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Sustainable Physics: In Lindau, 24 Nobel Laureates enthral the world's best young scientists with the greatest questions03.06.2008 - (idw) Kuratorium für die Tagungen der Nobelpreisträger in Lindau e.V.
The 58th Meeting of Nobel Laureates will take place from June 29 to July 4. 24 Nobel Laureates will attend, they will meet 550 young researchers from 65 countries. The Lindau meeting will have a single leitmotif, namely the issue of the fundamental qualifications for training to be a researcher and the essential prerequisites for becoming a successful scientist.
What holds the world together at its very core and keeps it apart at its very extremity will be the subject of discussion more frequently in Lindau during the first week of July than anywhere else around the globe. With their discoveries, the 24 Nobel Laureates who will be convening then in the island town on Lake Constance have probed deep into the secrets of the microcosm and macrocosm. At the 58th Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, they will be sharing their knowledge, discussing topical developments and establishing contacts with more than 550 outstanding young scientists from 65 countries.
The Lindau meeting will have a single leitmotif, namely the issue of the fundamental qualifications for training to be a researcher and the essential prerequisites for becoming a successful scientist. Science education will be a topic covered not only in the lectures, but primarily during the countless conversations between the Laureates and young scientists of tomorrow. Without doubt, in this age of globalization the responsibility of scientists for the sustained development of our world is growing, and the encounters at the Lindau Meeting are intended to have the same effect as passing the baton in a generation - spanning relay race for the future of humanity.
The spread of participating Laureates ranges from Donald Glaser, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1960 for his invention of the bubble chamber for proving the existence of elementary particles, through to last year's prize-winner Peter Grünberg, without whose discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance the high-capacity storage media in the laptops and MP3 players of today would not exist. The appeal of the Lindau Meeting is also reflected in its topicality: Seven of the Laureates taking part received their Nobel Prize within the past six years.
TOPICS OF THE 58th MEETING OF NOBEL LAUREATES
The challenge of climate change: Many Nobel Laureates regard it as their obligation to apply a scientific orientation and constructive perspectives to the inscrutable and politically volatile interrelationship between energy consumption,global warming and climate change, an obligation to which they dedicate their expertise and commitment. To this end five Laureates, including the German Nobel prize-winner in chemistry Hartmut Michel, one of the most vociferous critics of the controversial biological fuels, will therefore be taking part in a panel discussion on "Climate Changes and Energy Challenges" on July 1st.
Perspectives of astrophysics: Riccardo Giacconi (2002 Nobel Prize), deemed to be the founding father of the Hubble space telescope, will be in Lindau. George F. Smoot, whose differentiated calculations of the cosmic microwave background radiation brought him the 2006 Nobel Prize, will also be there. Of particular interest will be the lectures by two researchers who gained their Nobel Prizes in the field of particle physics at a relatively young age, but later turned to cosmology. James Cronin (1980 Nobel Prize) will be introducing an observatory that he has established in Argentina for detecting high-energy cosmic rays.
Practical consequences of quantum physics: Quantum mechanics, which revolutionised physics in the first half of the 20th century, led to practical inventions in the second half of the century which changed our daily lives for ever. These inventions included laser beams, capable of precisely reading, cutting, measuring and conveying information, semiconductors, which marked the age of microelectronics and computer technology, and superconductors, whose capability for conducting electrical currents without any resistance allows the creation of magnetic fields such as those used for nuclear spin tomography. Renowned pioneers of these technologies, among them Klaus von Klitzing (1985 Nobel Prize), will be coming to Lindau this year to discuss current topics. He will be presenting promising new methods of constructing electronic circuits using carbon instead of silicon.
A passion for precision: His passion for precision, as he calls it, earned Theodor Hänsch the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics. In Lindau he will be presenting his research work on how a quantum laboratory can be installed and run on a single microchip, an invention that one day could serve as the building block for a quantum computer. How unimaginably short times and intervals can be measured today using high precision lasers, right down to sub-atomic level, will be reviewed by Nicolaas Bloembergen (1981 Nobel Prize). Finally, John Hall (2005 Nobel Prize) will be discussing the limits of measurability, and whether ultraprecision lasers one day might even unmask physical constants as timedependent variables.
The annual Meetings of Nobel Laureates in Lindau are organised by the Council for the Meetings of Nobel Laureates in Lindau under the presidency of Countess Sonja Bernadotte (Isle of Mainau). The Foundation Lindau Nobelprizewinners Meetings at Lake Constance, whose Founders? Assembly includes more than 185 Nobel Laureates, supports the Meetings. The natural-scientific Meetings of Nobel Laureates in Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine and in Physics have been held since 1951. Since 2004, the holders of the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, have also held biannual meetings on Lake Constance.
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