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EPS HEP 2015: summit meeting on particle physics in Vienna

Posted By Administration, 16 hours ago

New discoveries at CERN and the hunt for unknown particles keep researchers busy at one of the world’s most important conferences on particle physics.

Since last Wednesday Vienna is marked by pentaquarks, neutrinos, Higgs bosons and the like. Over 700 international physicists are discussing the newest results in their field at one of the world’s most important conferences on particle physics. The conference is organized by the European Physical Society, the Institute for High Energy Physics and the Stefan-Meyer Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Technical University of Vienna and the University of Vienna and is centered around the eagerly expected results from the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, which have recently taken up operation again. At a press conference held on July 27, 2015, CERN’s director general Rolf Heuer already presented news on pentaquarks, which were discovered only a few days before. The preliminary assessment of the experimental investigations that have just started again at CERN is very positive: “The LHC experiments have already yielded far more data than in 2010 when the LHC first started operation at high energies. We are feeling the fantastic pioneers’ spirit of the physicists who are now examining data of a completely new kind at energies never reached before“, said Heuer to representatives of the international press.


Austria has been a member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) since 1959 and Austrian research institutions have been making important contributions to nuclear and particle physics for many years. One of the main points for Austria’s participation at CERN is the cooperation on major international experiments. The Institute of High Energy Physics of the Austrian Academy of Sciences is a founding member of the CMS experiment at CERN, which is one of the two major detectors that discovered the Higgs boson in 2012. The Stefan-Meyer Institute for Subatomic Physics of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Atominstitut of the Technical University of Vienna, the Institute of Theoretical Physics of the University of Vienna and five other Austrian research institutions are also working in the field of experimental and theoretical nuclear and particle physics.

“The technological developments for the CERN experiments are made at numerous institutes all over the world. Smaller countries such as Austria also play leading roles. So, over the past years the Institute of High Energy Physics of the Austrian Academy of Sciences has been making contributions for the development and construction of tracking detectors that have been highly acclaimed by the international community“, said Jochen Schieck, the director of the Institute of High Energy Physics of the Austrian Academy of Sciences at the press conference. Tracking detectors are important instruments for the work at CERN. Their task is to record the signals left by particles, which allows to accurately measure the tracks and vertices of particles.

The fundamental research conducted at Austrian research institutions and at CERN is not only important for science. The Austrian economy profits from the know-how on newly developed technologies as well as from the financial backflow to Austrian companies. Moreover, the Austrian institutes for nuclear and particle physics also offer excellent training programs for undergraduate and postgraduate students. The young scientists are thus involved in international research projects from the very beginning.


One highlight of the press conference was the update given by CERN on the LHC restart. The world’s fastest and most powerful particle accelerator, which has also been dubbed a “world machine”, has been operating at almost twice its previous collision energy since it was restarted. Before the technical stop this energy was about eight teraelectronvolts, now up to 13 teraelectronvolts can be reached. Translated into temperature, this energy corresponds to a billion times the temperature in the center of the sun. The advantage of using such high energies is that the more powerful the collisions between protons are the more exotic particles that are unknown so far can appear.

Even the data from Run 1 of LHC are still full of surprises, as we have recently seen again. For a long time, since the 1960ies, scientists have been speculating about something that has now been finally observed: the "pentaquark", a conglomerate of five quarks, which constitutes a further milestone for particle physics.

"The high energies achieved by the LHC since 2015 allow physicists to step on new territory", said Rolf Heuer at the press conference. "Such energies have never been reached before", added CERN's director general.

The underground ring tunnel of the LHC at CERN near Geneva is 27 kilometers long. Two beams consisting of bunches of 100 billion protons each are accelerated almost to the speed of light in opposite directions and collide head-on in the detector centers every 50 nanoseconds. The number of bunches is being gradually increased and over the next few days the time between collisions should even be reducedto half its present value. The accelerator's ambitious target is to achieve 2000 bunches per beam by the end of the year. This will further increase the chances of finding new particles of which we do not know anything until now.


