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Report on the BFF 7 on Multidimensional Optical Spectroscopy and Imaging: Temporal and spatial resolution at the Cutting Edge:

At the BFF7, which took place from March 15-17 2012, two related but highly specialized fields were brought in contact: on the one hand there were presentations on multidimensional spectroscopy – showing huge progress in the analysis of the dynamics of molecular complexes; and on the other hand visualizations of individual properties of single molecules were presented.

Yet again an extraordinary set of participants could be assembled at the conference venue in Saig at the apex of the Black Forest: the scientific organizers Shaul Mukamel (ESF at FRIAS), Karsten Buse (director of the Fraunhofer IPM at Freiburg) and Hermann Grabert & Jan G. Korvink (FRIAS directors) managed to bring together most of the key players in this important field of science from all over Europe, the United States and Japan. Amongst them were Rudolph Marcus (Caltech, Nobel laureate in Chemistry, 1992), Federico Carpasso (Harvard), Charles V. Shank (Janelia Farm) and Yeshaiahu Fainman (UCSD). What was clearly evident was Shaul Mukamel’s major role in defining this exciting field through his visionary papers, working as a theorist and keen friend of experimentalists, and admitting clear influences from Fourier transform NMR.

The conference and its many extensive discussions were not only fruitful for these pioneers of the field, but also for the participating junior scientists, who – due to the cozy size of the conference – found many opportunities to informally rub shoulders with the “bigshots”, to be inspired, discuss issues, and share ideas.