Enthusiastic Young Minds Create an Ecosystem of Learning

By OSA Student Chapter of Vilnius University

59th international conference for students of physics and natural sciences “Open Readings 2016” gathered more than 300 enthusiastic young minds in order to create an ecosystem of learning and sharing the experience. The conference took place on 15-18th of March in Vilnius, Lithuania and connected students from all over Europe working in a variety of thrilling topics: from optics and laser physics to the latest applications in biomedicine. 

Each day consisted not only of oral and poster session, but lectures and social events as well. Participants had a chance to listen to amazing plenary lectures given by well-known high-level specialists. One of them was OSA Fellow, Professor Clemens Kaminski from Cambridge University, United Kingdom, who explained the principles of super-resolution microscopy. The list of lectures continued with insights on graphene metamaterials by Javier Garcia de Abajo from ICFO Institute of Photonics in Barcelona, Spain, who is also a member of OSA, and extraordinary accomplishments on attosecond science by Professor Ursula Keller from ETH Zurich. We also had two lectures from a local scientific community: latest trends on terahertz technologies by director of the biggest scientific institution in Lithuania Professor Gintaras Valušis and one of the most amazing non-linear phenomena, light bullets, by Vilnius University Professor Audrius Dubietis. Besides that with a will to reach a wide scope there were also a lecture on silicon photonics by Professor Lorenzo Pavesi (University of Trento, Italy), a wild story on quantum computing by Professor Andris Ambainis (Latvia University, Latvia) and a revolutional theory of planets formation by Professor Sergei Nayakshin (Leicester University, United Kingdom). All of the lecturers gave a memorable experience. In case you missed the conference, you can check the lectures in our Youtube channel.

It also should be noted that “Open Readings 2016” conference has always been accompanied by social events which aims to reach not only students and researchers, but a wider audience as well. This year there were also 3 additional informal lecturers (“Cafe Scientifique”) prior the conference. They were held in a local pub and attracted a great number of people. Such outreach is essential in attracting a wider audience and people from outside of the scientific disciplines.

OSA 100th birthday was celebrated naming the first day reception as “OSA Welcome Evening”. We were honored of this opportunity and even more happy that we were able to start this evening with a special live broadcast of a lecture given by Senior Astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and a recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics for discoveries supporting the big-bang model – Professor John C. Mather!

“OSA Welcome Evening” was held at Planetarium of Vilnius University, which is the only specialized information center of astronomy and natural sciences in Lithuania and the Baltic states where with the help of unique projection equipment in the dome-shaped Hall of Stars the beauty of our sky and phenomena occurring in it are displayed. Even-though the auditorium was overcrowded the atmosphere was fantastic. We had a short break with some snacks and drinks to share our impressions and elaborate discussions and continued the event by launching the above mentioned projection of stars and planets together with a peaceful and inspiring live music of classical quartet.

The conference becomes a great tradition and everyone is welcome to start scheduling their next spring for the 60th international conference for students of physics and natural sciences “Open Readings 2017”, which will take place on 14-17th of March, 2017 in Vilnius, Lithuania! We would also like to thank OSA for providing us with a Centennial Special Events Grant and for the Traveling Lecturer Program.


Posted: 28 April 2016 by OSA Student Chapter of Vilnius University | with 0 comments

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