Atomic Lego: The ultimate in small-scale engineering

Event Details

What’s possible when we can control atoms, the basic building blocks of our world? At this Catalyst Trust talk, Dr Mikkel Andersen will explain how he and colleagues at the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies are turning the periodic table of elements into a box of Lego blocks from which they can build absolutely anything.

“Using laser light to control individual atoms and their interactions lets us to build any microscopic structure or molecule that we desire, in much the same way that a child builds the creatures of his imagination using Lego blocks” says Dr Andersen. They hope that their work will facilitate new technologies that harness the powers of the quantum world.

Those attending Dr Andersen’s talk can check out a special viewing of the FREE Luminescence festival on the science and technology of light, open shortly before the talk. Run by students from the University of Otago’s Department of Physics, in collaboration with Quantum Science Otago, the Otago Museum and Catalyst Trust, the festival is also open to the public earlier in the day between 3-4pm. Find more information on Luminescence here.

Register at for Dr Andersen’s talk. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Dr Andersen works at the forefront of quantum technology. He is a senior lecturer at the University of Otago’s Department of Physics.

Mikkel Andersen