News Details | 29-Jun-2009

Launch of Les Houches School of Physics summer session in Singapore

The Les Houches School of Physics is collaborating with Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) and National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Centre for Quantum Technology (CQT), to hold its first summer school session at NTU’s IAS from 29 June 2009 to 24 July 2009.

This is the first time that the Les Houches School of Physics, well known as one of the premier summer and winter schools around the world, will be held outside of France since its establishment in 1951.

Over the four weeks, 63 participants from countries including China, France, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea, will be taking part in a series of courses designed around two key themes - quantum information science and ultracold atoms. The courses are conducted by distinguished local and international lecturers who are recognised experts in their fields. Professor Anthony Leggett, who was the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2003, will be one of the lecturers.

The Les Houches School of Physics in France was established to encourage young researchers to foray into modern physics and frontier research areas. It has since evolved into an advanced school for young researchers and graduate students, equipping them with the necessary tools needed to understand new research areas. The school is the first-of-its-kind and defined the concept of Summer School that was later modelled in many other places such as Boulder, USA and Varenna, Italy.

Director of Ecole de Physique des Houches (Les Houches School of Physics) Professor Leticia Cugliandolo elaborated on the launch of the summer school session in Singapore: “The idea of organising a similar summer school in Singapore is to "export" this sort of structure to East Asia and gather physics students from the neighbouring countries. France has an interest in strengthening scientific and academic links with the region and this appears as an excellent occasion to achieving this goal.”

Director of NTU’s IAS Professor K K Phua added: "One of the key success factors of Les Houches in France is the stringent selection criteria and the insistence on good lectures and a high level of rigour, supplemented with good pedagogy, in these courses. IAS will continue to collaborate with strategic partners such as Les Houches School of Physics, to develop similar programmes so that NTU, NUS, and eventually Singapore and Asia, will benefit from these programmes in the long term.”

“Having the prestigious Les Houches Physics Summer School in Singapore is a significant milestone for the school, NUS and NTU. I hope that this historical session will plant the seed for the development of a Singapore School of Physics in collaboration with Les Houches School of Physics,” Professor Miniatura Christian, the French Principal Organiser, from NUS’ CQT noted.

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