"Magnetism of light –​ the key to terra incognita of ultrafast magnets"

28Nov2018 19:00 - 21:00


Dutch Wednesday lecture by prof. Alexey V. Kimel, Radboud University, Nijmegen

The power of invisible and thus magic forces of magnets has fascinated people for more than 3000 years. Magnetism today facilitates one of the cheapest, most reliable and energy-efficient technologies in data storage. Until very recently it was believed that the only way to record information on magnetic medium, i.e. to swop the poles of a magnet, is to apply a magnetic field from another (electro)magnet. Controlling magnetism with a laser beam was believed to be impossible and seeing as a science fiction such as Star Wars. Very recently we discovered a fundamentally new mechanism of taming magnetism with the help of ultrashort (0.0000000000001 sec) flashes of light. In particular, we have shown that using an ultrashort laser pulse instead of an electromagnet we can record information on a magnetic medium 50 times faster, while dissipating 5 million times less energy per bit than in state-of the-art hard disk drive.

In my lecture, after introduction of basics of magnetism for non-specialists, I will show that ultrafast magnetism is a poorly understood area in modern science with many counterintuitive experimental observations and great challenges for theory. In short, ultrafast magnetism is a dream for tomorrow’s technology and terra incognita which we try to explore.

Alexey V. Kimel is Professor of Ultrafast Spectroscopy of Correlated Materials at Radboud University in Nijmegen. He graduated from Saint-Petersburg Electro-Technical University (LETI) in 1997 and got his PhD from the Ioffe institute in St. Petersburg in 2002. In 2002 he moved to Nijmegen to work on optical control of magnetism. He is a winner of several prestigious research grants among which Veni (2004), Vidi (2006) and Vici (2017) from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). In 2013 he was awarded a MegaGrant to develop a world-class laboratory specialized on ultrafast dynamics of ferroics at Russian Technological University (MIREA) in Moscow.  In 2017 he got Radboud Science Award which implies that the winner will translate his research into learning activities for 10-12 years old kids. He is a senior member of IEEE, member of the Scientific Advisory Board at FELBE (free-electron laser (FEL) at the Electron Linear accelerator with high Brilliance and Low Emittance (ELBE)) Helmholtz Centrum Dresden-Rossendorf, a member of the Proposal Review Panel at FERMI (Free Electron laser Radiation for Multidisciplinary Investigations) in Trieste.

  • Lecture is in Russian
  • Room for discussion
  • Free entrance
  • Register via info[nispb.ru] or facebook event


Published by  Netherlands Institute in Saint-Petersburg