Six Nobel laureates in Physics and Chemistry meet with scientists and students from the Universitat de València on Monday

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Six Nobel laureates will visit the Universitat de València on Monday, June 6th, to participate in various debates and conferences promoted by the Rey Jaime I Awards Foundation. They are scientists Steven Chu (Physics, 1997), Jean-Marie Pierre Lehn (Chemistry, 1987), Jean Pierre Sauvage (Chemistry, 2016), David MacMillan (Chemistry, 2021), Barry Barish (Physics, 2017) and Sheldon Lee Glashow (Physics, 1979). The meeting will be hosted by the Institute for Molecular Science, the Institute for Corpuscular Physics and the Image Processing Lab.

The Marie Curie Auditorium of the Science Park will host the meeting among the three visiting Nobel laureates in Chemistry -Lehn, Sauvage and MacMillanand an audience comprised of students and researchers related to the discipline. This activity is organised by the Institute for Molecular Science , a research centre of the Universitat de València accredited as María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence that focuses its research on the molecular aspects of nanoscience. The event, open to the public, will start at 10:30 AM.

At the same time, in the Assembly Hall of the School of Engineering (ETSE) there will be a meeting, organised by the Image Processing Lab (IPL), with the American physicist Steven Chu, Nobel laureate in Physics 1997. The scientist, laureate for his work about laser cooling and trapping of atoms, will previously visit the IPL facilities at the Science Park of the academic institution, an Interdisciplinary Research Structure (ERI) of the Universitat de València dedicated to the imaging (creation of real images or geo-biophysical parameters) from satellite data and remote sensing. The event will also be open to the public.

Finally, the visit to the Institute for Corpuscular Physics by physicists Barry Barish and Sheldon Lee Glashow, Nobel laureates in Physics 2017 and 1979, respectively, will start at 10:30 AM. This joint centre of the Universitat de València and the Spanish Research Council is dedicated to research in Nuclear, Particle and Astroparticle Physics, as well as their applications in Medical Physics and other Science and Technology fields. The visit will be followed by a meeting, as a round table, between both scientists and a group of doctorate students.

The Nobel laureates’ visit to Valencia is part of the Rey Jaime I Awards for the promotion of research, scientific development and entrepreneurship in Spain granted by the Rey Jaime I Awards Foundation, and whose jury includes numerous Nobel laureates.

During the days of the jury meeting in Valencia, every June, the Nobel laureates get involved in various activities (debates, talks and visits) organised by the research centres and other bodies of the Valencian Community. After the jury’s deliberation, the event to announce the winners will be hosted at the Valencian Government Palace.

Jean-Marie Pierre Lehn (Nobel laureate in Chemistry 1987). His work has specially contributed to the development of Supramolecular Chemistry. The research carried out by Lehn led him in 1968 to the creation of a molecule that is able to combine itself with the acetylcholine neurotransmitter, the chemical neurotransmitter of the nervous system signals. Furthermore, he developed a terminology that was accepted in the nomenclature of organic chemistry: he named the cavities that exist within the molecules "crypts". He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, alongside Pedersen and Cram, for the development and usage of molecules that interact with high selectivity.

Jean Pierre Sauvage (Nobel laureate in Chemistry 2016). He is one of the pioneers of Supramolecular Chemistry. He published, in 1983, the first efficient synthesis of the interlocked cyclic molecules called "catenanes". These molecules were the basis of the first molecular machines where the movement of catenane rings was controlled through electrochemical and photochemical means. One of these rings rotated around a pretzelane created by the other, in a way that could be controlled. He had just built the first nanometre-sized wheel in history. In 2016, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, alongside Bernard Feringa and Fraser Stoddart, for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.

David MacMillan (Nobel laureate in Chemistry 2021). MacMillan is considered a pioneer in the organocatalysis field. Alongside Benjamin List , although independently, he developed in 2000 the asymmetric organocatalysis, a third type of catalysis that was simpler, more economic and more ecologic, as it did not use any metal. Since the idea was developed, MacMillan has improved it through numerous studies. He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2021 for his work in this field.

Barry C. Barish (Nobel laureate in Physics 2017) is a professor emeritus for the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of California, Riverside. In the particle physics field, he developed the first experiment with a high-energy neutrino beam at Fermilab and was part of the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) teams at CERN, as well as leading from 2006 to 2013 the project to design the International Linear Collider (ILC). Barish received the Nobel Prize, alongside Rainer Weiss and Kip Thorne, for his decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.

Sheldon Lee Glashow (Nobel laureate in Physics 1979). Sheldon Lee Glashow is one of the great figures of world physics. He received in 1979 the Nobel Prize in Physics (alongside Steven Weinberg and Abdus Salam) for the electroweak unification, that is, for showing that two of the four fundamental forces of nature (the weak and electromagnetic forces) are actually the same thing, one unique force. He is a sceptic of the superstring theory.

Steven Chu (Nobel laureate in Physics 1997). This American scientist received, alongside Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William Daniel Phillips, the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997 for his independent and pioneer work in laser cooling and trapping of atoms. He was the United States Secretary of Energy during Obama’s administration.

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