The Faculty of Science of The Chinese University of Hong Kong has been dedicated to promoting science to the general public, especially to young people. In addition to our annual Popular Science Talks, where our faculty members give talks on cutting-edge topics of science, we are pleased to hold a special Popular Science Lecture Series on research that covers topics related to each year’s Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry and Physiology or Medicine.
This year, the Popular Science Special Lecture Series: How Nobel Prizes Are Won will be held on 8 December 2023 (Friday).
Date 8 December 2023 (Friday)
Time 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Venue LT7, Yasumoto International Academic Park, CUHK
(Seats are limited; first-come, first-served)
Registration & Deadlines
7 December 2023 (Thursday)
Enquiries 3943 187 /

Lecture Series Topics:


Talk 1 The U with an I that changed U and I
(Science behind the Physiology or Medicine 2023)

Dr. KOON Chun Alex (School of Life Sciences)
To be conducted in English

Pseudouridine (Ψ) is an isomer of the nucleoside, uridine, that makes up the majority of our messenger RNAs (mRNAs). In this lecture, we will discuss Dr. Katalin Karikó and Dr. Drew Weissman’s groundbreaking discoveries regarding the roles of Ψ in the human immune system. Their findings were pivotal to the successful development of effective mRNA vaccines against the COVID-19 pandemic, and opened up new avenues for us to combat other diseases in the future.

Talk 2 How to use intense lasers to generate the shortest ultraviolet pulses in the world
(Science behind the Nobel Prize in Physics 2023)

Dr. LAI Yu Hang (Department of Physics)
To be conducted in Cantonese

The 2023 Nobel Laureates in Physics have been awarded to three physicists for their pioneering work in developing experimental methods that generate attosecond light pulses. This groundbreaking achievement was built upon the discovery made by Anne L’Huillier and her co-workers in the late 1980s. They found that noble gas atoms, when irradiated by intense laser pulses, could emit many high-order harmonics of light. Making use of this phenomenon, research groups led by Pierre Agostini and Ferenc Krausz independently developed different methods to produce and measure ultrashort ultraviolet pulses lasting only a few hundred attoseconds (1 attosecond = 10-18 second) in the early 2000s. Attosecond pulses have provided a novel tool for investigating ultrafast processes within matter, enabling observations that were previously unattainable. In this public talk, we will provide an overview of the scientific principles and applications of attosecond pulses..

Talk 3 Quantum Dots: The Tiny Giants of the Nobel Prize
(Science behind the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2023)

Prof. TSE Ying Lung Steve (Department of Chemistry)
To be conducted in Cantonese

In this talk, we journey into the nano-world of quantum dots, the ‘tiny giants’ that have made waves in the scientific and engineering communities and recently earned recognition from the Nobel Prize committee. Despite their minuscule size, quantum dots hold immense potential, paving the way for breakthroughs in diverse fields from medicine to technology with their unique properties. We will explore the discovery and the science behind these tiny powerhouses. Additionally, we will discuss their current applications and future prospects, highlighting why these tiny particles have made such a ‘giant’ impact. This talk aims to demystify quantum dots, illuminating their significance in modern science and everyday life. Whether you are a science enthusiast or a curious learner, join us on this captivating journey into the world of these remarkable particles.

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