When the earth's natural resources are rapidly depleted, and the world's population demands a higher quality of life, does it require researchers to look for viable solutions? Isabella Concina, a new professor of experimental physics at Luleå University of Technology, asks herself this question during her installation lecture, in a constant shift between experimental results and scientific ethics. The interaction between light and matter has always been one of the most exciting subjects in science, which has enabled complex processes. Nature has taught us this through photosynthesis, through which trees and other plants can convert light energy into oxygen from carbon dioxide, so that we can breathe. As matter is reduced on the nano-scale, the interaction with light changes drastically, and this opens up new perspectives in the use of very small amounts of matter in useful applications, such as solar cells for electricity production, fission of water to produce hydrogen as pure fuel and accelerated chemical reactions for purification of polluted water.