Skip to content
Main menu hidden.
Published: 2024-02-05 Updated: 2024-02-19, 13:22

Nobel Laureate aims to inspire youth to pursue science

NEWS Professor Anne L’Huillier from Lund University has dedicated nearly 40 years to research in the field of attosecond physics. In 2023, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Now, she is coming to Umeå to give a lecture, meet colleagues, and inspire the next generation.

On February 15, Anne L’Huillier will visit Umeå University, though it's not her first visit. The Nobel Laureate has several research colleagues in Umeå, such as Alexandra Foltynowicz, Ove Axner, and László Veisz, with whom she sometimes meets to exchange knowledge and experiences.

“It's very important to collaborate rather than compete, especially in a small country like Sweden,” says Anne L’Huillier.

Anne L’Huillier made the discovery for which she was awarded the Nobel Prize, alongside Pierre Agostini and Ferenc Krausz, as early as 1987. She observed that a variety of overtones of light were generated when she transmitted infrared laser light through a noble gas. This discovery has led to the use of extremely short light pulses to study rapid electron movements in matter.

During a lecture in Aula Nordica, Anne L’Huillier will tell us more about her research in attosecond physics, a field that largely remains fundamental research.

“The major societal benefits, I believe, will come later, but already now, for example, the radiation we produce is used within the semiconductor industry to examine integrated circuits that are very small. We can track electron movements in simple atoms but doing so in larger systems like big molecules or condensed matter is only at the beginning,” says Anne L’Huillier.

After the lecture, Anne L’Huillier will hold a special session for invited high school students and university students. She is eager to inspire young people, especially girls, to study and work in science. According to Anne L’Huillier, more young women are needed in research, science, and technology, and teaching has always been close to her heart.

“It's exciting to see when students suddenly understand. It gives me immediate feedback and complements my research,” she says.

What's the best part about being able to call yourself a Nobel laureate?

“Of course, I'm proud and happy, but the best part is seeing how happy it makes people around me! It feels like it brings joy to the entire community. I think that’s great, especially in these times when so much sadness is happening in the world. I was also touched by all the attention the prize received in both Sweden and France. I didn't expect that, considering it's been 30 years since I moved from France,” says Anne L’Huillier.