You may wonder what actually happens behind the walls of the clean room and optics lab at Paderborn University? What does the research of physicists look like, and what does it have to do with our daily lives? To what extent does basic research help us to understand our world better – and to make it more future-proof?
Researchers at Paderborn University provide answers to these and other questions in their Science Talks. Scientifically well-founded and comprehensible for everyone who is interested, they introduce their research – and engage in a discussion beyond their everyday scientific routine.
On 12 September 2023, Dr Christof Eigner thrilled his audience in Brilon. Eigner, himself a native of the nearby Sauerland area, accepted the invitation to a "Heimspiel" (Heimspiel means “like playing in front of your home crowd”) and took the guests on his journey into the quantum world. This Science Talk was distinguished within the framework of the initiative "Heimspiel Wissenschaft" of the German Hochschulrektorenkonferenz, supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
As part of the Paderborn Science Festival “Expedition Wissenschaft” on the sunny mid-September weekend, Prof Dr Thomas Zentgraf followed with his Science Talk on the topic of "Holography - With modern nanotechnology to the holodeck". Not only the adults were surprised, but also some very young listeners were amazed when Prof. Zentgraf conjured up holographic dinosaurs via VR glasses at the end of his talk. Prof. Zentgraf, speaker of the Center for Optoelectronics and Photonics Paderborn (CeOPP) at Paderborn University and project leader in the Collaborative Research Centre TRR 142, is a proven expert in the field of Ultrafast Nanophotonics. Since 2021, he is Fellow of the Max Planck School of Photonics, Germany. Moreover and maybe not surprisingly, a huge Star Trek fan.
It’s not often to have the opportunity to meet a world-renowned researcher who normally speaks at international conferences discussing her research results with other top scientists. At the Science Talk: "The future is already now - how quantum technologies (can) influence the world of tomorrow" on Saturday evening in the Liborianum in Paderborn, Prof Dr Christine Silberhorn gave an introduction to the beginnings, background and physical peculiarities of quantum research, and also went into the significance of quantum technologies for today's and future technologies. The fact that solar cells as we know them would not be possible without the findings from quantum physics is just one of the astonishing examples. Prof. Silberhorn visibly enjoyed answering questions about quantum science, and ventured an outlook into the technological future. The evening was moderated by Julia Ures, who skillfully built smooth bridges between the audience and the speaker. It's not surprising: more physicists are needed to meet the demand for specialists in the field of quantum technologies. With Prof Silberhorn, Paderborn University has a strong role model that inspires more and more women to follow her steps.
Prof Silberhorn is the spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Centre TRR 142 and the Institute for Photonic Quantum Systems (PhoQS) and here she was the initiator of the PhoQS Lab, which - currently under construction - will be one of the most modern research buildings for quantum research anywhere. She is Leibniz Prize winner and member of the German Wissenschaftsrat.
Would you like to invite one of our scientists to a Science Talk? For interested companies, municipalities or schools, Mr Dirk Waldhoff from the Collaborative Research Centre TRR 142 will be happy to help.