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Erice Schools

department of physics - boston college


Director: Prof. Baldassare Di Bartolo


The purpose of the International School of Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy is two-fold:

  1. To bring the workers in spectroscopy and related disciplines up to date on the new experimental and theoretical developments in this field of research, and
  2. To create an opportunity for the researchers in the various subfields of spectroscopy to discuss their problems in an interdisciplinary framework.

Spectroscopic investigations are concerned with phenomena observed when the radiation from a source, separated into its various wavelengths, is made to interact with the constituents of a physical system. Through the examination of particular spectra, the identification of known molecular species can be carried out; by means of spectroscopy it has been possible, for example, to identify the presence of chemical elements in distant stars.

More basic applications of the science of spectroscopy have produced a better understanding of atomic and molecular structures and of such phenomena as luminescence. Rotational, vibrational and electronic states of molecules continue to be subjects of investigation; also the important field of energy transfer between the different degrees of freedom in molecules is an object of study.

In solids, spectroscopic investigations are directed to uncover the interrelation of absorption and emission properties with the location of the constituents and the crystalline symmetry. Studies of impurity spectra have shown the usefulness of spectral data in providing information about the spectra of such collective excitations of solids as phonons and magnons. Also, on the basis of purely spectroscopic data it is possible to predict the feasibility and efficiency of solid state systems as possible laser materials.

The technique of flash photolysis has extended the usage of spectroscopy to the excited states of gases, liquids and solids with the measurement of transitions not allowed from the ground state. When used to check the evolution of a reaction, this technique has uncovered the presence of transient species, often not seen before, and existing only under particular experimental conditions.




An Advanced Study Institute

Erice, Sicily, Italy: July 20—August 3, 2017

Almost all fundamental experiments in quantum optics have relied on macroscopic light sources, detectors, beam splitters, and mirrors on optical tables, where photons are propagating through air or vacuum. In analogy to developments in integrated electronics, miniaturization and scalability in photonics will require an integrated approach to someday achieve quantum-optical chips and fully-optical quantum computing. Key features of photons that make them a more a viable alternative to electrons are absence of photon-photon interaction in linear regime as well as dissipation of heat along the transmission line, logical operation at much higher speed than in electronics, low de-coherence properties, relief of interference effects in the sub-wavelength regime, enhanced emission rate and modified electron-phonon coupling in wavelength-size confined systems. Recently, integrated photonics is greatly advancing as compared to electronics thanks to i) nano-/micro processing approaches that enable integration technologies with a high level of functionality and a broad range of applications and ii) the combination of hybrid materials (graphene, organics and polymers) in optics. Recently achieved in the context of quantum optics are the miniaturization of quantum-optical settings using integrated passive dielectric waveguides on chips, nano-plasmonics, sub-wavelength- regime waveguides, nanostructured optical metamaterial components and their coupling to light emitters.

The general aim of this Institute will be to bring together more closely researchers working in the two fields of quantum optics and nano-optics to provide a general overview of the main topics of interest in applied and fundamental research.

The Institute will, for example, cover single-photon emitters and emitters of entangled photon pairs based on epitaxially grown semiconductor quantum dots, nitrogen vacancy centers in diamond as single-photon emitters, coupled quantum bits based on trapped ions, integrated waveguide superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors, quantum nano-plasmonics, nanosensing, quantum aspects of biophotonics and quantum metamaterials. The lectures shall span the bridge from pedagogical introductions into the fundamental principles to the current state-of- the-art given by pioneers and leaders in the field. Numerical simulations will be also presented as a powerful tool to gain insight into the physical behavior of nanophotonic systems and provide a critical complement to experimental investigations and design of devices.

Based on the consideration of the importance of the fundamental principles to reach knowledge foundations and the frontiers of research, the Institute will introduce the students in a systematic and didactic fashion to the field. In the best tradition of our past Institutes, the school will bring together physicists, chemists, and engineers and will provide a comprehensive overview on experiments and theory, basic physics and applications as well as on nanofabrication and optical characterization tools.

The participants will have the opportunity to interact with each other in a stimulating atmosphere and to present their research work in the form of short seminars or posters.

Topics and Lecturers

Quantum Plasmonics
Javier Aizpurua, CSIC/DIPC, San Sebastian, Spain

Opto-Mechanics, Fabrication of Nano and Micro-Optic Systems
Steve Arnold, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Spectroscopic Probe of Rare-Earth Distribution in Transparent Nanostructured Glass-Ceramics
Rolindes Balda, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain

Nitrogen-Vacancy Centers in Nano-Diamonds as Single-Photon Sources
Oliver Benson, Humboldt Universität Berlin, Germany

Tb3+ - Eu3+ energy transfer in inorganic luminescent materials
Marco Bettinelli, University of Verona, Verona, Italy

Achievements, Progress and Issues in Laser Ions Doped-Optical Transparent Ceramics
Georges Boulon, Université Claude Bernard, Lyon, France

Terahertz Nanoscale Science and Technology
John Bowen, The University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom

Semiconductor Nanophotonics
Joshua Caldwell, US Naval Research Lab, Washington, DC, USA

Radıatıonless Processes in Nanocrystals
John Collins, Wheaton College, Norton, MA, USA

