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Home > News & Publications > Seminars > The Alchemy of Vacuum or . . . When Is a Vacuum not a Vacuum?

The Alchemy of Vacuum or . . . When Is a Vacuum not a Vacuum?

Start:

2/15/2016 at 3:00PM

End:

2/15/2016 at 4:00PM

Location:

Annenberg Auditorium, Snite Museum of Art - Reception to follow

Host:

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Jim Merz

Jim Merz

VIEW FULL PROFILE Email: jmerz@nd.edu
Phone: 574-631-3111

Affiliations

Department of Electrical Engineering Frank M. Freimann Professor Emeritus
College of Engineering Frank M. Freimann Professor Emeritus
Semiconductor physics, materials, and devices; optical properties of solids; defects; and nanostructures. Current Projects include "Spatial and Intensity Modulation of Light Emission in Fluorescent Molecules, Quantum Dots, and Nanowires", "Tailoring the Properties of Dilute Nitride Semiconductor ...
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574-631-3111
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We think of a vacuum as containing absolutely nothing, like the void of outer space. However, most empty space contains energy in the form of electromagnetic waves. Strong coupling of this light radiation and matter can give rise to a multitude of exciting physical effects through the formation of hybrid light-matter states. When molecular materials with high transition dipole moments are placed in the confined fields of metallic microcavities or surface plasmons, many exciting consequences can be observed. For example, so-called Rabi splittings approaching very large energies (e.g., 1 electron-volt or eV) are observed due to the interaction with the vacuum electromagnetic field. This leads to fundamental changes not only to the properties of the material, but also to the properties of the vacuum itself and, hence, the coupled system.  While strong coupling has been extensively studied due to the potential it offers in physics, such as room temperature Bose-Einstein condensates, and revolutionary devices, such as so-called thresholdless lasers, the many additional implications for molecular and material science have remained mostly unexplored. After introducing the fundamental concepts, examples of thermodynamic, chemical and material properties of strongly coupled systems will be given to illustrate the potential of light-matter states for materials and for devices.

Seminar Speaker:

Thomas W. Ebbesen

Thomas W. Ebbesen

USIAS, University of Strasbourg, France

Thomas Ebbesen was born in Oslo, Norway, in 1954. He received his BS from Oberlin College, Ohio, majoring in chemistry and biology, and his PhD in physical chemistry from the Curie University in Paris. Ebbesen then worked both in academic and corporate research institutions, such as the Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory, the NEC Fundamental Research Laboratory (Japan) and NEC Research Institute (Princeton), before returning to France in 1999 to help build a new laboratory – the Institut de Science et d‘Ingénierie Supramoleculaire at the University of Strasbourg, which he headed from 2005 to 2012. He is currently the director of the International Center for Frontier Research in Chemistry and the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study.  He holds the chair of physical chemistry of light-matter interactions. Ebbesen has received many awards for his pioneering research on nanostructured materials, including the 2014 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience.  He has been elected to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and the French Academy of Science.

Seminar Sponsors:

The James and Rose-Marie Merz Lecture/Concert Series will also host a Duo Recital: Cellist Karen Buranskas and Pianist Masako Hayashi Ebbesen will perform works by Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, and Debussy.

Tuesday, February 16, at 7 p.m., in the Snite Museum’s Annenberg Auditorium. A reception will follow.

A poster describing both events and relevant bios is available here.

James and Rose-Marie Merz Lecture Series  –

This lecture is part of the James and Rose-Marie Merz Lecture/Concert Series, endowed by the Advisory Council for Graduate Studies and Research. It is dedicated to Dr. Izuo Hayashi, who passed away in 2005. Hayashi was an award-winning physicist who received the prestigious Kyoto Prize in 2001 for his insightful contributions to the development of the semiconductor laser and his leadership of Japanese research in optoelectronics. Hayashi-san was both mentor and personal friend of Jim and Rose-Marie Merz.

Sponsors

The James and Rose-Marie Merz Lecture/Concert Series will also host a Duo Recital: Cellist Karen Buranskas and Pianist Masako Hayashi Ebbesen will perform works by Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, and Debussy.

Tuesday, February 16, at 7 p.m., in the Snite Museum’s Annenberg Auditorium. A reception will follow.

A poster describing both events and relevant bios is available here.

James and Rose-Marie Merz Lecture Series  –

This lecture is part of the James and Rose-Marie Merz Lecture/Concert Series, endowed by the Advisory Council for Graduate Studies and Research. It is dedicated to Dr. Izuo Hayashi, who passed away in 2005. Hayashi was an award-winning physicist who received the prestigious Kyoto Prize in 2001 for his insightful contributions to the development of the semiconductor laser and his leadership of Japanese research in optoelectronics. Hayashi-san was both mentor and personal friend of Jim and Rose-Marie Merz.