past events

Friday 11. May 2018

MPL Distinguished Lecturer Series
Quantum Effects in the Motion of Surprisingly Large Objects


Talk by: Prof. Jack Harris (Yale University)

Place: MPL, seminar room 1.500


The theory of quantum mechanics is believed to describe nearly all physical phenomena. It is embedded in our understanding of the universe and much of the technology that enables modern society. At the same time, some features of quantum mechanics strongly contradict physical intuition. These features (such as entanglement, measurement back-action, and zero-point energy) are routinely observed in the behavior of very small objects. Their seeming absence in large objects can be understood within quantum theory, but still raises questions: Are there limits to the size of an object that can exhibit quantum effects? If so, what can we learn from these limits? If not, what new technology might be enabled by macroscopic quantum phenomena? In this talk I will discuss these questions from the perspective of the field known as “quantum optomechanics”, and will describe my lab’s experiments on quantum effects in the motion of millimeter-sized objects.

Wednesday 09. May 2018

Topological physics with coupled oscillators: beyond Berry's phase via exceptional points


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

Speaker: Jack Harris (Yale University)

Place: MPL / seminar room (1.500)


A system that consists of a small number of linearly coupled, classical simple harmonic oscillators is often considered to be trivial. Thus it was remarkable when Berry and others showed that the phases of such oscillators possess robust geometric and topological features. More recently it has been appreciated that introducing dissipation into such a system opens an entirely new form of topological control. This "non-Hermitian" control has a novel feature: it can operate on the oscillators' energy (rather than their phase). In this talk I will describe how it is that dissipation (which is usually a disadvantage) results in a qualitatively new form of topological control. I will also describe the realization of these effects in a simple optomechanical system.



Wednesday 09. May 2018

Designing optical and optoelectronic responses in materials


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

Speaker: Prof. Andrew M. Rappe (University of Pennsylvania, USA)

Place: MPL / library (2.500)


Next-generation optical and optically-enabled information technologies rely on the cultivation of a new generation of materials that offer excitations that can be manipulated with light. In this talk, I will discuss materials with dramatically tunable optical (linear and nonlinear) and optoelectronic responses that depend sensitively on light frequency, optical polarization, and propagation direction. Electronic topological band theory and response function analysis point to new functional optical and optoelectronic opportunities.



Thursday 03. May 2018

MPL Distinguished Lecturer Series
Quantum Internet: Vision or Fiction


Talk by: Prof. Gerhard Rempe (Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Garching)

Place: MPL, Seminar room 1.500


Quantum physics allows for applications not possible within classical physics. A prominent example is the quantum computer that, once realized, needs a quantum environment for communication – a quantum internet. The talk will discuss elementary steps with novel protocols towards quantum computation and quantum communication by means of single photons that propagate between quantum memories made of single atoms in optical resonators.


Wednesday 02. May 2018

IMPRS monthly meeting


Organisation: Jonas Hammer (MPL/ Russell Division)

Talk: Reconfigurable optical implementation of quantum complex networks

Speaker: Prof. Valentina Parigi (Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, Paris)

Place: MPL / library 2.500


We propose an experimental procedure for the optical implementation of quantum complex networks [1]. The implementation of collections of systems arranged in a network structure with arbitrary complex topologies is still a non-trivial task in quantum experiments. We devise a mapping between complex networks and non-linear optical processes pumped by optical frequency combs followed by mode-selective detection. We show the deterministic implementation of reconfigurable networks. The platform has the potential to enable the experimental study of, e.g., the dynamics of quantum states in complex networks and topological effects in quantum communication or information protocols over complex entanglement networks.

