Workshop 2015

October 2015: Golzern, Maderaner Tal, Switzerland
Our third annual European Nano-Optics workshop takes us back to Adrian Tresch and his family in the lovely Maderaner Tal, a quiet side valley on the Gotthard route. After setting out from HB in Zürich, we are hiking to the mountain village of Golzern, where we spent two and a half days eating delicious local food, bonding, brainstorming, team building, and of course some listening to several great scientific presentations!


The following talks were presented throughout the workshop:



Erik Hebestreit

Sarah Kurmulis

" Fisher Information"

René Reimann
" Sensitivities of Interferometers and Cavities - An Intro" 

Zack Lapin
" Peierls Peculiar Physics Phenomenon" 

Lukas Novotny
" The Kalman Filter"




Day 1:
After we get off the train that had a compartment especially reserved for the Nanooptikers, Erstfeld greets us with a deep blue sky and fantastic fall weather. We are psyched for our group hike!

We come through the village of Silenen, with its picturesque church at the foot of the Chilcherberge, the starting point for our hike. Are the girls secretly saying a prayer before heading out with the guys?!?
The Girls Gang. (Nice hat, Sarah:-)
There are several options to get to Golzern...
Of course, some of us opt for a fun mode of transportation to gain the first 500m of altitude - the special livestock gondola :-)
For some reason, Karol and Barbara look a bit crammed in the back?!
The view while slowly gaining altitude is spectacular... both directions!
Before we set out, Karol needs to let his alter ego have a swing.
"Got your Tarzan fix, Karol?" Ok, ok, he gives his thumbs up.
We pass through green pastures...
...before we cross dense forests...
...that become lighter the higher we climb.
Once we reach the timberline...
...the view gets wide open.
In the distance, we make out some nano particles, nicely aligned!
Oh no, there is a degree of separation developing. Are they bunching now? Or going to be entangled?
Phew, they're trapped again in the line formation!
The nanoparticles are slowly coming into focus...
Oh, it's the NANOOPTIKERS :-)
We finally get to Golzern in the upper Maderaner Tal...
...staying on the sunny side of the weather :-)
Adrian Tresch and his team welcome our group to their Gasthaus Edelweiss.
"Everybody on the front porch for a group photo!"

After a break at the hut with delectable cake and pastries, we head to the Golzern See for a fierce ultimate frisbee contest, that brought out the competitive edge in everybody and left most of us huffing and puffing. 

We enjoy our break on the back porch.
While Leo is hanging with the big boys...
...Simara is charming everybody with her smile!
Especially Zack is smitten :-)
Team huddle for our frisbee contest.
Fully in action, the team members are tackling, blocking, even throwing their bodies on the ground to win an extra point for the team...
...while our judges enjoy the show put on by the players.

For sure, we all worked up an appetite for dinner and we're looking forward to a delicious meal back at the Gasthaus Edelweiss.

Happily waiting for dinner. Is Sarah still thinking about her nice hat that she left in the valley??
The drink of choice - "Most".

Day 2 : Today is work day! We have several talks presented in the morning, followed by a group hike to the Windgällen Hut, a camp fire, and a jump into frigid Golzern Lake for a few very brave ones. 

Aufstieg zur Windgällenhütte
Rozenn discovers some caves along the way.
"What's hidden in there?"
"Definitely some tight walls down here."
In the mean time Nikolaus, Lars and Zack explore the alpine route at the foot of the "Große Windgällen".
Zack conquering the Klettersteig along the way.
The adventurous trio with the Windgällen Massif in the background.
Rocks, rocks, rocks.
Next up the polar plunge, supervised by the Glarner Ox.
"Shall I really do this?"
Brrr, it's cold, even the photographer is shaking...
Yup, it was COLD!
In the mean time did Simara find the real Glarner Ox?
Or maybe Simone and Leo picked the right one??
Mark, Martin, and Shawn are tending to the camp fire while talking science... Leo can enjoy his favorite treat - roasted marshmallows!
All the while, Simara is working her charm with another one of our guys - Mark is smitten by a snuggly Simara.

Day 3: The workshop comes officially to an end and we gather for a group photo before some of us head back to Zurich while a small group wants to tackle a two-day hike to the Etzli hut.

Once again, it was a great outing!

Day 3 and 4 - Etzli Hut Hike:
Below you'll find a few impressions from the tour.

First, we're heading down to the bottom of the Maderaner Tal, crossing a creek...
...that carries a lot of white water.
Karol demonstrates the correct Golzerner hiking posture.
After a steep initial hike, we reach the Etzli valley.
Even though the weather turns out to be rather wet, we're still having crazy fun...
...and luckily find the only somewhat protected spot to have our lunch break!
Traditional Swiss hikers lunch, yummy.
Reluctantly we trudge on: "Really, where is the sun?"
Nikolaus coming up the last few meters to the hut while the rain is slowly turning into snow.
Wet like dogs, we are glad to arrive at the Etzli-Hütte, where we can warm up in a very special way.
We get to soak in a huge barrel with a wood-fired stove that heats the water to a very comfortable 37 degrees Celsius...
...of course with the drink of choice - Most!
Still happy the next morning, we set out to cross a mountain pass, fully aware that we will head into snow fields.
Xavi, even though used to warmer climates, is all for the next adventure.
And Rozenn - she creates her own warm climate inside her body!
Markus - not so sure about his climate control?!
After stomping through snow for 2 hours, we reach the Chrüzli-Pass at 2347 meters above sea level for a quick break...
...that includes a snowball fight and The Nano-Man.
Group shot before we head into warmer territory... the classic line formation, which seems to be working just fine for our group.
Onwards and downwards it goes.
Do we spot a blue hole in the sky? Maybe we get to see the sun after all!!
There it is, the sun makes a late appearance and paints the Felli-Tal in a beautiful light.
From Serfaus, we head back to Zurich.
Tired, but happy.