She is a Half Marathon runner and a scientist who explores processes in the quantum vacuum. Hedvika Kadlecová from ELI Beamlines Research Centre in Dolní Břežany has become one of the three winners of the prestigious L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science. The prize has been awarded in the Czech Republic for thirteen years and it is intended to support female talents in science. Hedvika entered the competition after she was encouraged to take part in the contest by her professor. Her message to future female scientists is the following: go study abroad and build your own network of international contacts. In her project she explores quantum processes in vacuum.
A Window into New Physics
"We collide two laser beams and analyze the resulting radiation using methods of quantum electrodynamics and non-linear wave theory for the needs of a real experiment," said Kadlecová describing her work in a short video. According to Kadlecová, the exploration of particle processes in a vacuum state allows us to “open a window into new physics and to achieve a deeper understanding of the vacuum as an important medium.” There are four high performance lasers in Dolní Břežany for scientists to study extreme physical phenomena such as the stimulation of events inside stars.
Another winner, together with Kadlecová, was Jana Žďárová Karasová from the Faculty of Military Health Sciences of the University of Defense in Hradec Králové who works in the field of military toxicology. The third awardee is Silvia Rimpelová who explores the potential of fluorescent conjugates of natural substances for the diagnosis and the treatment of cancer. She works at the Institute of Biochemistry and Microbiology at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague.
The complete press release may be found here (in Czech) at the website of the Czech Academy of Sciences.