MaNEP Newsletter n°43
Steven Johnson
Dear colleagues, dear members of the MaNEP association,

Here we are at about two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to pose challenges for both society and the scientific community. The crisis has forced us to find new solutions for how to foster scientific communication within the association. This edition of the newsletter reports on two online workshops that helped to meet some of this need, which were both well-attended and featured “trial runs” of online technologies meant to foster direct interaction.

As we look into the future where such online-only formats will likely be used not only for public health but for environmental reasons such tools will become more important.

Nonetheless, I think that there is still widespread recognition that the pandemic continues to highlight the critical role that in-person interactions have on scientific communication, particularly for younger colleagues. Hopefully one lasting outcome will be an “optimisation” of such opportunities when they become possible. The upcoming MaNEP winter school in Saas-Fee planned for January 2022 is one such opportunity. Demand was impressive, with registrations quickly meeting the capacity of the venue. This highlights the need for such meetings by the community. Later in the year there is the SWM workshop in Les Diablerets, scheduled for August.

Despite the stalled pace of vaccinations and the worrying recent rise in cases, I am hopefully that eventually we can settle into a new equilibrium that will allow for such meetings to continue and encourage the culture of open exchange of ideas that is essential to science. I look forward to meeting you all in person when that happens.

Steven Johnson
ETH Zurich / Paul Scherrer Institute

What's new ?

The association has a new president and vice-president

On December 9th 2021, the association MaNEP Switzerland Network met for its 9th Forum Meeting. The president of the board, Prof. Christian Rüegg (PSI, UniGe, ETH Zurich, EPFL), welcomed 20 participants online and reported on the status and activities of the association.

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SWM 2022

We are glad to inform our members that the SWM 2022 is scheduled from August 29th to 31st, 2022. The last edition of the SWM, initially planned for August 2021 and delayed due to the pandemic, offers an updated program.

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Inauguration of the Scienscope

The Scienscope of the Faculty of Science at Université de Genève was inaugurated on October 5th, 2021. It consists of seven new spaces dedicated to the discovery of the sciences taught and studied in the Faculty.

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Second Van der Waals materials workshop

VdW workshop
After a first live meeting in January 2020, the second Van der Waals meeting waited a while and was finally held online, on June 24th, 2021. Five young speakers covered very different topics, and inspired lively discussions. There were up to 68 participants. An informal way of meeting online happened through a virtual corridor meeting.

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Feedback on MaNEP mini-workshop

Mini workshop
The MaNEP mini-workshop on Oxide Heterostructures took place on the 28th of October 2021. The goal of this online meeting was to bring together Swiss researchers working in the field of complex oxides and provide them with an opportunity to present and discuss their work, especially for PhD students and postdocs.

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Ruzicka Prize goes to Prof. Fabian von Rohr

Prof. Fabian von Rohr received the Ruzicka Prize 2021 for his work on the discovery of quantum materials by combining chemical and physical design principles.

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Prof. Fabian von Rohr

Work in the Network

Find new positions.

Scientific perspective

Many-body physics with quantum gases in high-finesse cavities

Scientific perspective
By Jean-Philippe Brantut, EPFL and Tilman Esslinger, ETHZ
Cavity Quantum Electro-Dynamics (QED) has been one of the most successful platforms for the study of fundamental processes in quantum physics. It allows for the investigation of light-matter interactions including a detailed understanding of dissipation channels. In this article we would like to give a brief introduction to the basic ideas of cavity QED and discuss recent experiments of our research groups, which show different ways to control atom-light coupling in cold atomic gases using high-finesse cavities.

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Scientific highlights

Nonthermal pathways to ultrafast control in quantum materials

Scientific highlight 1
By Simon Gerber, PSI
An international team with participation of the Paul Scherrer Institute reviews how light can fundamentally change the properties of solids and how these effects can be used for future applications. The team summarises the progress in this field, which is based among other techniques on experiments that can also be carried out at the Swiss X-ray free-electron laser SwissFEL, in the journal Reviews of Modern Physics.

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A zero bias conductance peak beyond the HTS checkerboard vortex core halo

Scientific highlight 2
By Ivan Maggio-Aprile, Tim Gazdić, Christoph Renner, UNIGE
Magnetic vortices in superconductors are singular objects at the center of which the superconducting order parameter is locally destroyed. As a consequence, the electronic excitations in their cores are expected to be fundamentally different from the ones occurring in the electronic superfluid surrounding the vortices.

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Highlights publications

Discover more MaNEP Network's research and innovations trough other publication highlights.
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Talk with Fabian Natterer, SNSF Professor, UZH

What have been your main fields of research and your most surprising scientific finding during these last years ?
Broadly speaking, our research deals with the investigation of atomic scale quantum materials using scanning probe microscopy. This includes scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) based electron spin resonance, atomic force microscopy, time-resolved measurements, and quasiparticle interference imaging.

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Upcoming events

MaNEP Winter School
January 16 - 21, 2022, Saas-Fee, Switzerland

Swiss Workshop on Materials with novel electronic properties (SWM)
August 29 - 31, 2022, Les Diablerets, Switzerland

(Photo credit: Scientify-UNIGE, UNIGE, ETHZ, PSI, EPFL, UZH)
MaNEP Switzerland Network
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