Loughborough physics student selected to attend prestigious Lindau Nobel event
PhD physics student Russell Rundle has earned an “amazing opportunity” and will travel to Germany this summer to meet Nobel Prize-winning scientists and discuss cosmology, laser physics and gravitational waves.
The Loughborough postgraduate is one of 580 young scientists, from 88 countries, to be selected to visit Lake Constance, in the far south of Germany, for the 69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, being held between June 30 and July 5.
This year’s focus will be on physics and will feature 41 Nobel Prize winners – the biggest gathering of Laureates since the meetings were launched in 1951, as a forum for offering scientists the opportunity to inspire and network with one another.
Russell will take part in lectures, social events and panel discussions about a host of topics including laser physics and quantum technology.
He is one of 15 British students chosen to attend.
During the six-day meeting, he will get the opportunity to present his own research to Prize winners and fellow students.
He said: “This is an amazing opportunity to not only talk with some of the best minds in the field who have proven their worth with Nobel prizes, but it is also exciting to meet the best young minds.”
Laureates include theorist Professor Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, of the École Normale Supérieure, in Paris, who shared the 1997 Nobel Prize with fellow event attendee, experimentalist Professor Steven Chu – a Former United States Secretary of Energy.
“Professor Claude Cohen-Tannoudji literally wrote the book on quantum physics,” said Russell.
“It’s on our third-year reading list and every quantum physics student at Loughborough has read it.
“It shows what an opportunity this is to learn, network and meet people at the forefront of science.”
Loughborough PhD physics student Russell Rundle will meet Nobel winners this summer
Two other notable names on the Laureate list are Professors Serge Haroche and David Wineland, who were awarded the 2012 prize for peaking inside Schrödinger’s fabled box and observing ‘the cat’.
The most recent recipients attending the event are newly minted Professor Donna Strickland, of the University of Waterloo Professor, who along with Professor Gérard Mourou, of the University of Michigan, invented chirped pulse amplification - a technique used to create ultrashort, very high-intensity laser pulses.
They received a joint prize last year.
Russell was recommended by the Royal Society after submitting an application explaining why he thought he was a suitable candidate.
“I had to get their attention,” he said. “So, I wrote to them explaining what excites and motivates me about physics, and what attending this event would mean to me.”
Russell’s work at Loughborough revolves around a quantum mechanics in phase space.
He is a member of Loughborough’s Quantum Systems Engineering Research Group, which is led by Dr Mark Everitt.
“I expect this meeting will be one of Russell’s most memorable life experiences,” said Dr Everitt.
“With 41 Nobel Laureates and nearly 600 of the best young minds in physics this is a unique opportunity for him to immerse himself in a community of minds that will shape the future of the subject – some of whom will hopefully become future collaborators and long-term friends – after all, physics is quite a social discipline.
“Many of the Nobel Laureates have research that directly relates to Russell’s work and discussions with them will be very beneficial in generating new ideas and understanding their perspectives of how his work relates to the wider discipline.
“With talks, walks, panel discussions, sharing of life experiences and many social opportunities the event is an unapparelled mix of science, culture and networking.”
Professor Claudia Eberlein, a theoretical physicist and Dean of the School of Science, added: “I am delighted for Russell to have been offered a place at this very inspiring gathering of the world best and most promising scientists.”
“Russell’s selection for this meeting is an indication of the very high standard of the research carried out by our Postgraduate Research students at Loughborough.”
Russell's work involves quantum mechanics in phase space
Organisers said the group of participants is extremely diverse.
In addition to the major research nations such as the US, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Israel, countries such as Jamaica, Sri Lanka and, for the first time, Mozambique and the Dominican Republic will be represented.
“The percentage of women among the participants is 34 per cent, which is good by international standards, considering that in physics men are still clearly in the majority,” said Rainer Blatt, Professor at the Institute of Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck.
The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings take place every year since 1951 and are designed as a forum for exchange, networking and inspiration.
The meetings focus alternately on physiology and medicine, on physics, and on chemistry – the three natural science Nobel Prize disciplines.
Every five years, an interdisciplinary meeting revolving around all three natural sciences will be held, the next one in 2020.
Notes for editors
Press release reference number: 19/20
Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via www.globelynx.com
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.
It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey and named University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018.
Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2019, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2019. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.
Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.
The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.
It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.