Atoms and computers

Prof. Michele Parrinello (ETHZ, Zurich, Switzerland; USI, Lugano, Switzerland; IIT, Genoa, Italy)
Aula Magna

The development of computer technology and of efficient algorithms has allowed the realistic simulation of condensed matter system. These calculations provide precious insight, replace difficult experiments, and predict new phenomenon. We shall illustrate the power of this approach with a number of exmples taken from different branches of science. However, in spite of remarkable progress much remains to be done to widen the scope of atomistic simulations, especially in areas like nanotechnology or biosciences. This requires new technical as well as conceptual tools in order to describe the complexity of the phenomena that contemporary science has to tackle. Avenues of progress will be presented.

Michele Parrinello is currently Professor at ETH Zurich, the Università della Svizzera italiana and IIT Genoa. He is known for his many technical innovations in the field of atomistic simulations and for a wealth of interdisciplinary applications ranging from materials science to chemistry and biology. For his work he has been awarded the 2011 Prix Benoist, the 2017 Dreyfus Prize and many other prices and honorary degrees. He is a member of numerous academies and learned societies, including the National Academy of Science, the British Royal Society and the Italian Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. He is the author of more than 600 papers and his work is highly cited.