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Frederique Vanholsbeeck Inaugural Lecture

What is a real physicist?

After 25 years in physics, I still don’t know the answer. People have many misconceptions about physics and physicists, meaning that many stereotypes come to their mind when they picture a physicist. We are not all boring or white or …

I consider myself a true applied physicist which means that I use physics concepts to solve real-life problems. My specialty is optics and photonics, i.e. the science of light. I first started in the field of nonlinear optics and for my PhD worked in collaboration with Alcatel on signal amplification for telecommunication applications. When I came to the University of Auckland, I switched to biophotonics, and founded my own group to work on imaging biological systems at the micron scale with amazing colleagues from Science, Engineering, and Medicine..

During my talk, I will delve into my research journey. Amongst other things, I will focus on the physics behind monitoring bacteria viability using fluorescence and microfluidics as well as understanding osteoarthritis using optical coherence tomography. I will also touch on why physics and science are fun; especially when you work across disciplines and your first task is to understand each other’s topics. Hopefully, by the end of the lecture, we will have an answer to my question.

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