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Weekly Colloquium 16/6/2021


The Department of Chemistry invites all its students and academic staff to the weekly colloquium lecture

Wednesday, 16/6/21, 11:00 a.m.


The Alchemy of Vacuum

- Hybridizing Light and Matter -


Thomas W. Ebbesen

USIAS & ISIS, University of Strasbourg & CNRS, France


Our guest speaker this week for colloquium is Prof. Thomas Ebbesen from the University of Strasbourg, winner of the prestigious Kavli Prize, and also one of the "founders" of modern near-field plasmonics and polariton chemistry. One of his other claims to fame is that he was Prof. Adi Salomon's post-doc advisor! See his wikipedia page for more details.

Not only is Prof. Ebbesen going to give a talk at 11 a.m., he is also making time for one-on-one faculty meetings via Zoom, starting from 2 p.m. our time. He has not put a limit yet on the number of slots, so please sign up, and we'll see what he can accommodate.

The abstract and title of his talk are attached, and you can sign up with the google link:


Light-matter interactions are not only fundamental for the existence of life, such as we know it, but play a key role in our culture, in the exchange of information and in many tools from surgery to the making of cars. What is perhaps more surprising, is that light-matter interactions occur even in total darkness. This is because vacuum, the three-dimensional space in which we exist, is not a void but is full of quantum fluctuations, including electromagnetic fluctuations which affect for instance the forces between molecules. When such light-interactions become strong enough, a new regime arises characterized by the formation of hybrid light-matter states. This is the so-called strong coupling regime which leads to fundamental changes in material properties. After introducing some of the basic concepts, examples of modified material properties such as chemical reactivity and conductivity will be presented. 


 will be held on zoom:

Looking forward to seeing you!

Invitation (pdf)

Last Updated Date : 14/06/2021