Students dive into the world of physics at the ISSP UL

In late October and early November, the corridors of the ISSP UL echoed with the curiosity and excitement of three groups of budding physicists from the Faculty of Physics, Mathematics, and Optometry, University of Latvia. These students embarked on an immersive journey through the realms of physics and engineering physics during a series of introductory workshops.

Welcomed by the esteemed director, Dr. phys. Andris Anspoks, the students were introduced to the heart of ISSP UL. Dr. Anspoks shared fascinating insights into the institute’s remarkable journey, highlighting key facts, numerical achievements, ongoing research endeavors, and significant projects that have shaped its legacy.

The workshops unfolded with a visit to the laboratories, each a window into the cutting-edge research conducted at ISSP UL. The Laboratory of Spectroscopy, under the guidance of Dr. phys. Anatolijs Šarakovskis showcased its optical, magnetic, and electron spectroscopy prowess. Students marveled at the extensive experience of the laboratory staff in characterizing solid-state materials, emphasizing their active role in serving both academic and industrial partners.

The Laboratory of Materials for Energy Harvesting and Storage, led by Dr. phys. Gints Kučinskis beckoned the students into the world of functional coating technologies, battery research, and innovative materials for energy applications. Dr. Kučinskis elaborated on their multifaceted projects, ranging from Li-ion batteries to hydrogen production technologies, painting a vivid picture of the laboratory’s contribution to the future of sustainable energy.

The Laboratory of Optical Materials, specializing in luminescence and optical phenomena research, captivated the students by exploring materials beyond the visible spectrum. As the students delved deeper into the world of scientific inquiry, the EXAFS Spectroscopy Laboratory unveiled the mysteries of material structure through synchrotron radiation X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Vitālijs Dmitrijevs, a young engineer, shared the laboratory’s ambitious goals of advancing X-ray absorption spectroscopy methods and expanding collaborations with European synchrotron radiation centers.

The grand finale awaited at the Thin Films Laboratory, where Dr. phys. Mārtiņš Zubkins shed light on the intricate art of thin film deposition. With precision and expertise, the laboratory offers deposition services for a spectrum of inorganic materials. Dr. Zubkins highlighted the extensive use of their techniques in EU projects, showcasing the laboratory’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of material science.

As the students concluded their visit, their minds brimmed with newfound knowledge and inspiration. The laboratories at ISSP UL had not only unveiled the secrets of the universe on a microscopic scale but had also ignited a passion for scientific exploration in the hearts of the next generation of physicists. The workshops at ISSP UL had not just opened doors; they had opened minds to the limitless possibilities that lie at the intersection of physics and innovation.