DIAS Chair N. Asger Mortensen receives his second higher doctoral degree

By Rikke Ulvedahl Carlsen, Student Assistant at DIAS

In March, our Chair of Technical Science N. Asger Mortensen successfully defended his dissertation which marks the second higher doctoral degree of his career.

In 2006, Asger Mortensen became Dr. Techn. with the dissertation “Microstructured Optical Fibres – Theory and Simulations” at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Fifteen years later he is once again rewarded with a higher doctoral degree – this time as Dr. Scient. by the University of Copenhagen.

On March 11th, 2021 N. Asger Mortensen successfully defended his dissertation “Mesoscopic Electrodynamics” at the Niels Bohr Institute with Professor Luis Martín-Moreno (University of Zaragoza, Spain) and Professor George W. Hansen (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, US) as official opponents.

The dissertation is dedicated to the anniversary of Hans Christian Ørsted’s discovery of electromagnetism. 200 years after this important discovery, a new quantum-era is on brink with new paradigms in information technology. In this perspective, N. Asger Mortensen offers a mesoscopic electrodynamic framework for the exploration of interplays of nanoscale morphology with the quantum and nonlocal response of metals.

The idea to write yet another doctoral dissertation materialized during 2019, while the technical and natural science communities were busy preparing for the 200-years anniversary of Ørsted’s discovery in electromagnetism. The dissertation on modern developments in mesoscopic electrodynamics became my humble contribution to this celebration.

Enduring curiosity

100 years after Ørsted’s discovery, Niels Bohr and his contemporaries developed the field of quantum physics. This immediately stimulated a curiosity for how to connect and understand physical phenomena and observables across the border between the more familiar properties of the world of classical physics and the new intriguing world governed by quantum physics. N. Asger Mortensen’s dissertation is one example of the endurance of this curiosity.

His dissertation reports theoretical explorations of light-matter interactions at the interface between the classical electrodynamics of electromagnetic fields and the quantum physics of condensed-matter systems. Particularly he reports a mesoscopic electrodynamic formalism for plasmonic systems, employing quantum-corrected boundary conditions that correct the classical electrodynamics for quantum effects occurring at metal surfaces.

N. Asger Mortensen’s dissertation summarizes five scientific articles published between 2011 and 2017 and was written in the fall of 2019.

About N. Asger Mortensen

Professor N. Asger Mortensen is a VILLUM Investigator at the Centre for Nano Optics at SDU. Prior to this, he was a full professor (faculty since 2004) at the Technical University of Denmark, from where he also obtained the MSc (1998) and PhD (2001) degrees, and later the beforementioned Dr. Techn. (2006) degree. He has been recognized with many prestigious grants and awards, including the Minister’s Elite Researcher prize and the VILLUM Investigator Program. The latter is supporting his current research in quantum plasmonics.

Please follow the link for more information about N. Asger Mortensen.