On behalf of the German Physical Society and also personally, I would like to welcome you to the virtual „85. Jahrestagung der DPG und DPG-Frühjahrstagung“ (85th Annual Conference of the DPG and DPG Spring Meeting) in "Erlangen" of the Atomic, Molecular, Quantum Optics and Photonics Section (SAMOP) and the working groups involved.
I am very pleased that this Spring Meeting continues to take place despite the pandemic. Maintaining scientific exchange cannot be valued highly enough. Just as important in these times are the DPG conferences once again as outstanding symbols of the importance of scientific thinking in our society: Natural science produces hypotheses that have to be verified experimentally – that is the core of basic research.
I agree with Niels Bohr, who is said to have said: “Forecasts are difficult, especially when they concern the future.“ Nevertheless, I see physics and the DPG in particular as having a special responsibility to enter into a dialogue with politics on the basis of the findings from basic research in order to meet the major challenges facing society - and thus also to enable future generations to live well on this planet. For this dialogue, the solidarity of the scientific community with the colleagues who dare to go public and steadfastly represent their results is particularly crucial.
I would like to express my great and heartfelt thanks to all those responsible for the success of this Spring Meeting. My special appreciation goes to the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg for its support as well as the programme committee – consisting of the chairpersons of the divisions and working groups involved – for the outstanding programme of this conference. I would also like to thank the staff of the DPG Head Office for their support and supervision of all meetings.
I would also like to express my sincere thanks to the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus-Stiftung for again providing generous financial support to our young members.
I wish you all an exciting conference and many new insights.
Dr. Lutz Schröter
Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft e. V.