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Christian Hackenberger: "A Dance with Electrons"

"Although Electrons are very small particles, they are the largest thing around us. Nearly everything we experience is based on the properties of Electrons. From Chemistry to modern Computers, from Material characteristics to the spectrum of an LED lamp, you can’t escape electrons. Electrons are charged particles, reacting to the electric field of light, which makes them, in principle, easy to measure. The hard part is that electrons can be very fast. For instance, in order to observe the dynamics of electronic changes in an atom you need a light pulse that is less than 100 attoseconds long, which is extremely short. Our research is centered around creating and utilising these extremely short light pulses. Here, I will present several of our innovative results and devices and discuss the ways in which we can communicate this fascinating, but nevertheless complicated, topic to the public."

Christian Hackenberger studied undergraduate Physics at the TU in Munich, before completing his PhD in theoretical solid state Physics at the Center for Electronic Correlations and Magnetism at the University of Augsburg. During his studies he learned to use image editing, 3D imaging, and animation tools, becoming completely amazed by the possibilities. After finishing his PhD he took the chance to use both his education in physics and his imaging expertise, joining the team of Ferenc Krausz in 2008. Today, he works together with an international team of scientists on every aspect of science visualisation, whether it is designing covers, developing and producing animations to explain the details of physics to a broader audience, or preparing graphs, illustrations, and images for publications, press releases, and talks.