In the realm of ultra low temperatures, ordinary matter loses its familiar properties and becomes a silver key to open the quantum world gates: cold atoms, Bose-Einstein condensates and Fermi-degenerate gases for all new applications.
Laser light as a probe to investigate the world of the living on different spatial and temporal scales: from the single-molecule up to complex cell organization in tissues, from microsecond dynamics in single molecules to months dynamics phenomena in living animals. Basic science and applications connected to find new solutions in life sciences.
Molding the flow of light with matter, and designing new materials with light. From quantum properties, to linear and non-linear interactions, from atoms to polymers, from disordered, random to periodic mesoscopic systems in all conditions, even extreme ones. Light is our tool to reveal the emerging properties of photonic materials from the molecular to the mesoscopic scale, and the driving force to enable their functionalities and reactivity. Light-based technologies are the key to investigate many fundamental issues in physics and material science, and an endless source of inspiration for new photonic applications.
Interdisciplinarity is the keyword that best describes research activity at LENS: founded by a little group of scientists prevalently involved in atomic and molecular laser spectroscopy, in its 20 years of life LENS has grown developing and differentiating the research lines in new directions. From atomic physics to photochemistry, biochemistry and biophysics, from material science to photonics, from art restoration and preservation to solid and liquid state physics, all of these fields share the same fundamental methodology: the use of laser light to investigate matter. Here a short description of the principal research lines presently active at LENS is given. The distinction of four different main research areas and eighteen research topics is done mostly to make the presentation easier. Currently cross-interactions and contaminations between research teams not only are present and frequent, but also represent one of the strengths of the laboratory.