Loading Events

The session has ended.

Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Symposium for Breakthroughs in Physical Sciences

Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation, Falling Walls Foundation | Libor Šmejkal, Keshav Dani, Thomas Klinger, Vivek Polshettiwar, Valentina Emiliani, Leo Gross, Arne Thomas, Amran Al-Ashouri

The Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Symposium for Breakthroughs in Physical Sciences brings together the Falling Walls Science Breakthrough of the Year 2023 in Physical Sciences, in addition to renowned partners from academia and the business sector. This symposium serves as a platform for deliberation and exploration of the most critical issues and cutting-edge breakthroughs in the realm of mathematical, physical, and chemical phenomena, alongside their associated technologies.

The event is cohosted by our partner Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation.


Libor Šmejkal

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Libor Šmejkal is a research team leader in the INSPIRE group at the Institute of Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, and an associate researcher at the Institute of Physics, Czech Academy of Sciences. Born in the Czech Republic, he studied theoretical and experimental physics in Brno and Vienna and received his PhD from the Academy of Sciences and Charles University in Prague in 2020. Currently, Šmejkal is researching topological and magnetic quantum matter, developing theoretical physics tools for studying functional quantum matter on supercomputers, discovering unconventional magnetic crystals, developing materials and conceptual devices which may contribute to sustainable nanoelectronics of the future, and collaborating globally on related experiments. His scientific contributions were recognized by several awards including the European Magnetism Association Young Scientist Award 2021, the Czech Head Prize 2021 and the Siemens Award 2020.

More events with Libor Šmejkal

Thu | Nov 09, 2023 | 11.45 AM - 12.00 PM Berlin Time

Libor Šmejkal: Breaking the Wall to Quantum Magnets

Keshav Dani

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University

Keshav Dani is an experimental physicist at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) in Japan. Born and brought up in Pune, India, Keshav moved to the US for his bachelor’s degree at Caltech. Following a short stint in Quantum Information Science, he studied the ultrafast and nonlinear response of optically excited materials for his PhD at the University of California at Berkeley, and as a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. In 2011, he joined OIST as a tenure-track Assistant Professor. Leveraging the unique academic environment there, he developed a new class of instrumentation in multi-dimensional photoemission spectroscopy. With this, he seeks to image, in real- and momentum-space, how matter can transform – without being destroyed – when exposed to intense light, on extremely short timescales. His recent work includes the imaging of dark excitons in two-dimensional semiconductors, and of defects in perovskite photovoltaic materials.

Thomas Klinger

Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics

Thomas Klinger is experimental physicist working at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, Germany. Born in 1965, he studied physics at the University of Kiel where he obtained his PhD in 1994. His expertise is drift wave turbulence and nonlinear structures in plasmas. He was visiting scientist in Stockholm, Marseille and Garching. In 1998 he became Professor at the University of Greifswald. In April 2001 he was appointed as Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society and Director at the Max Planck Institute. Here he is the head of the “Stellarator Dynamics and Transport” Division and since 2005 he leads the large superconducting stellarator project “Wendelstein 7-X”.

Vivek Polshettiwar

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)

Vivek Polshettiwar is a Professor of at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai. Born in a small village, he embarked on a transformative journey to various regions of India to pursue his academic degrees. He then ventured to France and USA for his postdoc. Since 2013, his research group at TIFR has been dedicated to pioneering the novel nanomaterials as catalysts and solar energy harvesters to combat climate change. Vivek has published ~ 120 articles and 12 patents/applications. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India and the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK. He was awarded medals by the CRSI, MRSI, Nano Mission and 2022 IUPAC-CHEMRAWN VII prize.

Valentina Emiliani

Vision Insitut, CNRS, Sorbonne University

Valentina Emiliani is a Research Director at the Vision Institute in Paris. She made her PhD in Physics in Italy, and worked as a postdoc in Berlin, Florence, and Paris. She has played a key role in the optogenetics revolution by proposing the use of techniques like holography generalized phase contrast and temporal focusing to sculpt the excitation volume for precise control of individual neurons or ensembles of neurons in the intact brain. Combining these approaches with optogenetics, enable unparalleled spatiotemporal precision, propelling optogenetics to a new level where it is possible to use light to mimic specific patterns of brain activity and relate them to animal behaviour.

Leo Gross

IBM Research Europe - Zurich

Leo Gross is research staff member at IBM Research Europe – Zurich and has been with IBM since 2005, where he currently leads the atom- and molecule manipulation group. He was born in Berlin, Germany and obtained his diploma degree in physics after studying at FU Berlin, Tulane University, New Orleans, USA and University of Muenster, Germany, and obtained the PhD in physics at FU Berlin. He investigates molecules and on-surface reactions by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) at low temperatures. He pioneered atomic and bond-resolved imaging of single molecules using AFM with functionalized tips. He uses the AFM for indetifying molecules, structure elucidation, tip-induced synthesis and for studying single-electron charging and transfer on the atomic scale.

Arne Thomas

Technische Universität Berlin

Arne Thomas is a chemist and head of the Functional Materials group at the Technischen Universität Berlin. He studied chemistry in Giessen, Marburg and Edinburgh and then worked at the MPI of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam/Golm, Germany and at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. Since 2009 is a professor for functional materials at the TU Berlin. He is interested in nanostructured and especially nanoporous inorganic and organic materials and their various applications. Since 2019, he has been the spokesperson of the Cluster of Excellence Unifying Systems in Catalysis – UniSysCat, in which more than 60 working groups in the Berlin/Potsdam region are working on new sustainable catalysis concepts.

Amran Al-Ashouri

Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin

Amran Al-Ashouri studied Physics in Duisburg and obtained his PhD from TU Berlin/Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin on optimizing highly efficient perovskite solar cells. He has established a new class of charge-selective layers that enabled four world-record efficiency perovskite-based solar cells and became a co-founder of the HZB spin-off Quantum Yield Berlin that accelerates solar cell research worldwide. For this work, he was awarded the Helmholtz Doctoral Award and the Adlershof Dissertation Award in 2021. The research on cheap, high-throughput perovskite solar cells in Berlin has increasingly gained momentum with a large number of grants, new laboratories and industrial collaborations, heralding the upcoming revolution in photovoltaic industry.


About the Venue
Spreeblick – Conference Room
Schillingbrücke 4
Berlin, Berlin 10243 Germany

More Events

All Events

Further Activities to have a look at

templates/popup-register.php: Template doesn't exist