past events

Monday 29. January 2018

GINGERINO and the GINGER Project


Organisation: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light / Leuchs Division

Speaker: Angela Di Virgilio (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Sezione di Pisa, Pisa, Italy)

Place: MPL / room A.2.500


GINGER (Gyroscopes IN General Relativity) is a proposal aiming at measuring the LenseThirring effect with an experiment based on Earth. It is an array of ring lasers, which are the most sensitive inertial sensors to measure the rotation rate of the Earth.
Rotation and angular measurements are of great importance for various fields of science: General Relativity predicts rotation terms originated from the kinetic term, Earth Science studies the Earth's angular velocity and all ist variations, the tides and related perturbations, the normal modes of the Earth, the angular perturbations associated to the movement of the plates, the deformations of hydrological nature, without neglecting the rotational signals produced by the earthquakes. A ring laser integral to the Earth's surface is sensitive not only to the angular rotation of the planet, but also to all the global and local rotational signals to which it is subjected. For this reason GINGER is relevant for geophysics.
GINGERINO is a ring laser prototype installed inside the underground laboratory of the Gran Sasso, it has been built in order to validate the laboratory for GINGER. Its 
typical sensitivity is below 0.1 nrad/s in 1 second measurement. GINGERINO has validated LNGS for GINGER and it is now used for geophysical measurements. It is taking data since May 3 2017, typical data will be shown.

Thursday 25. January 2018

Imaging neuronal activity in the freely moving animal: from the eye to the cortex


Organisation: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light / Russell Division

Speaker: Dr Jason Kerr, Center of Advanced European Studies And Research (caesar), an Institute of the Max-Planck Society, Bonn

Place: MPL / room A.1.500


Motivation underlies the performance of self-determined behavior and is fundamental to decision making, especially with regard to seeking food, mates, and avoiding peril. As many decision making based behaviors in rodents involve a combination of head movements, eye movements, vestibular driven neuronal activity and active sensing of the environment to guide the behavior, studying the freely moving animal is paramount.

To achieve this, what is necessary is the precise tracking of the animal’s movement and interaction with the environment. Here I will outline work from our group that focuses on how freely moving rodents use their vision during decision making tasks and resulting cortical activity.

I will introduce methods that allow accurate recording of neuronal activity from populations of cortical neurons, using multiphoton imaging techniques, while simultaneously tracking eye and head movements during decision making in the freely moving rodent.

The second half of the presentation will focus on recent results from our lab showing how freely moving rodents have a distinct eye movement strategy that is of major evolutionary benefit.

Wednesday 24. January 2018

New Spectroscopic Methods in Quantum Photonics: Accessing Multiphoton Processes and Correlated Noise


Organisation: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light / Sandoghdar Division

Speaker: Dr. Tomás Ramos, Spanish Research Council (CSIC), Madrid, Spain

Place: MPL / room A.1.500


We present new methods for characterizing multiphoton scattering processes and correlated dephasing noise in experiments with propagating photons. First, we provide a spectroscopic protocol to characterize the photon-photon interactions mediated by any photonic quantum device such as a single molecule in free space or in a waveguide [1]. The protocol relies on coherent state inputs and homodyne detection at the output and provides simultaneous information about multiple --elastic and inelastic-- segments of the scattering matrix. Finally, we show how correlated dephasing noise is manifested in the line shapes of quantum emitters and how the same information contained in standard time-resolved Ramsey experiments can be extracted spectroscopically.

[1] Multiphoton Scattering Tomography with Coherent States, T. Ramos, and J.J. García-Ripoll, Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 153601 (2017).

Friday 15. December 2017

Christmas market visit


Joint event with the hbar Omega Student Chapter

Meeting point: Entrance of the Neustädter Kirche

For more information: Please contact our student spokesperson



Friday 15. December 2017

Lightwave driven quantum dynamics: from molecular movies to Bloch waves


Organisation: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light / Russell Division

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Jens Biegert (ICFO - The Institute of Photonics Sciences, Castelldefels (Barcelona), Spain)

Place: MPL / room A.1.500


Electron recollision in an intense laser field is at the centre of attoscience research and gives rise to a variety of phenomena, ranging from electron diffraction to coherent soft X-ray emission. We have, over the years, developed intense sources of waveform controlled mid-IR light to exploit ponderomotive scaling, quantum diffusion and quasi-static photoemission.

