Meeting the Nobel Prize Winners at CityU
City University of Hong Kong presented the prestigious Nobel Science Week that featured three Nobel Laureates in Chemistry and Physics from 6 to 10 November.
They are Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, 1987 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and Senior Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) at CityU; Professor Serge Haroche, 2012 Nobel Laureate in Physics and Senior Fellow of IAS at CityU; and Professor David J. Wineland, 2012 Nobel Laureate in Physics.
Leverage on the strong ties between CityU and the renowned academicians, IAS launched the Nobel Science Week, a new initiative this year aimed at boosting academic exchanges and inspiring the CityU community to pursue knowledge and innovative research.
In the Distinguished Lecture titled “From Matter to Life: Chemistry? Chemistry!” on 7 November, Professor Lehn explored conceptual considerations behind chemistry and science in general. Synthetic chemistry has developed a very powerful set of methods for constructing more complex molecules, and over the years Professor Lehn’s work has led to the definition of a new field of chemistry called “supramolecular chemistry”, which deals with the complex entities formed by the association of two or more chemical species held together by non-covalent intermolecular forces.
Currently Professor at the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study, Professor Lehn shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1987 for his studies on the chemical basis of “molecular recognition”. His findings illustrate how a receptor molecule recognises and selectively binds a substrate, a process that plays a fundamental role in biological processes.
Honourable speakers including Professor Haroche and Professor Wineland presented the latest results of their research during the “IAS Workshop on Quantum Science” from 8 to 9 November. It covered topics such as quantum communication, quantum computation and quantum measurement. In order to benefit a wider audience, the workshop was presented in a way that was accessible to physicists not necessarily specialised in the field.
Professor Haroche from the Collège de France and Professor Wineland from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, Colorado in the US, shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2012. They were rewarded for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulating individual quantum systems.