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Video Lectures presented to the EURASC: Ceremony of Awards, Liège, 2012.

Prof. Franco Brezzi


The talk is dedicated to people that are not specialists in Scientific Computing, and are not much expert of applications of Mathematics either. The basic steps in Scientific Computing Modelling, Discretization, Computation, Comparison with experiments, and possibly cycling on the above) will be reviewed, in a very non-specialized way. Some hints on possible pitfalls will be given, on simple toy-problems, together with some general idea on physical stability, numerical stability, and excess of numerical stability.

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Prof. Steven Laureys


The Coma Science Group’s neuroimaging studies of brain function in normal waking, anesthesia, coma and severe brain injury have shown that human consciousness is an emergent property of collective critical neural network dynamics, involving a frontoparietal global workspace. Within this identified network, external (sensory or perceptual) awareness depends on lateral prefrontal and posterior parietal cortical connectivity while internal (self) awareness depends on midline precuneal and mesiofrontal information/integration. Of clinical and ethical importance, this knowledge permits to improve the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of patients with disorders of consciousness. Current technology also permits to show commandspecific changes in EEG or fMRI signals providing motor-independent evidence of conscious thoughts, improving the clinical care and quality of life of patients with functional “locked-in” or minimally conscious states.

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Prof. Mauro Ferrari


Nanotechnologies are of great interest in the context of the drive toward individualized medicine, and may prove to be the necessary catalyst for its large-scale implementation. In this talk I will present nanoporous-silicon-based approaches for the individualization of medical intervention: multistage vectors for the preferential localization of therapeutic agents; therapeutic monitoring nanotextured chips for the proteomic and peptidomic content profiling of biological samples; nanochannel delivery systems for intelligent time-release from implants, and bionanoscaffolds for post-traumatic osteoregeneration. While novel nanoplatforms engender direct clinical applications, at the same time they afford the formulation of novel frameworks and hypotheses for the basic understanding of pathological processes. In particular, multistage particulates are the probes that afford the exploration of a new perspective of cancer, that is, that the unifying aspect of the canonical ‘hallmarks of cancers’ all relate to dys-regulation of mass transport at scales including the molecular, cellular, microenvironmental, and systemic. These considerations are the starting point for “Transport OncoPhysics”.

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Prof. Charles Joachain


The development of lasers capable of producing high-intensity pulses has opened a new area in the study of light-matter interactions. The corresponding laser fields are strong enough to compete with the Coulomb forces in controlling the dynamics of atomic systems, and give rise to new phenomena. In the first part of this lecture, a survey will be given of the basic properties found in the study of multiphoton processes. These include the multiphoton ionization of atoms, the emission by atomic systems of high-order harmonics of the driving laser field, the generation of ultra-short laser pulses in the attosecond range and their use in attophysics, and laser-assisted electron-atom collisions. In the second part of this talk, the main non- perturbative methods which have been used to perform theoretical calculations of multiphoton processes will be reviewed.

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Prof. Jean-Pierre Sauvage


Molecules consisting of interlocking rings systems or rings threaded by organic fragments (Catenanes and Rotaxanes) have attracted much interest in molecular chemistry, first as pure synthetic challenges and, more recently, as components of functional materials. The synthesis of such compounds relies on templates (transition metals or organic assemblies). In recent years, highly sophisticated compounds have been designed and elaborated such as two- dimensional interlocking arrays. The transition metal template plays an essential role : several metal centres are combined with several organic fragments so as to afford multicomponent assemblies, the various organic components being threaded or interlocking with one another. Separately, the field of artificial molecular machines has experienced a spectacular development. These compounds are important in relation to molecular devices at the nanometric level or as mimics of biological motors. A few remarkable examples are based on multi-rotaxanes acting as "molecular muscles" or "switchable receptors". The incorporation of such dynamic systems in crystalline assemblies has recently achieved, paving the way to the elaboration of molecular machines in the solid state.

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Prof. Hans-Joachim Freund


Our understanding of catalysis, and in particular heterogeneous catalysis, is to a large extend based on the investigation of model systems. The enormous success of metal single crystal model surface chemistry, pioneered by physical chemists, is an outstanding example. Increasing the complexity of the models towards supported nanoparticles, resembling a real disperse metal catalyst, allows one to catch in the model some of the important aspects that cannot be covered by single crystals alone. One of the more important aspects is the support particle interface. We have developed strategies to prepare such model systems based on single crystalline oxide films which are used as supports for metal and oxide nanoparticles, which may be studied at the atomic level using the tools developed in surface science. However, those oxide films may also serve as reaction partners themselves, as they are models for SMSI states of metal catalyst. Using such model systems we are able to study a number of fundamental questions of potential interest, such as reactivity as a function of particle size and structure, influence of support modification, as well as of the environment, i.e. ultravacuum or ambient conditions, onto reactivity. We have investigated a particular class of thin films that are based on silicon oxides. Very well ordered films of different stoichiometries have been prepared at imaged with atomic resolution, including ordered and disordered (glassy) systems which, for the first time, allow us to get atomic insight into the crystal-glass transition. Those silica films can also be chemically modified by substituting Si by Al thus creating alumo-slicates which have properties closely resembling zeolites. This opens an avenue for surface science to contribute to our understanding of this important class of materials.

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