Understanding the interaction between matter and light could lead to countless scientific and technological applications. The EU-funded MEDEA project is training researchers in photonics on how to put new discoveries to use in industry.
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The interaction between matter and light can be replicated for countless applications in technology, as well as in terms of pushing science and scientific understanding to new boundaries.
Applications using photonics the branch of technology concerned with the properties and transmission of photons, i.e. a particle representing a quantum of light are endless. They range from the use of light-based technologies in the early detection of disease and pace-makers and synthetic bones in medicine, to advanced and efficient lighting technology; faster, greener broadband internet networks; and high-volume, low-cost, precision manufacturing.
The EU-funded MEDEA project is promoting further scientific advancement and research in this high-potential field by creating a European network of researchers dedicated to exploring new research opportunities in photonics.
MEDEA will make use of intense, ultrashort light sources from mid-infra-red to extreme ultraviolet across the spectral range to push the investigation into the behaviour of molecules and clusters further than ever before. A better understanding of these phenomena could offer new understanding of the processes which occur in slower' timescales, such as using time-resolved imaging to explain bond-breaking in complex molecules.
But the MEDEA project will not only advance scientific investigation into the interaction between light and matter itself; it will also promote the field across the scientific community through articles in leading journals, events and networking activities. For the general public, MEDEA has put together a Photonic Explorer Kit, which includes interactive activities, aimed at explaining the complexities of photonics to secondary school students.