Yair Litman and Sam Beaulieu chosen to attend 2020/21 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

April 09, 2020

The FHI PhD student and the PostDoc have been admitted to the important event that, on its 70th anniversary, will host 660 young scientists from 101 countries, as well as 70 Nobel Laureates from a variety of academic fields including both physics and chemistry.

Max Planck Society Nobel Laureate Stefan Hell, who in 2014 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, at the Lindau Meeting in 2015.

The Lindau Meeting allows young scientists from all over the world to connect with Nobel Laureates as well as with each other on a picturesque island on the eastern side of Lake Constance. The 2020 Lindau Meeting, which will now take place in 2021 due to the Corona pandemic, is particularly special. While the Lindau Meeting normally focuses on one subject (alternating annually between physiology and medicine, physics and chemistry), every five years an interdisciplinary meeting is held.

Yair Litman - PhD Student with a passion for interdisziplinary research

For Yair Litman, who is one of over 30 attendees from the Max Planck Society, the interdisciplinary nature of this year’s edition is particularly appealing. He works at the intersection between physics and chemistry in the “Simulations from Ab Initio Approaches: Structure and Dynamics from Quantum Mechanics” research group led by Dr. Mariana Rossi, which recently moved from the Theory Department of the Fritz Haber Institute to the MPI for Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg.

Yair Litman (right) with his supervisor Mariana Rossi (left) celebrating the award Litman received for the poster "Elucidating the Nuclear Quantum Dynamics of Porphycene" at the 81st Okazaki Conference in Okazaki, Japan, December 2019.

“Since I have started my academic career I always liked my projects to be relevant to several disciplines”, he explains. “Hence, for my Ph. D. topic, I chose to study hydrogen transfer reactions. On the one hand, these kinds of reactions are among the most fundamental processes that make life possible and are also critical in the development of several technologies like fuel cells. On the other hand, even though they may appear as elementary phenomena, they continue to challenge our fundamental understanding of chemistry and physics at the atomic scale.”

The 2020/21 Lindau Meeting is therefore a unique opportunity for him to connect with Nobel Laureates and other young scientists from both his chosen fields. He has taken the event slogan “Educate. Inspire. Connect.” to heart. “I am eager to be part of the informal sessions among talented students and established scientists from all over the world and having authentic and open discussions with them,” he says. “The intimate atmosphere promoted between the students and the Nobel Laureates facilitates the exchange of ideas not only about science but also about their personal experience navigating the academic path. I am convinced that these dialogues will expand my vision about what being a scientist means and will significantly impact the present and future of my academic career.”

Sam Beaulieu - PostDoc with broad scientific interests

Sam Beaulieu in his lab at INRS-EMT, Canada.

Dr. Sam Beaulieu will also be attending the Lindau Meeting. Beaulieu works as a Banting Fellow in Ralph Ernstorfer's Structural & Electronic Surface Dynamics Group (Department of Physical Chemistry) and was nominated to parktake by the Canadian Government. "The idea of bringing together Nobel laureates and a bunch of young scientists to foster scientific exchange is an extremely appealing idea, and being part of this adventure is of course super exciting", he says. Beaulieu's scientific interests are very broad. While he owns a Ph.D. degree in molecular physics, he is now performing research in the field condensed matter physics at FHI. Attending the open Lindau Meeting therefore suits him well. "It's an ideal set-up to exchange novel ideas with both young and senior world-leading scientists. It is quite rare to have the change of spending a week discussing physics with researchers who work outside our specific research field. I am sure that this will lead to the emergence of great interdisciplinary ideas," he adds enthusiastically.

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