A Nobel Laureate gave a fascinating lecture to students and staff on 1 March at City University of Hong Kong about some of the latest findings in key areas of physics.
Professor Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Nobel Laureate in Physics (1997) and Professor at the Collège de France in Paris, gave a lecture at CityU as part of the high-profile France-Hong Kong Distinguished Lecture Series co-organized by the French Academy of Sciences, the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and CityU. The France-Hong Kong Distinguished Lecture Series was launched last year with a talk by Professor Philippe Kourilsky, then President of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, and a Member of the French Academy of Sciences.
The lecture, entitled “Manipulating Atoms with Light: Achievements and Perspectives”, attracted a full house at the Multi-Media Conference Room. This event further demonstrates CityU’s efforts to enhance its international character by cultivating high-profile links with the most renowned institutions worldwide.
In his opening remarks, Professor H K Chang, President of CityU, said he was pleased to see so many young faces in the audience. “This Distinguished Lecture Series is particularly appropriate for young people,” Professor Chang said. “Through this lecture, young people will benefit from interactions with colleagues and peers, and from the knowledge they receive. CityU is very proud to welcome such a famous scholar, whose presence will enhance the intellectual atmosphere in Hong Kong,” Professor Chang added.
Mr Jean-Pierre Thébault, Consul General of France in Hong Kong, thanked CityU for hosting and co-organizing this Distinguished Lecture Series, an important forum for academic exchange, and he thanked Professor Philippe Ciarlet, a Member of the French Academy of Sciences and Professor (Chair) of the Department of Mathematics at CityU, for initiating this series of lectures.
Following an introduction by Professor Roderick Wong, Dean of Research and Graduate Studies and Professor (Chair) of Mathematics at CityU, Professor Cohen-Tannoudji talked about the spectacular progress made in the past few decades in the manipulation of atoms by light and the new perspectives that had opened up in this field.
He said understanding light and matter and their interactions was a central question in physics, adding that at the origin of conceptual and technological revolutions in science were the relativistic, quantum and laser revolutions. He went on to elaborate on new trends in atomic physics that use atom-photon interactions to manipulate atoms.
Professor Cohen-Tannoudji has been Professor of Atomic and Molecular Physics at the Collège of France in Paris since 1973. He is a Member of the French Academy of Sciences and a Foreign Member of many academies, including the US National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences. In addition to the Nobel Prize in 1997, he has received many prestigious distinctions, including the Gold Medal of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in 1964, the Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 1991, and the Harvey Prize in Science and Technology from Technion Israël Institute of Technology in 1996.
Invited by CityU, the Nobel Laureate concluded his visit to Hong Kong, which is to be followed by a trip to the mainland, by saying that he was fascinated by CityU’s accomplishments. “I have met a lot of enthusiastic colleagues and I have been impressed to see so many first-class research projects going on at CityU,” he said.
He was grateful for the chance he was given to meet scholars in Hong Kong and later in the Mainland, and delighted to have been asked to talk about the latest trends and news from his field. “This exchange has provided plenty of stimulation and ideas for further collaboration”, he added.
Professor David Tong, Deputy President, Professor Y S Wong, Vice-President (Administration), Professor C H Chan, Dean of Science and Engineering, and other senior CityU colleagues attended the lecture.