2018 Nobel Prize edition
November 28th 2018

On Wednesday November 28th, at 18h30, we organize the first "Light Night" of this academic year in collabolation with VVN (Vereniging Voor Natuurkunde). The Light Night is  an informal event for Master and PhD students in photonics, but open to anyone who is interested. The central theme of this edition will be this year's Nobel Prize in Physics, which was awarded to Gérard Mourou, Donna Strickland and Arthur Ashkin "for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics". We invited two of our own professors with experience in these topics to shed some light on the impact of  the awarded work on our lives.

You are all kindly invited to register.


Gérard Mourou


Donna Strickland


Arthur Ashkin

When: Wednesday, November 28th @ 18h30

Where: Auditorium 1, iGent

Topic: Nobel Prize in Physics 2018: optical tweezers and high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses


Find more information about their inventions here:


18h30: Welcome speech by the PSG president

18h40: Optical tweezers

prof. Filip Beunis (Liquid Crystals and Photonics Group)

Optical tweezers use light to 'grab' tiny particles/cells and allow studying live bacteria and viruses without damaging or killing them (as would be the case with f.i. SEM imaging). The technique also enabled measurements of small forces originating from interactions between cells and other biomolecules.

Filip Beunis_0.jfif

19h15: Chirped pulse amplification

prof. Bart Kuyken (Photonics Research Group)

Donna Strickland, supervised by Gérard Mourou, demonstrated a viable solution to amplify pulses with peak intensities far beyond the damage threshold of the materials used for optical amplifiers. Their invention found many applications, including cancer treatment, micromachining and laser surgery, 


20h00: Reception

We will provide drinks and snacks.