations of quantum mechanics.

Paul L. Richards, University of California, Berkeley

The Cosmic Microwave Background and State of the Art Detectors

Paul Richards has a long and remarkable history of developing novel measurement tools for far-infrared and millimeter wavelengths.

Richards first contributed to the study of far infrared and millimeter wave properties of solids at low temperatures and later focused on measurements of the spectrum and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation. His research group has invented and developed several important detectors and mixers utilized in radio astronomy.

Timo Vesala, University of Helsinki

Atmosphere-Biosphere Interactions: from Karman Vortices to Soil Microbial Decomposition

Timo Vesala is head of the Micrometeorology research group at the Division of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Helsinki and works jointly with the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

Vesala's areas of research include the interactions between ecosystems, especially boreal forests, and the atmosphere and carbon sinks. A key result in this research effort has been the observation of net carbon dioxide losses of northern ecosystems in response to autumn warming (Nature 451, 49-52).

Friedrich Wagner, Max-Planck-Institute of Plasmaphysics, Greifswald

The Physics of Magnetic Confinement

Friedrich Wagner is head of the Stellarator Optimization Division at the Greifswald branch of the Max-Planck-Institute of Plasma Physics and professor at the Ernst-Moritz Arndt University in Greifswald.

Wagner has been involved with plasma physics and fusion research since joining the Max-Planck-Institute of Plasma Physics in 1975 and has during his career been among other positions head of the ASDEX tokamak experiment, the Wendelstein 7-AS stellarator experiment and head of the Wendelstein 7-X enterprise, currently scheduled to be completed in 2012. Besides his institute commitments, Wagner was from 1996 till 2004 Chairman of the Plasma Physics Division of the European Physical Society and is since April 2007 President of the European Physical Society.