[1] J. Nokkala, F. Arzani, F. Galve, R. Zambrini, S. Maniscalco, J. Piilo, N. Treps, and V. Parigi, New Journal of Physics (2018)

Thursday 19. April 2018

Microfabrication technologies for biological and biophysical applications


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

Speaker: Dr. Salvatore Girardo (TU Dresden, Microstructure Facility)

Place: MPL / library (2.500)


The development of microfabrication technologies, initially used for the fabrication of electronic circuits, has become a major focus among biological sciences, leading to the development of various miniaturized devices able to reproduce physiological environments for the in vitro study of biological systems. The usefulness of microfabricated tools for probing biological systems at different length scales (from molecular to organism scale) has been widely demonstrated, and their integration with biophysical instruments provides scientist with powerful technologies to deal with specific biological questions. During my talk, I will showcase the capabilities of our Microstructure Facility, where different materials and technologies are employed to realize microstructures and microfluidic devices which are rationally designed for specific biological and biophysical applications.



Wednesday 18. April 2018

Fabrication of perfect ultra-long fiber Bragg gratings for high-performance Raman fiber lasers


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

Speaker: Sébastien Loranger, Ph. D. (Advanced Photonic Concept Laboratory, Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada)

Place: MPL / seminar room (1.500)


Distributed feedback (DFB) fiber laser constructed around a phase-shifted fiber Bragg grating (FBG) can achieve outstanding performance in terms of single-frequency operation with linewidth in the kHz range. Using Raman gain as pumping mechanism allows such laser to be operated in any band, including those where rare-earth cannot reach. However, due to the low Raman gain, ultra-long FBGs in highly non-linear small-core fiber must be fabricated for operation at modest pump powers (~ 1 W or less). Such gratings were, until recently, impossible to fabricate with reproducibility due to non-uniformity in specialty fibers. Ultra-long FBGs are typically defined as gratings of lengths longer than typical phase mask, hence >20 cm long. We have recently demonstrated a technique which involves a fiber characterization prior to fabrication, and thus allows for the inscription of perfect ultra-long FBGs in any imperfect fiber. The technique will be presented as well as its results. This fabrication technique has allowed for the extensive study and optimisation of Raman DFB fiber laser. The limitations (mostly thermal gradient along the fiber) were identified and understood and outstanding performance was demonstrated (350 mW pump threshold).

Friday 13. April 2018

Controlled chemical reactions with cold ions


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

Speaker: Amir Mohammadi (Institut für Quantenmaterie, Universität Ulm)

Place: MPL / library (2.500)


Cold trapped ions are considered as quantum simulators that give a better understanding of the quantum world. From investigating the coherence of a quantum system to the entanglement to using as a quantum bit to make controlled chemical reactions at the level of a single particle are a wide range of applications of cold ions. In last few years, by combining the cold ions with ultracold atoms, a novel field has been created which study the reactions of atom-like particles at very low temperatures. In this talk, I present recent achievements in creating cold molecular ions by controlling the reaction parameters associated with the atom-ion system.

Monday 09. April 2018

IMPRS soft skill course
Project Management


Place: Light Lounge (third floor) at MPL

Time frame:

  • Monday April 9th from 9:00 a.m. until 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday April 10th from 8:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Coach: Rüdiger Herbst (ChallengeLearning)

Participants: Have already registered

More information:

The four phases of a project will be gradually developed and applied based on learning units, practical exercises and work on own projects. Thus the participant will gain a basic understanding of the work in a project, of the individual phases and which points are of major importance to work in a project. Reference will be made to different project management methods and with that it will be ensured that the individual tools can be used in different types of projects at the right places.


  • Project management overview
  • 4 phases of project management (main issues)

    • Initialization (project clarification, goals, project charter)
    • Planning (project structure planning, project procedure planning, risk management, resource management)
    • Realization (project controlling, change request management)
    • Closure (lessons learned)

  • Meetings and communication within a project


  • To provide basic knowledge of project management - What to do and when?
  • Getting to know the important tools of project management - Which tool do I use when?
  • Learning and basic understanding of different project management methods - Where does project management take place and how does that fit to the basics?
Thursday 29. March 2018

IMPRS monthly meeting


Organisation: Ramin Beravat (MPL/ Russell Division)

What: Talk about "How to find a job" by Ramin

Where: MPL, Library (room 2.500, 2nd floor)