Recent and not so recent moves
Dr Shai Machnes has finished his contract in Ulm and took up a postdoctoral research position at the Chemical Physics Department of the Weizmann Institute of Science, in the group of David Tannor. Shai gave a finishing lecture on the relation between coffee, alcohol consumption and scientific productivity to great acclaim.
Later we had a farewell where we enjoyed the largest Wiener Schnitzels north of the Danube.
Brave individuals, like Robert and Felipe, managed to finish the whole portion (check the photo to appreciate the magnitude of their achievement), but fortunately for the rest, there was also the possibility to ask for doggy bags!
We will miss Shai’s good humour and sharpness and wish him the best for his return to Israel.
Dr Javier Cerrillo joins MIT
Last spring Javier Cerrillo successfully finished his PhD and had his viva at Imperial College London. He is now in Boston, after having joined the group of Prof. Jianshu Cao (http://web.mit.edu/jianshucaogroup/people.html) to focus on themes related to energy transfer in photosynthetic systems, a topic where we are also actively working. Our Institute is linked with Jianshu’s group via a MIT-Germany Seed Fund grant and we expect to visit Javi at MIT in 2013.
Busy days in London in October to discuss both work in progress and future projects. Royal China Club was the chosen set to meet up with Alex Chin and discuss vibrational modes over dim sum.
We followed with coffee at the close by Wallace Collection in Manchester Square.
You can check our current understanding of how excitonic coherence is being sustained and regenerated even at room temperature in Vibrational structures and long-lasting electronic coherence (arXiv:1203.0776), soon to be published in Nature Physics.
Later in the week we also met Yossi Paltiel (Hewbrew University, Jerusalem), Rienk van Grondelle and Eli Romero (VU Amsterdam) who are interested in performing new experiments to demonstrate coherent behaviour in complex systems. The cafe at the RIBA is an ideal place for discussions.
An added bonus: that was the week Frieze, the international art fair, was held in Green Park
Last but not least, the2012 IoP award ceremony was held at the Intercontinental hotel in Park Lane. Martin was awarded the Born medal and had the chance to talk with Max Born’s son, Gustav Born FRS, who was a professor of physiology at UCL. The next day, when celebrating privately at the Ledbury, the chef was kind enough to give him his compliments on the occasion!!
Dr Cecilia Cormick and Dr Martin Bruderer have joined the group. Cecilia has a strong background in quantum optics and was formerly in Saarbruecken, working in the group of Giovanna Morigi. Martin is an expert in quantum transport, formerly part of the group of Wolfgang Belzig at the University of Konstanz. Both Cecilia and Martin will be working within the quantum bio team in our quest to characterize quantum effects in biological complexes and unveil the possible relation between quantum coherence and biological function.
Moreover, Robert is no longer alone in drinking mate. Cecilia, originally from Buenos Aires, is also a supporter of the ritual. For the moment, Martin sticks to espresso…
Every year the SFB project on Correlated Quantum Matter (CO.CO.MAT) that includes the Universities of Stuttgart, Ulm and Tübingen (see http://www.physik.uni-stuttgart.de/TR21/en/) organizes a Graduate School at the Heinrich-Fabri-Institut in Blaubeuren. This year the scientific program was coordinated by Tommaso Calarco and Susana Huelga and focused on Quantum Communication and Quantum Metrology. We had a stellar panel of speakers, with tutorial lectures by Nicolas Gisin, Philippe Grangier, John Rarity and Carlton Caves, all of whom contributed with pioneering work to the field of quantum information science.
The most beautiful slide was not from the lecturers but from Philipp Neumann, working under the supervision of Fedor Jelezko and Jörg Wrachtrup, who was awarded a distinction for the best PhD thesis within the project that was defended this year. Congratulations to Philipp!
Mauro Paternostro is spending 4 months at the ITP, the first leg of his Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers awarded by the Humboldt Foundation. Mauro is an EPRSC Fellow and Reader at the School of Mathematics and Physics at Queen’s University Belfast where he leads QTeQ, the Quantum Technology Group (http://web.am.qub.ac.uk/wp/qo/).
This summer the group is hosting the 2012 QUAMP summer school at Queen’s, 9-13 September 2012. It is aimed at PhD students and young postdocs with interests in atomic and molecular physics as well as quantum optics and quantum information. See http://web.am.qub.ac.uk/quamp2012/ for details.
Mauro is collaborating with us at the ITP on topics of environmental probing of molecular systems, quantum coherence in a hybrid device encompassing a many-body system and a mechanical oscillator, and fast cooling of trapped ions.
The STREP project CORNER (http://qurope.eu/projects/corner) has come to an end and the final review took place in Ulm immediately before Easter. This has been a very nice collaboration, with an excellent relation between all partners. The project has generated quite interesting results. We all have to thank Lidia and Konrad for their impeccable management and our project officer Pascal Drabik for his support.
To celebrate the positive outcome, it was time for some hearty Schwabian meal and some local beer. And some Easter eggs, of course.
Incidentally, and refreshingly, CORNER had four Non-Quota female PIs. Let us hope this will become more and more common.