Exploring the Frontiers of Physics: National Sun Yat-Sen University's Visit to the Institute of Physics

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Professor Chien-Cheng Kuo and a group of 14 talented students from the National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan recently embarked on an unforgettable journey to the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Their mission was to delve into the world of cutting-edge research and gain invaluable real-world insights.

National Sun Yat-Sen University's Visit to the Institute of Physics

National Sun Yat-Sen University's Visit to the Institute of Physics

The Institute's exceptional research tradition and advanced infrastructure, showcased through eye-opening tours of the CzechNanoLab, HiLASE and ELI Beamline Facility, deeply impressed them. We had the chance to conduct a brief interview with Professor Chien-Cheng.

What motivated your visit to the Institute of Physics?

Our primary motivation in including a visit to the Institute in our itinerary was to provide our students with enriching exposure to cutting-edge physics research beyond what they learn in the classroom setting. Experiencing real-world applications and research processes helps them bridge the gap between theory and practice, especially for those conducted worldwide. The Czech Academy of Sciences, with its reputation for pioneering research, was a natural choice for such an experience.

During your two-day visit, exploring three departments, which presentations intrigued you the most, and what piqued your interest in them?

Out of the three departments we visited, I was most captivated by the presentations on some selected research and their implications on modern technology provided by your talented researchers. The research on antiferromagnetic spintronics and atomically resolved experiments for the molecules with light was particularly impressive, not only in terms of the beautiful tasks they have demonstrated but also the well-organized infrastructure and teamwork evident at the Institutes of Physics. The introduction of defining atomic positioning through the reconstruction of electron diffraction showcased strategic research in an emerging field, which also piqued my interest.

The research focuses at your institution are distinct from those in Taiwan. Not only do you have a strong tradition of research, but you also excel in the construction of infrastructure to facilitate research. I was also highly impressed during tours of the COMPASS Tokamak at the Institute of Plasma Physics, the extremely high-power laser at ELI Beamline Facility and the HiLASE Centre. In Taiwan, there are excellent sources of synchrotron radiation, which could be beneficial for future collaborations between scientists from both sides.

As you were accompanied by a group of 14 talented students, how did the students respond to the Czech physics research, and which aspects of the Institute of Physics presentation fascinated them the most?

Our students were equally enthralled by the Czech physics research, even though some of them were too young to fully understand all the information presented. The senior students especially enjoyed the presentation at the Institute of Physics, where they learned about exciting topics like the spintronic thin film produced using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and the faster scintillator fabricated with photonics. They were mostly particularly impressed by the large facilities at ELI Beamlines and had engaging discussions with the researchers. Many students were in awe of the advanced techniques and tools being employed in COMPASS Tokamak and ELI Beamlines. Some students even mentioned that this visit had inspired them to consider a future in physics research.

Would you be open to the possibility of organising a similar excursion with your students in the future?

After receiving extremely positive feedback from our students and having such a rewarding experience, I am definitely considering the possibility of arranging similar excursions in the future. Our department head, Prof. Feng-Chuan Chuang, agrees that this was the best overseas visit for our students since we started similar programs for several years. Partnering with your institution helps us fulfill our goal of providing our students with the highest quality educational opportunities.