Dr Jackson Levi Said, a resident academic from the Institute of Space Sciences and Astronomy (ISSA) and affiliated with the Department of Physics participated in this year’s prestigious Nobel Laureate Meeting. With over 60,000 applicants, the 69th Nobel Laureate Meeting comprised of a competitive group of 580 young scientists from across the globe. These scientists go on an intense week-long retreat with 39 Nobel Prize winners that includes scientific exchanges and open discussions on pressing scientific problems
“This was a truly exceptional experience. In addition to several outstanding talks by the Nobel Laureates, a large amount of time was devoted to small group discussions between the participants and Nobel Laurates, which facilitated the exchange of ideas”, Levi Said commented.
The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings were established in 1951 by Count Lennart Bernadotte and held on the small island of Lindau (Germany) every year. This year’s meeting was focused on Physics but also included a talk by Tawakkol Karman who shared the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her work on women’s rights and democracy in Yemen.
“Everyone at the meeting had a strong sense of excitement about doing research and a genuine eagerness to discuss some of the most difficult pressing problems in Physics today. It was also interesting to meet Donna Strickland (the third woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics) who shared the 2018 for her work on lasers, Vint Cerf (Google Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist) who co-invented of TCP/IP on which the internet is built and Martin Hellman who shared the Turing Award in 2015 for his contributions to cryptography.
Dr Levi Said’s main research topic is cosmology with a focus on understanding the expanding Universe. This year’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting also comprised of several events directed at this topic due to recent novel measurements which may call into question Einstein’s theory of general relativity. This included open discussions between two of the three Nobel Laureates that discovered the accelerating Universe (Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess) and participants from the H0LiCOW collaboration who made some of these recent observations.
“The event had ample opportunity for me to discuss my research topic with top researchers in the field and to interact with young scientists from leading research groups. I was proud to represent the University of Malta, and ISSA and the Department of Physics in particular. Aspiring young scientists have numerous potential future opportunities like this available to them when they choose to advance their studies through to the M.Sc and Ph.D programmes."
ISSA and the Department of Physics regularly hold outreach events for the public, such as talks and night-sky observations, with the goal of spreading interest in science and communicating the research being done at the University. More information can be found on the ISSA and Department of Physics websites and Facebook pages.