Many processes in daily life are based on ultrafast movements of complex molecules, e.g. right now reading this message. When the retinal molecule absorbs light in our retina, the molecular structure changes ultrafast. This change ultimately induces an electrical signal in our brain: we see the light. The basic process is now very well researched and understandable. However, the underlying rearrangement of electrons and nuclei in the molecules is still largely unknown. To broaden the understanding of the dynamics of biomolecules, film-taking seems to be a very appropriate method. The high frame rate required for the detection of electron and nuclear motion requires a very advanced ultra-fast laser technology, which is available to Reitsma at the Max Born Institute
Dr. Reitsma completed his PhD on 1 December 2014 at the University of Groningen and conducted his research at the "Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, Quantum Interactions and Structural Dynamics Unit". The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) is the most important scientific sponsor of the Netherlands. It aims to strengthen the quality and innovation of scientific research. The NWO-supported Rubicon program enables 60 postdocs to gain experience in top international research institutions each year and is considered an important career leap in their scientific career.