The particle physics conference, which will continue until Wednesday, is also the venue where one of the most prestigious prizes in today's physics has been awarded for the first time in Vienna: This is the "High Energy and Particle Physics" prize of the European Physical Society. Its significance is underlined by the fact that many of the winners of this prize were later awarded the Nobel prize in physics. The winners of the 2015 EPS prize are the theoretical physicists James D. Bjorken (Stanford), Guido Altarelli (Rome), Yuri L. Dokshitzer (Paris and St. Petersburg), Lev Lipatov (St. Petersburg) and Giorgio Parisi (Rome).

One of the EPS prizes, the "Giuseppe and Vanna Cocconi Prize" for outstanding achievements in the field of astrophysics has this year been awarded to Francis Halzen. Halzen is the spokesman of one of the astrophysical experiments that receive the most attention at present: this is the IceCube project, which uses a gigantic telescope in Antarctica to look for cosmic neutrinos. Halzen has been awarded the "Giuseppe and Vanna Cocconi Prize" in recognition of his vision and his leading role in the discovery of high-energy extraterrestrial neutrinos. He explained at the press conference: "The detection of very high- energy extraterrestrial neutrinos opens a new observational window on the Universe. Early results show that neutrinos reach us from sources throughout the Universe and suggest an overlap with those observed in highest energy gamma rays." Halzen's research results open up a new window in astro- particle physics and our understanding of the universe.


Also over the next two days the universe will be the center of interest of researchers working on many other topics of present-day physics. Apart from the search for dark matter and the origin of the universe in the big bang, the higher collision energies achieved at LHC and the by now breath-taking precision of results from cosmological research yield more and more accurate information about the building blocks and the structure of the universe.

The fascinating secrets at the very root of our existence were also the topic of the joint strategic meeting of the European Physical Society and the European Committee on Future Accelerators, which took place during the conference. Researchers hold their breath while confronted with the question if there is a connection between the physics of the very small and the very big, between particle physics and cosmology, the science about the origin, the development and the basic structure of the universe. We may well expect that in future particle physics and cosmology will have even closer connections, and this will yield results for many further summit meetings on particle physics.

The world's largest conference on particle physics will be concluded on July 29 by the presentation of CERN's future director general Fabiola Gianotti. She will give an outlook on the future of particle physics and the next generation of accelerators.

Latest news, press releases and newsletter about the conference can be found on the EPS HEP 2015 website.

Tags:  conferences  EPS HEPP Division  EPSHEP2015 

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EPS Energy Group Position paper

Posted By Administration, 03 July 2015

The European Physical Society (EPS) publishes its Position Paper “European Energy Policy and Global Reduction of CO2 emissions: Towards an effective sustainable electricity production in Europe”.

One of the greatest global challenges of our times is climate change. Addressing it requires policies fostering the transition to low-carbon societies and economies which, at the same time, will ensure the availability of sustainable, secure and affordable energy. 

The Position Paper prepared by the Energy Group of EPS focuses on electricity production by non-fossil sources. It discusses the leading role of Europe in the broader context of the world energy problem and provides various policy recommendations.

In the context of the Energy Union Strategy and in the run-up to COP21, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Paris in December 2015, the European Physical Society hopes that this document will contribute to stimulating discussions in order to arrive at a farsighted and effective EU and world energy policy.

Click here to download the EPS Position Paper.

Tags:  climate  EPS Energy Group  European Environment policy 

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Recommendations for evaluation of experimental particle physicists

Posted By Administration, 29 June 2015

The European Committee for Future Accelerators (ECFA) and the High Energy and Particle Physics Division of the European Physical Society (EPS-HEPP) have jointly prepared a document (see below to download it) to help professional committees to assess the achievements of individual particle physicists from large experimental collaborations. The document is motivated by the need to explain to scientists from outside the community of experimental high-energy physics the way these collaborations, of few hundred to few thousand members, are organized in order to design, build and carry out the scientific program of large-scale experiments.

