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First poster session at Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Young physicists impress with their research

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Credit: Christian Flemming/Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

Thirty young scientists had a unique opportunity yesterday to present their research work to an audience of participants at the 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. It was the first time that a poster session was held at the meeting. One hundred eighty of the 400 young participants from 80 countries had applied to partake. The topics covered precision measurements, quantum physics, astronomy, biophysics, high-energy physics and materials science. All 29 participating Nobel Laureates as well as all undergraduates, PhD candidates and postdocs present were entitled to vote for the best presentation.

"The presentations are very lively and really good. I am especially impressed by the expertise of two young scientists – their posters are about topics I am very familiar with," said French quantum physicist Serge Haroche. For research of the interactions between light and matter, Haroche was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics together with the American David Wineland. The attendees at the session were treated to eye-catching posters with illustrations and graphs. In addition, the poster presenters had 90 minutes to explain and discuss their work and to field questions. The public was able to cast ballots to select the three best poster presentations. The winners will be announced at the end of the event on Friday and will be presented with a certificate.

The aim of introducing this event format, which is common at many scientific conferences, is to highlight the achievements of the young scientists. "We found it difficult to select 30 participants from 180 applicants, because all the submitted posters were of high scientific quality. The excellence of the young researchers was evident," said Council member Rainer Blatt of the Institute for Experimental Physics of Innsbruck University and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Rainer Blatt is serving as Scientific Chairman of this year's meeting together with the astroparticle physicist Lars Bergström, who is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and since 2004 Secretary of the Nobel Prize Committee for Physics.

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The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting has been held every year at Lake Constance since 1951. The Lindau Meetings provide a platform for Nobel Laureates and young scientists to exchange knowledge, ideas and experience. Established elements of the programme include lectures, discussions, master classes and panel discussions. The meetings focus alternately on physiology and medicine, on physics or on chemistry – the three natural science Nobel Prize disciplines. An interdisciplinary meeting revolving around all three natural sciences is held every five years. In addition, the Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences is held every three years.

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