Obtaining a fundamental understanding of the behavior of solids under any type of excitation remains a real challenge in the field of condensed-matter physics. To illustrate some of the problems studied at the LSI we can mention the activities of the “theoretical spectroscopy
” group, which is within the framework of the “European Theoretical Specroscopy Facility
” network, develops the theories that are needed to perform ab initio calculations of experimental spectra (like those obtained e.g. by synchrotron radiation). The “laser-solid interactions
”group studies the kinetic aspects of the electronic excitations in solids that are obtained during a femto-second intense laser pulse. The research subjects encompass: The understanding of the mechanisms that are underlying the creation of defects within insulators, the resilience to flux of high-power optics devices, and excitation-induced phase transitions in materials that present strong electronic correlations. (The latter subject is studied within the framework of the FemtoArpes
project). Lower-energy excitations are related to electronic-transport phenomena. The “physics and chemistry of nano-objects
" team focuses its interests specifically on one-dimensional nano-systems (nanowires, nanotubes) and more in particular on effects in connection with the electron spin (within the “nanospintronics” centre). The “theory of materials
” group performs theoretical studies of carrier lifetime problems, which are strongly dominated by the interaction of the excited electrons with the atomic-lattice vibrations of the material.