European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy
|Motto||Scientific excellence is our guiding light|
|Established||February 9, 1991|
|Research type||Laser facility|
|Director||Francesco Saverio Pavone|
|University of Florence|
The European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy (LENS) is an interdisciplinary research center established by the Italian Ministry of Education in 1991 within the University of Florence thanks to the initiative of Prof. Salvatore Califano.
LENS mission is focused on three main goals: facilitating the scientific collaboration between European researchers in the field of linear and non-linear spectroscopy; providing the most advanced equipment available, assistance and advice to qualified researchers; conceive, plan and carry out research projects in collaboration with other universities and institutions both nationally and internationally.
LENS has a strongly international and interdisciplinary structure. The Directive Council is composed of experts in the fields of research covered by LENS and oversees all scientific, administrative and financial activities: the University of Florence, the Italian National Institute for Optics under the CNR, the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, the Kaiserslautern University of Technology and the Pierre and Marie Curie University are all represented on the board.
Current LENS director, appointed by the Rector of the University of Florence on the proposal of the Directive Council, is Francesco Saverio Pavone.
The director shall be assisted by a European Committee composed of the Rectors and Presidents of universities and affiliated research organizations or their representatives.
LENS foundation is started by a group of researchers involved in atomic and molecular laser spectroscopy, but during two decades its research activity has grown and diversified to also cover cold atoms physics (Bose–Einstein condensate and Fermi gas), physics of complex and disordered systems, photochemistry, biochemistry and biophysics, quantum biology, materials science, photonics, condensed matter physics, and the analysis, preservation and restoration of artistic heritage. All of these fields share the same fundamental methodology: the use of laser light to investigate matter.
European Laserlab consortium
As laser facility, LENS is part of Laserlab-Europe consortium since its foundation, providing access to its labs within the Transnational Access To Research Infrastructures Programme  of the European Commission. Main research interests are represented by five Joint Research Activities , two of which involve LENS: ALADIN  and OPTBIO .
LENS provides a PhD school, also supported by the University of Florence and others European universities, and a Postdoctoral fellowship programme. Both initiatives are partially supported by the EU Marie Curie Actions funded by the European Commission in various scientific disciplines and the European Erasmus Mundus programme.