The Young Scientist Contest has become a popular and successful tradition of the Belgian Physical Society. This year, the final of the contest was organised at the occasion of the Belgian Physical Society general meeting on May 13th in Liège.
This contest aims at early-stage researchers with not more than 5 years of post-doctoral experience and consists of a two-stage selection. First, the finalists of the competition are pre-selected by a jury based on talks with a duration of 15 minutes each, according to their scientific value and their technical and pedagogical quality. Second, the winner is selected among the finalists during a special, plenary competition at the general meeting.
Vincent won the award for his work on the transformation of Cherenkov radiation using metamaterials. In this work, Vincent and his colleagues Jan Danckaert, Irina Veretennicoff and Philippe Tassin generalise the analytical description of Cherenkov radiation inside complex material structures. Hereto, they apply the geometrical formalism of transformation optics in combination with nanostructured metamaterials. In their manuscript, which appeared on the cover of Physical Review Letters, they demonstrate the power of their formalism with the design of enhanced Ring Imaging Cherenkov detectors, which could be used to identify elementary particles at higher energies.