Originally the issue was approached in 2008 by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) in a document entitled “Assessment of Individual Achievements in Large Collaborations in Particle Physics” (IUPAP C11 Document 19-v1). The present document follows the same spirit, however it takes into account the practices de facto adopted by the various international collaborations, that do no follow “à la lettre” the recommendations of IUPAP. The document also provides recommendations to particle physicists how to prepare for evaluations.

With this letter ECFA and EPS-HEPP are asking you to disseminate the document to bodies for which it might be of interest.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Halina Abramowicz, ECFA Chair
Professor Thomas Lohse, Chair of the EPS-HEPP Board

The document is publicly available from the CERN document server.

Tags:  EPS HEPP  evaluation 

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LIGHT2015 Young Women in Photonics and Young Entrepreneur in Photonics Awards Winners Announced

Posted By Administration, 09 June 2015

The European Optical Society, together with the LIGHT2015 project, announces the LIGHT2015 Award winners.

The Young Women in Photonics Awards
to honour young female scientists who has made outstanding contributions to photonics goes to: Na Liu (Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems) in the Fundamental category and Nathalie Vermeulen (Photonics Team (B-PHOT), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)) in the Applied/Engineering category.

The winner of the Young Photonics Entrepreneur Award is Garret D. Cole (Crystalline Mirror Solutions LLC& GmbH). The awards will be presented during the World of Photonics Congress in Munich, Germany, on Wednesday 24 June 2015.

Seppo Honkanen, President of the EOS remarks: “We were delighted to receive such a large number of outstanding applications for the Young Women in Photonics Award, and the jury wishes to extend its thanks to all applicants. With such a broad range of research areas, we decided in the end to give two awards in different categories: Fundamental and Applied/ Engineering. The large number of excellent candidates suggests that measures to attract women into photonics are having a positive effect, but we believe there is still very much more to do.  As a legacy of the LIGHT2015 project, the EOS will therefore plan to continue giving these awards in the future, in connection with its bi-annual EOSAM Symposium”.

LIGHT2015 Young Women in Photonics Award: Fundamental Category

On the Fundamental category, the prize is awarded to Dr. Na Liu for “her seminal contribution to nanophotonics and nanoplasmonics. She established 3D stacking of plasmonic structures, enabling the manufacturing of complex plasmonic functional devices. Using this method, she realized the first 3D stereometamaterials, the first 3D analog of EIT in plasmonics, exhibiting well-modulated Fano resonances, the first single plasmonic antenna-enhanced gas sensor, the first near-IR plasmonic perfect absorber, the first plasmonic glucose sensor based on Fano resonances, the first plasmonic 3D ruler, the first 3D chiral plasmonic structure, the first 3D reconfigurable plasmonic system based on DNA assembly, and the first DNA-based plasmonic gas sensor. Her work has transformed plasmonics from a fundamental field in science into the applications realm.“

Na Liu (age 36) completed her doctorate at the University of Stuttgart. She worked as a postdoc at the University of California at Berkeley and later as a visiting professor at Rice University. She is a group leader at the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and also a full professor at University of Heidelberg.

LIGHT2015 Young Women in Photonics Award: Applied/Engineering category

On the Applied/Engineering category, Dr. Nathalie Vermeulen has been awarded for “introducing a disruptive model for the nonlinear process of Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering and employed it to conceptualize a novel cooling technique for Raman lasers. She also came up with a groundbreaking phase matching approach for on-chip nonlinear wavelength converters, enabling device manufacturing in photonic foundries with standard fabrication rules. Today Dr. Vermeulen impacts mid-infrared solid-state laser development, and targets nextgeneration nonlinear photonic devices based on graphene.”

Nathalie Vermeulen (age 33) is professor in the Brussels Photonics Team at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. Her research is focused on generating light with multiple wavelengths in optical chips. In 2013 she obtained a prestigious European ERC Starting Grant, and she also became coordinator of a European FET project.

