Passion for Light

Varenna Fisica Festival

The European Physical Society (EPS), together with the Italian Physical Society (SIF), will jointly organize in Varenna, Lake Como, Italy, in the beautiful venue of Villa Monastero on Friday, September 16th, 2011, the International Workshop PASSION FOR LIGHT.

This Workshop will provide the right framework to announce the initiative of the Quantum Electronics and Optics Division (QEOD) of the EPS for the declaration of an International Year of Light (IYOL) under the auspices of the United Nations. Most likely this will be held in 2014 or 2015.

The Division of Laser Science (DLS) of the American Physical Society (APS) has already endorsed this proposal and the APS Committee on International Scientific Affairs (CISA) has already discussed it. The IYOL proposal will be first submitted to the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP), then to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

PASSION FOR LIGHT will seal the opening of the VARENNA FISICA FESTIVAL, which will encompass for two weeks a large variety of scientific events in the region of Lecco-Merate-Varenna, Italy, for a widespread dissemination of scientific culture on physics and in particular on "light".


Welcome addresses
Lecture on "Passion for precision"
Theodor Hänsch (Ludwig Maximilians Universität, Munich, Germany)
Lecture on "From 1885 to 2011 and beyond: the story of the X-ray vision"
Francesco Sette (ESRF, Grenoble, France)
Lecture on "Manipulating atoms with light"
Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (Collège de France, Paris, France)
Lecture on "Extreme light: testing the primordial imponderable matter, the vacuum"
Gérard Mourou (Institut Lumière Extreme ENSTA, Palaiseau, France)
Lecture on "Symmetries, simplicity and fundamental laws"
Luciano Maiani (Università di Roma La Sapienza, Italy)
Lecture on "Light: wave particle duality from Newton to quantum optics"
Peter Knight (Imperial College, London, UK)
Lecture on "Nanoscopium nominare libuit: microscopy towards optical nanoscopy"
Alberto Diaspro (Università di Genova & IIT, Italy)
Lecture on "Trapping light fantastic"
Diederik Wiersma (LENS & INO-CNR, Firenze, Italy)
Lecture on "Cherenkov light: key to multi-messenger astronomy"
Werner Hofmann (MPI für Kernphysik, Heidelberg, Germany)
Lecture on "The once and future Cosmic Microwave Background"
Andrew Jaffe (Imperial College, London, UK)
Lecture on "Light and art: an indivisible relationship"
Alessandro Farini (INO-CNR, Firenze, Italy)

Honorary Committee

  • Maria Allegrini (Università di Pisa, Italy)
  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell (University of Oxford, UK)
  • Giorgio Benedek (Università di Milano Bicocca, Italy)
  • Sergio Bertolucci (CERN, Switzerland)
  • Maria L. Calvo (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain)
  • James J. Coleman (University of Illinois, USA)
  • Christopher Dainty (National University of Ireland)
  • Eustace Dereniak (University of Arizona, USA)
  • John Dudley (Université de Franche-Comté, France)
  • Pedro Miguel Echenique (UPV/EHU Donostia - San Sebastián, Spain)
  • Massimo Inguscio (Università di Firenze & LENS, Italy)
  • Maciej Kolwas (University of Warsaw, Poland)
  • Michèle Leduc (Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France)
  • Hervé Lefèvre (Laser Zentrum Hannover, Germany)
  • Luigi Lugiato (Università dell'Insubria, Italy)
  • Luciano Maiani (Università di Roma La Sapienza, Italy)
  • Sergio Martellucci (Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy)
  • Wolfgang Sandner (Technische Universität Berlin, Germany)
  • Raffaella Simili (Università di Bologna, Italy)
  • Katarina Svanberg (Lund Medical Laser Centre, Sweden)
  • Orazio Svelto (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
  • Antonino Zichichi (University of Bologna, Italy)

Organising Committee

  • Alessandro Bettini (Università di Padova, Italy)
  • Luisa Cifarelli (Università di Bologna, Italy)
  • Ezio Puppin (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
  • Giancarlo Righini (IFAC-CNR, Firenze, Italy)



(RealPlayer needed)


Opening Greetings



Società Italiana di Fisica - Via Saragozza 12 40123 Bologna P.IVA 00308310374 | credits