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Night that Creates Knowledge on 4 November: Hannover optics research and this year's Nobel Prizes

Night that Creates Knowledge on 4 November: Hannover optics research and this year's Nobel Prizes

© Sonja Smalian/PhoenixD
Nadja-C. Bigall
Mann in weißem Hemd sitzt hinter einem optischen Tisch mit Spiegeln und Optiken Mann in weißem Hemd sitzt hinter einem optischen Tisch mit Spiegeln und Optiken Mann in weißem Hemd sitzt hinter einem optischen Tisch mit Spiegeln und Optiken
© Sonja Smalian/PhoenixD
Milutin Kovacev

On Saturday, 4 November, Leibniz University Hannover will open its doors to laboratories, workshops and lecture halls from 6 p.m. to midnight. At the "Night that creates knowledge", the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD will also provide information about the work of its scientists and invite visitors to its experimental hall in Welfengarten 1A (Building 1105). There, Nadja-C. Bigall and Milutin Kovacev will explain the research achievements of this year's Nobel Prize winners in physics and chemistry at 7:15 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. We welcome you!

This year's Nobel Prize winners in physics and chemistry are researching topics that the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD scientists at Leibniz Universität Hannover are also working on. Nadja-C. Bigall and Milutin Kovacev will explain in a generally understandable way in the double lecture "Hannover optics research and this year's Nobel Prizes" ("Hannoversche Optikforschung und die diesjährigen Nobelpreise"), which findings the Nobel Foundation awarded this year. 

This year's Nobel Prize in Physics went to Anne L'Huillier (Lund University, Sweden), Pierre Agostini (Ohio State University, USA) and Ferenc Krausz (Max Planck Institute/Ludwig Maximilian University, Germany) "for experimental methods for generating attosecond light pulses for studying electron dynamics in matter". Milutin Kovacev, professor at the Institute of Quantum Optics and member of the PhoenixD research network, has collaborated with Pierre Agostini and Anne L'Huiller in the past. In his lecture "Ultrashort light pulses - How to capture the shortest moments?" he will explain the research achievements of the three laureates in a generally understandable way.

For the discovery and development of quantum dots, the three scientists Moungi Bawendi (MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA), Louis Brus (Columbia University, USA) and Alexei Ekimov (Nanocrystals Technology Inc., USA) received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2023. Nadja-C. Bigall will explain what quantum dots are, how they are chemically produced, where they are used and how they are being researched at Leibniz Universität Hannover and in the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD. Bigall, in her lecture, "What are quantum dots?" Bigall is a professor at the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry at Leibniz Universität Hannover and a board member of the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD

Lectures and visit to the experimental hall on 4 November 2023

The talks will take place on Saturday, 4 November 2023, at 7:15 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. in the seminar room (ground floor) of building 1105 in Welfengarten 1A. Access is barrier-free.

You can find a map of the PhoenixD building, which is located east of the main building and the Audimax, here:

Gebäude 1105 - Rauminfo - Leibniz Universität Hannover (uni-hannover.de)

During the "Night that Creates Knowledge", light installations will also show the way. In addition to the lectures, the research association PhoenixD will open its experimental hall on the ground floor and present its work and the planned new building OPTICUM - Optic University Center and Campus in the Science Area 30X in Marienwerder.

PhoenixD's research object - light - is more than just a material. Light is a tool and an essential precursor for many digital applications, such as smartphone cameras, streaming via fibre optics and 3D imaging in medicine. The potential of light-based, i.e. optical technologies, is still in progress. For this reason, the researchers of the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD expect that numerous new applications based on this technology will conquer people's everyday lives in the future, from autonomous driving to digital skin cancer scanners.

PhoenixD invites all guests at the experimental hall to put their knowledge of PhoenixD, optical technologies, Hannover and Leibniz University Hannover to the test at the wheel of fortune. There will be a bag of popcorn to win.

Quantum encryption for beginners

At 6:15 p.m., 8:15 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., the 90-minute workshop "Quantum Encryption for Beginners" will begin in the Leibniz Lab of Optics and Photonics (1st floor). So-called quantum encryption, in which properties of quantum physics are exploited to create a message key, is considered a particularly secure method in message encryption. But what makes this method so safe, and how can quantum keys be generated? Immerse yourself in the world of message encryption and simulate the generation of a quantum key according to the BB84 protocol in an experiment. No previous knowledge is required. Participation is possible for children from the age of 8. Please register in advance by e-mail. Thank you.

Specialised bachelor's and Master's degree programmes in optical technologies

Visitors can also learn about the two specialised courses of study that prepare students for a career in optics and photonics applications. The technology of the future is used in fields as diverse as autonomous driving, medicine or laser welding. The first cohort of the Bachelor's degree programme Optical Technologies: Lasers and Photonics started studying in 2022. The offer is unique at a German university.

The Master's programme in Optical Technologies has been an established course for years and can be completed in German and English. Those who choose to study optical technologies in Hannover will also be taught by members of the PhoenixD Cluster of Excellence and thus gain an insight into the current state of research. Master's students interested in doing a doctorate in the research field of optical technologies can contact the PhoenixD staff on site about the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD doctoral programme, the PhoenixD Research School.

Voluntary year in science

Pupils still unsure about their desire to study can learn about the "Voluntary Year in Science (FWJ)" ("Freiwilligen Jahr in der Wissenschaft (FWJ)") opportunities. PhoenixD offers several open positions in its participating institutes every year. The application deadline for the next cohort (September 2024) is January 2024. The Hannover Medical School coordinates the FWJ. You can find all further information on the FWJ programme, an overview of all positions online on the university's website, and a flyer with an overview of the most critical facts. On the video portal of the Initiative Wissenschaft, participants of the programme tell in several videos why they decided to do an FWJ and what they learned during the year.  

Offers for teachers and pupils

PhoenixD tries to arouse pupils' interest in optical technologies and supports various initiatives. These include the PhoenixD 's project workshop Protoys, which guides pupils to experiment. PhoenixD also supports the Leibniz Lab "on wheels" at Leibniz Universität Hannover. Schools can order experiments tailored to the curriculum by Volkswagen bus to the schoolyard free of charge and conduct experiments with their classes under expert guidance. 

The "Night that creates knowledge" and #knowember

Every two years, LUH facilities and institutes offer a glimpse behind the university walls in lectures, guided tours, experiments, exhibitions and hands-on activities at the "Night that Creates Knowledge". On Saturday, 4 November 2023, the university invites all citizens to discover the campus at various locations between 6 p.m. and midnight. 

The central meeting point is the atrium in the main building (Welfengarten 1), where there will be an information stand about the event and initial experimentation and dialogue opportunities. The more than 200 programme points of the "Night that Creates Knowledge" will then be spread across all LUH locations, from Nordstadt and Herrenhausen to Marienwerder and Garbsen, where the "Night of Mechanical Engineering" will entice visitors with numerous offers.

You can find the entire programme here: www.dienachtdiewissenschafft.de

The announcement video (in German), which was filmed in the PhoenixD laboratories and elsewhere, can be found here.

The "Night that Creates Knowledge" at Leibniz University Hannover is part of the "November of Science". The project, known by the hashtag #knowember, is organised by the Initiative Wissenschaft Hannover, an association of Hannover's eight universities, the Volkswagen Foundation, the Hannover Student Union, scientific institutions and the state capital Hannover. The #knowember will take place from 1 to 19 November 2023 and will provide insights into Hannover as a location for higher education and science at around 120 events. You can find all the information about the #knowember here.