LIGHT2015 Young Entrepreneur in Photonics Award

Dr. Garret D. Cole, the Young Entrepreneur in Photonics laureate, won for “the development of a game-changing low-noise optical coating process that enables the integration of single-crystal semiconductor films onto arbitrary optical substrates, and for successful entrepreneurship through subsequently founding the high-tech start-up company Crystalline Mirror Solutions GmbH. High-reflectivity mirrors fabricated with his technique yield an order of magnitude reduction in thermal coating noise compared to state-of-the-art optical coatings. His technology solves a decade old roadblock in laser-based precision measurement and instrumentation.”

Garrett Cole (age 36), Co-Founder of Crystalline Mirror Solutions (CMS), obtained his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from UC Santa Barbara in 2005. Leveraging his wide-ranging expertise in micromechanically-tunable surface-emitting lasers, cavity optomechanical systems, and advanced microfabrication techniques, Dr. Cole co-founded CMS along with Prof. Markus Aspelmeyer in February 2012.

The LIGHT2015 awards consist of a diploma and an honorarium of €2500.

In addition, special recognition to young women in Photonics will also go to Francesca Calegari (National Research Council of Italy – Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies (CNR – IFN) and Camille-Sophie Bres (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)) for their contributions to Photonics.

The Award ceremony will be held in Munich during the World of Photonic Congress on Wednesday 24 June at 16:00-16:20. The winners will be announced on Tuesday 23 June within the CLEO EUROPE- EQEC 2015 Plenary Session and Awards Ceremonies.

About EOS 

The purpose of the European Optical Society (EOS) is to contribute to progress in optics and related sciences, and to promote their applications at the European and international levels, by bringing together individuals and legal entities involved in these disciplines and their applications.

The EOS serves as the joint forum for all individuals, companies, organizations, educational institutions, and learned and professional societies, who recognise the opportunity and challenge that a common European base provides for the development of optics in its broadest sense.

About LIGHT2015

LIGHT2015 is a European project funded through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme of the European Commission. It aims to promote the importance of photonics to young people, entrepreneurs and the general public in all Member States of the EU during the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015).

LIGHT2015 activities will include LIGHTtalks, a series of inspirational events, which will take place throughout the European Union in different cities at different times for the whole duration of the project in order to bring photonics closer to students and entrepreneurs. A specific series of events targeted to local industry and entrepreneurs, will take place during the period 25-28 September 2015 to take advantage of the international “100 Hours / Weekend of Light” of the global IYL 2015 programme.

Another highlight of LIGHT2015 will be a community experiment on smartphone photonics where thousands of participants from throughout the EU will carry out optical measurements of the sky to yield information related to air pollution. To aid teachers and to inspire student, Photonics kits will be distributed to schools around Europe to support the scientific education at secondary schools.

LIGHT2015 Partners include the European Physical Society (EPS), the European Optical Society (EU), the Institute of Photonics Sciences (ICFO), Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI) the National University of Ireland Galway (NUI), Universiteit Leiden and EYESTvzw

Tags:  award  IYL 2015  light2015 

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Professor Roger Maynard passed away

Posted By Administration, 05 June 2015

Professor Roger Maynard, president of the French Phyiscal Society from 2005 to 2006, passed away on May, 30th 2015.
The physics laboratory (LPMMC, CNRS) he contributed to create in 1991 at the Université Joseph Fourier in Grenoble wrote a tribute to his work and involvment in science. It can be read at

Professor Maynard published many articles. In 2007, he wrote a paper on ethics and nanotechnology in Europhysics News.

Tags:  SFP 

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EPS Plasma Physics Division prizes awarded

Posted By admin, 30 April 2015

The 2015 Hannes Alfvén Prize will be awarded at EPS2015 to

Nathaniel J. Fisch (PPL, USA) “for his contributions to the understanding of plasma wave‐particle interactions and their applications to efficiently driving currents with radio‐frequency waves”.

The 2015 PhD Research Awards to

Bruno Albertazzi (LULI, FR) for his PhD thesis on “Plasmas Lasers et Champs Magnétiques”,
Joaquim Loizu
(EPFL, CH) for his PhD thesis on “The role of the sheath in magnetized plasma turbulence and flows” and
Michael Rack
(Düsseldorf Univ., DE) for his PhD thesis on “Influence of resonant magnetic perturbations on transient heat load deposition and fast ion losses”.

