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XXXIX Max Born Symposium


  • Date: July 3 – 7, 2017, Wrocław, Poland

The goal of the symposium was to bring together an international community of experienced and young scientists working in the field of optics and provide an effective setting for their discussions on the most recent developments in this area.

Poster-2017 final

More information on the event can be found here.

Wrocław was predestined as the place for the symposium by its rich academic tradition for developments in physics and optics. In the 19th century, Kirchhoff and Bunsen founded here a laboratory dedicated to spectroscopy, which was later on taken over by Lummer and Pringsheim, who triggered the development of Quantum Physics with their measurements of blackbody radiation laws.

Max Born, who was a student at the University of Wrocław, worked temporarily in this laboratory after he obtained his PhD in Göttingen (1905) before turning to a career in theoretical physics and becoming the founding father of modern quantum mechanics (Nobel prize in 1954) and author of the famous textbook „Principles of Optics”. That was reminded in a public lecture (Prof. Walter Dittrich) delivered in the Oratorium Marianum of the university’s Main Building, entitled „The Life and Work of Prominent Physicists at Breslau University until 1933”. The lecture was open to the general public and served as a public outreach of our academic event.

Different aspects of the broad spectrum of the present status of optics and its applications were selected and presented in the lectures and talks. The highlights included an overview of the subject by the Director of SPIE, the Society for Optics & Photonics (Eugene Arthurs), the lectures on singular optics delivered by Sir Michael Berry, and the outlook on „Frontiers for Optics: the EU Flagship Project for Quantum Technologies” presented by Juergen Mlynek, the former president of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres.

It is a tradition of the symposia on „Optics & its Applications” that the programme is held at different institutes. In Wrocław, three major academic Institutions were attended by the participants:

  • the University of Wrocław (July 3 and 7 in Oratorium Marianum; July 5 in IFT)
  • Wroclaw University of Science and Technology (July 6)
  • the Institute for Low-Temperature and Structure Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences (July 4).

The event focused on young scientists and project leaders, who listened to the excellent lecturers, enjoyed the opportunity to make personal contacts with them, and presented their own research in oral and poster contributions. The best of those were recognised with awards in the shape of books sponsored by the Springer publishing house. A special invited lecture was dedicated to the professional development of young researchers. A unique feature of the symposium was that it was followed by „Falling Walls Lab Wrocław 2017”, a contest of wall-breaking ideas presented by young, bright minds in 3-minute flash talks. The jury selected a winner who was delegated to the Falling Walls Conference in Berlin on November 9, 2017.

Falling Walls Lab

OPTICS-2017 was organised by:

  • University of Wrocław, Poland
  • Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Poland
  • Russian-Armenian University, Armenia
  • OSA & SPIE Wrocław Univ. of Science and Technology student chapters, Poland
  • SPIE Russian-Armenian Univ. and National Academy of Sciences student chapter, Armenia
  • and supported by the Academia Europaea Knowledge Hub Wrocław


International Advisory and Programme Committees:

  • Gernot Alber (Technische University Darmstadt, Germany)
  • Aranya Bhattacherjee (University of Delhi & J. Nehru Uni., India)
  • Gagik Buniatyan (LT-PYRKAL, Armenia)
  • Maria L. Calvo (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain)
  • Angela Guzman (CREOL, USA)
  • Andzrej Jeźowski (Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research of PAS, Poland)
  • Eduard Kazaryan (Russian-Armenian University, Armenia)
  • Jan Masajada (Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Poland)
  • Avinash Pandey (University of Allahabad, India; Bundelkhand University, India)
  • Aram Papoyan (Institute for Physical Research of NAS, Armenia)
  • William Rhodes (FAU, USA)
  • Hayk Sarkisyan (Russian-Armenian University, Armenia; YSU, Armenia; SPBSTU, Russia)

Local Organising Committee:

  • Mateusz Szatkowski (Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Poland) – coordinator
  • Vardan Apinyan (Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research of PAS, Poland)
  • Tobias Fischer (University of Wrocław, Poland)
  • Łukasz Gołacki (Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Poland)
  • Łukasz Juchnowski (University of Wrocław, Poland)
  • Artsrun Martirosyan (Institute for Physical Research of NAS, Armenia)
  • Mane Sahakyan (Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research of PAS, Poland)


  • Optical properties of nanostructures
  • Singular optics and its applications
  • Strong field optics
  • Silicon photonics
  • Quantum optics
  • Plasma Physics

The symposium comprised:

  • Lectures
  • Students’ presentations
  • Contributed talks
  • Poster presentations
  • Lab tour
  • Social events


  • Berry Michael (University of Bristol, UK),
    • “Stable and unstable Airy-related caustics and beams”
    • “How quantum physics democratized music: a meditation on physics and technology”
  • Bukowska-Sampson Danuta (University of Western Australia, Australia)
    • Professional development lecture
  • Dittrich Walter (University of Tuebingen, Germany)
    • “Life and work of prominent physicists at Breslau University until 1933”
    • “Quantum vacuum birefringence 80 years after Heisenberg-Euler”
  • Lopez-Mariscal Carlos (Underwater Photonics, Mexico)
    • TBA
  • Pavesi Lorenzo (University of Trento, Italy)
    • “Classical and Quantum integrated silicon photonics”
    • “Silicon photonics for optical switching in data centers”
  • Röpke Gerd (University of Rostock, Germany)
    • “Optical line shapes and continuum edges in strongly correlated plasmas”
  • Reinholz Heidi (University of Rostock, Germany)
    • “Diagnostics of warm dense matter via optical properties”
  • Sampson David (University of Western Australia, Australia)
    • TBA
  • Sarkisyan Hayk (Russian-Armenian Uni., Armenia & SPBSTU, Russia)
    • “Conical and quasi conical quantum dots: possible application in QD LEDS”
    • “Optical visualization of the Pythagorean triples in quantum dashes”
  • Strunz Walter (TU Dresden, Germany)
    • “Quantum dynamics in structured environments”
  • Zaleski Tomasz (Institute for Low Temperature and Structure Research, Poland)
    • TBA

Special guests: