My first year as a collegium researcher in Turku is behind and now is a good time to look back how the year has gone by. Already for my undergraduate and graduate studies I have been in Turku so coming back here felt like coming back home. Scientists, as well as everyone else have been greatly affected by the covid pandemic during the last two years. Besides a lot of worries, it has not only been a bad thing, though. The pandemic has helped, or rather forced us all to embrace the possibilities of various online tools for meetings, teaching and research.
I spent almost six years in Germany after my PhD and a lot of my research is done in collaboration with people from all over the world. As a consequence of moving during the pandemic, nothing much actually changed in my day-to-day business; still most of my meetings take place online. The surroundings changed from the vineyards at Elbe river valley to the beautiful Archipelago surrounding us here in Turku.
My first year here has been also a busy one. I have started setting up my own research group at the Department of Physics and Astronomy for the first time, and the process has been very exciting.
Now we are up and running and doing theoretical physics on the intersection of quantum optics, open quantum systems and quantum thermodynamics with applications to quantum technologies.
I am associated with the Laboratory of Quantum Optics at the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Our lab shares here a corridor and – maybe even more importantly – a coffee room with the Laboratory of Theoretical Physics, which had made it easy to integrate at the Department. It has been a great joy to be talking to other researchers at the „corridor“ (following the corona restrictions, of course), exchanging ideas, and forming new collaborations.
Scientific and university life in general does not look the same as before the pandemic.
I do miss old fashioned paper and pen discussions or having casual coffee table discussion by the blackboard not mention the color which the students bring on the campus on a daily basis.
I am hopeful that we are moving towards more normal times and for a coffee and and interesting discussion soon!