Attosecond Science in Solids and Gases
Paul Corkum, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

A New Nanoscale Bright Light
Baldassare Di Bartolo, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA

Rare Earth-doped Wide Bandgap Tin Oxyde Nanocrystals: Pumping Mechanisms and Spectro-temporal Dynamics
Joaquín Fernández, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain

Nanophotonics with and without Photons
Sergey Gaponenko, National Academy of Sciences, Minsk, Belarus

Research on New Rare Earth-doped Cubic Optical Ceramics in Tungstate and Molybdate Matrices
Małgorzata Guzik, University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland

Integrated Zero Index Nanomaterials
Eric Mazur, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

Quantum Sensing and Engineering
Lukas Novotny, ETH, Zurich, Switzerland

Waveguide Based Superconducting-Nanowire Single-Photon Detectors
Wolfram Pernice, University Münster, Germany

Casimir Forces: Fundamental Theory, Computation, and Nanodevice Applications
Fabrizio Pinto, Izmir University of Economics, Izmir, Turkey

Quantum Noise in Lasers
Markus Pollnau, Royal institute of Technology, Kista, Sweden

Simulations in Nanophotonics
Lora Ramunno, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

Fundamentals and Applications of Nanoplasmonics
Mark I. Stockman, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA

When does Light get Quantum?
Martin Wegener, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany

Quantum Aspects of Biophotonics
Jean-Pierre Wolf, Université de Gèneve, Gèneve, Switzerland

Colloidal Nanocrystals for Optoelectronics
Vanessa Wood, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Interested participants

Interested participants should send a letter to the Director of the School:

Professor Baldassare Di Bartolo
Department of Physics – Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA

Additional information about the school can be found at:

Applications can be done by e-mail or by regular mail. The applicants should provide the following information:

i) Date and place of birth, together with their present nationality,

ii) Degree and other academic qualifications,

iii) Present position, place of work, and current research activities,

iv) A letter of recommendation from their research group leader or from a senior scientist active in the field

v) A list of graduate courses attended (if the applicant is a graduate student)

The total fee, covering full board and lodging, arranged by the School, is 1,600 Euros. The sponsorship received will allow the support of some deserving students in need of financial assistance; this need must be specified and justified in the application.

The deadline for application is June 3, 2017

Please note: Participants must arrive in Erice on July 20, 2017, no later than 7 p.m.

Past Advanced Study Institutes and Workshops

The International School of Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy organized past advanced study institutes and workshops on the following subjects:

  • 2016 – Workshop on Advances in Luminescence Research
  • 2015 – Nano-Optics: Principles Enabling Basic Research and Applications
  • 2014 – Workshop on Complex Luminescence Phenomena in Inorganic  Materials
            – Workshop on Photo-ionization and Resonant X-Ray Scattering
  • 2013 – Nano-Structures for Optics and Photonics
  • 2012 – Workshop on New Developments in Inorganic Luminescent Materials
  • 2011 – Nano-Optics for Enhancing Light-Matter Interactions on a Molecular Scale
  • 2010 – Workshop on Luminescence of Inorganic Materials and Bioimaging: Metal-to-Metal Energy and Electron Transfer
  • 2009 – Bio-Photonics: Spectroscopy, Imaging, Sensing, and Manipulation
  • 2008 – Workshop on Advances in Luminescence Spectroscopy
  • 2007 – Frontier Developments in Optics and Spectroscopy
  • 2006 – Workshop on Advances in the Study of Luminescence Materials
  • 2005 – New Developments in Optics and Related Fields: Modern Techniques, Materials and Applications
  • 2004 – Workshop on Advances in Luminescence Research
  • 2003 – Frontiers of Optical Spectroscopy. The book, sponsored by NATO, has been published by Kluwer Academic Publishers
  • 2002 – Workshop on the Status and Prospects of Luminescence Research
  • 2001 – Spectroscopy of Systems with Spatially Confined Structures
  • 2000 – Workshop on Advanced Topics in Luminescence Spectroscopy
  • 1999 – Advances in Energy Transfer Processes
  • 1998 – Workshop on Advances in Solid State Luminescence Spectroscopy
  • 1997 – Ultrafast Dynamics of Quantum Systems: Physical Processes and Spectroscopic Techniques
  • 1996 – Workshop on Luminescence Spectroscopy
  • 1995 – Spectroscopy and Dynamics of Collective Excitations in Solids
  • 1993 – Nonlinear Spectroscopy of Solids: Advances and Applications
  • 1991 – Optical Properties of Excited States in Solids
  • 1989 – Advances in Nonradiative Processes
  • 1987 – Disordered Solids: Structures and Processes
  • 1985 – Spectroscopy of Solid-State Laser-Type Materials
  • 1983 – Energy Transfer Processes in Condensed Matter
  • 1981 – Collective Excitations in Solids
  • 1979 – Radiationless Processes
  • 1977 – Luminescence of Inorganic Solids
  • 1975 – The Spectroscopy of the Excited State
  • 1974 – Optical Properties of Ions in Solids.

These events have taken place in Erice, Italy at the "Centro di Cultura Scientifica Ettore Majorana." (CCSEM). For a list of other Institutes offered by the CCSEM see: