New Materials for a New Age

15 November 2018

Byens Lys

Nicola Spaldin

Professor of Materials Theory in the Department of Materials at ETH Zürich. She previously held positions in Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara. Spaldin has been a visiting professor at several institutions: Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India (2000), Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge University, UK (2003), Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA (2007) and the Materials Theory Division at Uppsala University (2010). She has received many distinctions such as the L'Oreal/UNESCO For Women in Science Award (2017) and numerous teaching awards. Homepage


Kawn creates cool, badass electronic postpunk, with massive hit potential and abundant levels of attitude and melodies. There is no irony here, just fat Juno pads bumped up with minimal drums and hard leads. Homepage

What is civilization? Why should we care about having even better microelectronic devices than we have now? How will new materials solve the world's most urgent problems? Will new materials explain the origin of the universe? What are multiferroics and why are they interesting?

Materials scientists make materials for shelter, tools, transportation, information technologies, health, as well as recreation and the arts… all of the essentials and luxuries without which our lives would be unimaginable. Every advance in human civilization, from the Stone Age to today’s Silicon Age, has been driven by a development in materials.

The transition from Hunter-Gatherer societies to the adoption of agriculture at the Neolithic revolution coincided with developments in processing techniques for natural materials such as stone so that tools for grinding or cutting could be produced.

The discovery of the smelting process to extract metals from mineral ores ushered in a new era, the Bronze Age, associated with the establishment of cities and the beginning of crafts and trade. Many years later, the development of the semiconductor transistor whose main properties are essentially quantum mechanical, first in germanium and soon after in silicon because of its superior material properties, became certainly one of the most significant breakthroughs of the 20th Century.

So, what's next? Nicola Spaldin, material science superstar, will present a new class of materials – multiferroics – that are both a playground for exploring exciting fundamental science, and a potential enabler of transformative beyond-silicon technologies. What has all this with the universe and Cosmos? You will find out.

Afterwards, chilled cocktails while Kawn takes the stage with cool badass electronic postpunk.

Entrance to the event is free. Event held in English. No registration is necessary. Doors open at 19:00. CASH ONLY.