Category Archives: General News

New building in Hannover

Category : General News

The Institut of Physical Chemistry in Hannover, with whom who keep a lasting collaboration through Prof. Jens-Uwe Grabow, celebrated the dedication of their renovated building last June 11th. The ceremony was chaired by the President of the Leibniz-University of Hannover and included several invited guests. The Nobel laureate Sir Harry Kroto gave a brief presentation, since he designed a new wall drawing for the Institute, inspired in the diffraction pattern of a quasicrystal. Alberto was at the ceremony as part of a short visit to Hannover.


In the picture below Prof. Kroto addresses the ceremony.

Int’l Year of Light

Category : General News

UN & UNESCO have promoted 2015 as the International Year of Light, IYL 2015. This global initiative will highlight “the importance of light and optical technologies for people’s lives, futures, and development of society”. A committee of the Spanish Optical Society (SEDOPTICA) will organize different activities around the year from the web “Año de la luz 2015“.

Year of light BlockLogo


Digital Einstein

Category : General News

NYT informs that papers, notes and correspondence of Albert Einstein are now freely available on the “Digital Einstein” web page. The web is part of the Einstein Papers Project, which has published 13 paper volumes edited by Diana Kormos-Buchwald. The web includes a useful English translation. As a side note Einstein got a rank of 0.5 in Lev Landau’s list, a logarithmic scale of physicists productivity (Newton was ranked 0, while Bohr, Heisemberg, Schrödinger and Dirac got 1). A translated excerpt from “The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” (1905) is shown below.

digital einstein

Einstein 1905

Landing in a comet

Category : Cosmology General News

The European Space Agency put a 98 kg space probe in the surface of the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The Philae probe bounced back into space a couple of times before landing, since the escape velocity from the comet is only 1.8 km/h. Science went well till Philae batteries exhausted. The Rosetta spacecraft will continue monitoring the comet for at least one year. More results to come.

The orbital approach to the comet is shown in the video below.

Spallation Neutron Source

Category : General News

The new European neutron spallation source will go to Lund (Sweden). Bilbao compited for this facility without success. The Swedish funding for this project is equivalent to ca. 50 km of high-speed train, but unthinkable in Spain. According to ESFRI boss Prof. John Womersley “it would have been better for Spain to build scientific facilities instead of airports and auditoriums…”. A new report from the Spanish Consortium of Scientific Societies (COSCE) recently expressed that the new 2015 national budget for Science “mantains the budget cuts and does not promote R+D“.

In the movie below coffe making is observed using a neutron source.

Cosmological inflation

Category : Cosmology General News

Observations in Antarctica with the BICEP2 experiment measuring the polarization of the cosmic background radiation seem to confirm the model of cosmological inflation and the big bang. The inflationary epoch was a practically instantaneous period of the early universe (10-36 to 10-32 seg after big bang) where the space expanded much faster than the speed of light. If you haven’t read it yet buy inmediately the book by Lawrence M. Krauss “A Universe from nothing” (…with an introduction by Richard Dawkins).

Krauss_universe from nothing


J2IFAM meeting over

The VI meeting of young researchers in Atomic and Molecular Physics (J2IFAM-2014) organized in Bilbao (January 22-24) is now over. Montse gave a talk on pyridine···freon intermolecular complexes last Thursday 23rd.






GAIA Live Session

Category : General News

Students and Faculty attended a live session to show the launch of the GAIA mission. The details of the mission were explained by Abel Calle, Chairman of the Physics Section, and Cesar García, a Spanish colleague from the ESA. GAIA will produce a star map of our galaxy, reaching well inside the galaxy bulge.


J2IFAM meeting

The VI Meeting of Young Researchers in Atomic and Molecular Physics (J2IFAM) will take place in Bilbao along the dates 22-24 January 2014. The J2IFAM meeting is a good opportunity to bring together Ph.D. students and young researchers. From our group Montse Vallejo will be presenting an oral talk.


ISON comet

Category : General News

Nice example of gravitation: The ISON comet reached perihelion last November 28. The coronagraph on board satelite SOHO produced an impressive movie (below) of the comet turning around the sun, soon before it mostly desintegrated.