More info can be found on the website of the EPS Plasma Physics Division.

Tags:  EPS PPD  Plasma Physics  prize 

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Photo exhibition at IONS Karlsruhe 2015

Posted By Administration, 30 April 2015

IONS Karlsruhe 2015 is a 3-day conference targeted at PhD and Master students working in the field of optics and photonics. Participation is free of charge, details can be found on the registration page.

Besides the scientific and social program OSKar arranges a photo exhibition devoted to the International Year of Light 2015.  Hobby photographers and professionals are invited to submit their photographs in order to show the presence of light in all the areas of our life: arts, science and society.

Tags:  conferences  EPS Young Minds  International Year of Light  IYL 2015 

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Caterina Biscari received The FemTalent 2015 Award

Posted By Administration, 23 April 2015
In recognition for her professional career, Caterina Biscari, former member of the EPS Executive Committee, has been bestowed today with the FemTalent 2015 award. FemTalent aims at promoting gender equality and feminine talent.

Read the full article on the ALBA-CELLS website.

Tags:  award  member 

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Professor José Mariano Gago passed away

Posted By Administration, 20 April 2015
The European Physical Society would like to express its sadness at the sudden death of Professor José Mariano Gago.  He passed away suddenly in his home on Friday 17 April 2015.

Professor Gago was a great defender of science, in his home country Portugal, and in Europe. As Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education in Portugal between 1995 and 2002, and between 2005 and 2011, he led wide ranging reforms to improve the research and education in Portugal.

More information on Professor Gago and his achievements is available here:

Tags:  European Commission 

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The 2015 EPS HEPP Prizes are announced

Posted By Administration, 14 April 2015

The EPS High Energy Physics Division announces the winners of its 2015 prizes, which will be awarded at the Europhysics Conference on High-Energy Physics (EPS-HEP 2015), Vienna (Austria) 22−29 July 2015 (

The 2015
High Energy and Particle Physics Prize, for an outstanding contribution to High Energy Physics, is awarded to
James D. Bjorken “for his prediction of scaling behaviour in the structure of the proton that led to a new understanding of the strong interaction”, and to

Guido Altarelli, Yuri L. Dokshitzer, Lev Lipatov, and Giorgio Parisi “for developing a probabilistic field theory framework for the dynamics of quarks and gluons, enabling a quantitative understanding of high-energy collisions involving hadrons”.

The 2015
Giuseppe and Vanna Cocconi Prize, for an outstanding contribution to Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology in the past 15 years, is awarded to Francis Halzen “for his visionary and leading role in the detection of very high-energy extraterrestrial neutrinos, opening a new observational window on the Universe“.

The 2015 Gribov Medal, for outstanding work by a young physicist in Theoretical Particle Physics and/or Field Theory, is awarded to
Pedro G. Vieira “for his groundbreaking contributions to the determination of the exact spectrum of anomalous dimensions of N=4 supersymmetric Yang- Mills theory and scattering amplitudes, for any interaction strength“.

The 2015 Young Experimental Physicist Prize, for outstanding work by one or more young physicists in the field of Particle Physics and/or Particle Astrophysics, is awarded to
Jan Fiete Grosse-Oetringhaus
“for his outstanding contributions to the investigation of particle collisions at the LHC through the analysis of jet quenching and multiparticle correlations in the ALICE experiment“,

and to
Giovanni Petrucciani “for his outstanding contributions to the optimisation of the tracking in the CMS detector, the Higgs boson discovery and the measurements of its properties“.

The 2015
Outreach Prize, for outstanding outreach achievement connected with High Energy Physics and/or Particle Astrophysics, is awarded to
Kate Shaw “for her contributions to the International Masterclasses and for her pioneering role in bringing them to countries with no strong tradition in particle physics“.

More information on the EPS HEPPD website.

Tags:  EPS HEPP  eps hepp prizes  outreach 

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