October nanoTalks: All about Nobel Prizes

Fall has arrived and with that the announcement of this year's Nobel Prize laureates. Over the next few talks, our speakers will enlighten us about the scientific advances that were rewarded this year. In October, we will hear about the development of lithium-ion batteries and about the discovery of exoplanets as well as progresses in physical cosmology in general.

Talk 1: Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019

Presented by Simon Schneider, PhD Candidate in the Electrical Energy Storage Group at the Paul Scherrer Institute

We have all experienced it – being in the middle of an important phone call when suddenly the battery runs out of energy. Such incidents make us painfully aware that modern life enabled by wireless communication and portable electronic devices would not be possible without the power of rechargeable batteries. This talk will take us on a journey from the first functional prototype invented in the early 1970s to the commercialisation of reliable, safe, and lightweight lithium-ion batteries, culminating in this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to J. B. Goodenough, M. S. Whittingham, and A. Yoshino. After reviewing their history and working principle, we will discuss research efforts that are currently pursued to make lithium-ion batteries suitable for their mass deployment in electric vehicles and as energy storage in large-scale stationary applications.

Talk 2:  Nobel Prize in Physics 2019

Presented by Gabriele Cugno, Ph.D. Candidate at the Star and Planet Formation Group, ETH Zürich

Everyone wondered at least once if there is any kind of life beyond our Earth. From the discovery of the first exoplanet 51 Pegasi b back in 1995, our knowledge about new worlds exploded, and we now know more than 4000 exoplanets. Their diversity in size, orbits and atmospheric characteristics is breathtaking and we discovered configurations that were not thought to be possible. In this talk, I will give an overview of our understanding of planetary systems and throw a look to the future missions that will deliver unique discoveries that will bring us closer to answer the fundamental question “is there any extraterrestrial life?”.



Supported by UZH Alumni.

UZH alumni