I will describe how we leverage these effects to "teach" electrons to take a selfie of the dynamics of a single molecule. This permits visualizing for the first time, with combined attosecond temporal and atomic spatial resolution, molecular bond breaking and deprotonation. Furthermore, we achieve isolated attosecond pulses in the soft X-ray water window across the oxygen edge at 534 eV. Accomplishing ultrafast temporal resolution in combination with the soft X-ray's element specificity now provides an entirely new view on the combined electronic and nuclear dynamics in real time. I will show first results in which we resolve the carrier dynamics in a quantum material in real time and within the material's unit cell.

These results provide the first comprehensive insight into the dynamics of molecules and condensed matter, thus addressing fundamental and long-standing questions such as molecular isomerization, phase transitions and superconductivity, and a realistic route to possibly implement control over such processes.

Thursday 14. December 2017

MPL Distinguished Lecturer Series
Sensing and biosensing enabled by silicon photonics: opportunities and challenges


Prof. Roel Baets (Ghent University)


MPL, Room A1.500


In the past 10 years silicon photonics has matured to an industrially viable technology for high datarate transceivers for telecom and data center applications. In this presentation the question will be explored: what opportunities does the technology offer for sensing applications, in biosensing, in medical instruments? A variety of proof-of-concept examples will be discussed along with the associated scientific challenges.

Tuesday 05. December 2017

IMPRS monthly meeting


Organisation: Katharina König (MPL/ Sandoghdar Division)

Talk: Single Protein Analytics

Speaker: Marek Piliarik (Institute of Photonics and Electronics of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague)

Place: MPL / room A.2.500


Understanding the structure and function of biological matter at nanoscale is among the most exciting challenges in modern microscopy. We aim at tracking the motion in biophysical system with a nanometer fidelity and at microseconds temporal resolution. We employ interferometric scattering microscopy (iSCAT) which is an optical microscopy technique capable of detecting and localizing extremely small scattering signals such as a few-nm particles or even unlabeled proteins. We explore new challenges arrising from ultra-fast tracking of scattering labels including fluctuations in the label position and background. Using this methodology we exploit unknown mechanisms of microtubule associated proteins revealing the choreography of its diffusible motion which were not to date deciphered.

Tuesday 24. October 2017

IMPRS monthly meeting - Q&A with IMPRS alumni: Working in industrial research


Organisation: Rafal Sopalla (MPL/Russell division)

Speaker: Dr. Michael Schmidberger, Project manager and scientist, Osram GmbH

Place: Bibliothek (A.2.500), MPL, Staudtstr.2, 91058 Erlangen

Date & Time: Tuesday, 24 October 2017, 11:15am


Dr. Michael Schmidberger, alumni of the IMPRS Physics of Light, will depict his daily life as optics expert in industry. Particularly, he will give insights into

·       The transition from academia to industry at different stages of a professional career

·       His current tasks and responsibilities including

o   the daily work-life as an optics expert in industry

o   challenges and pitfalls in commercially focussed research projects

o   differences between academia and industry

Additionally he will give a short summary of a recent research project focussing on broadband infrared LED phosphors to illustrate the workflow and scope of industrial-scale research projects with very application centred mindset. The session will include ample time for questions and discussion!

Short curriculum vitae of Dr. Michael Schmidberger

Dr. Schmidberger currently works as project manager and staff scientist at the central predevelopment department for phosphor research at OSRAM GmbH in Schwabmünchen, Germany. His responsibilities include

·       Project management for conversion solution projects including multiple OSRAM sites as well as external partners and suppliers

·       Development of highly specialised conversion solutions for generating broad optical spectra from monochromatic sources such as LEDs and laser diodes

·       Development of new measurement systems for characterising specialised parameters of optical converters, that cannot be quantified with commercial solutions

·      Responsibility for technical accuracy and safety of existing commercial as well as specialised metrology systems.



Monday 25. September 2017

IMPRS Annual Meeting 2017


Venue: Hotel Stempferhof, Badangerstraße 33, 91327 Gößweinstein

Invited talks: Antoine Kouchner, Christoph Lienau, Allard Mosk, Isabelle Staude

Block lectures: Stephan Götzinger, Joachim von Zanthier

Others: panel discussion, poster session, student talks etc.

For more information: please check out the flyer and program.

Thursday 31. August 2017

IMPRS monthly meeting


Organisation: Hsuan-Wei Liu, (MPL/Sandoghdar division)

Lab tour: Optical Imaging Centre Erlangen (OICE), FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg

Speaker: Dr. Philipp Tripal, Postdoc at OICE, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg

Place: Meet at Hartmannstraße 14, 91052 Erlangen at 13:45Uhr

Date & Time: Thursday, 31 August 2017, 14:00Uhr


Dr. Philipp Tripal will give an introduction about the imaging tools and techniques in OICE.