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Season 3 – Episode 6 Light interaction with matter - a conversation on colors, cooling, and the invisibility cloak

Did you know that light can be manipulated at the nanoscale to control not only colors but also chemical reactions as well as what we see, or do not see?

In this interesting and last episode of the season, we talk to Prof. Magnus Jonsson, Associate Professor and head of the Organic Photonics and Nano-Optics group at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics at Linköping University in Sweden, about light-interaction with matter.

Guiding us through the realm of different light-matter interaction phenomena, Prof. Jonsson touches upon optical concepts and terminology such as scattering, reflection, diffraction, refraction, interference, plasmons, Planck radiation, optical cavities, and radiative cooling. We are also introduced to fascinating research. Prof. Jonsson describes how he and his team manipulate light at the nanoscale in various fundamental and applied projects. For example, we get to hear about the paper-like displays - a type of display that is based on reflection rather than emission, which would be both energy efficient and work well outdoors on a sunny day. In another project, they use optical properties to cool objects using space as a heat sink; a solution that could be used to reduce the need for air conditioning in warmer regions. And of course, we had to talk about the intriguing concept of an invisibility cloak and reveal the mystery of how this could work.

Thanks for listening! If you are interested in surface science and related topics, you should also check out our blog - the Surface Science blog