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Divisions: Condensed Matter Division
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The Condensed Matter Division (CMD) of the European Physical Society, aims to serve its scientific, industrial and educational communities by helping them to obtain the latest information on progress in their specialties and related fields, to gain visibility for their research, to help them interact with their peers and to develop professionally.

The Condensed Matter Division includes several sections focused on specific areas of condensed matter physics:

  • Liquids
  • Low Temperature Physics
  • Magnetism - close collaboration with EMA
  • Semiconductors and Insulators
  • Soft Condensed Matter and Biophysics
  • Structural And Dynamical Properties Of Solids
  • Surfaces And Interfaces

A major activity of CMD and its sections is the organization of quality peer-reviewed conferences and scientific meetings, including the biennial EPS CMD conference, as well as several other major European conferences.

The next CMD conference, CMD27, will be held in

Berlin, Germany, from March 11th through 16th, 2018

as the 2018 Joint Conference of the Condensed Matter Divisions of the EPS and of the DPG.

Further information on activities at CMD27 - the 2018 Joint conference of of the condensed Matter Divisions of the EPS and the DPG can be found on the CMD pages dedicated to this event.


The 2018 Europhysics Prize is awarded to Lucio Braicovich and Giacomo Claudio Ghiringhelli

for the development and scientific exploration of high-resolution resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS).

The 2018 EPS Condensed Matter Division Europhysics Prize is awarded to Lucio Braicovich and Giacomo Ghiringhelli for the development and scientific exploration of high-resolution Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering (RIXS).  The Prize will be presented on Tuesday March 13th, 2018, at the Awards Session of the 27th General Conference of the EPS Condensed Matter Division, to be held in Berlin from 11 to 16 March 2018 together with the Spring Meeting of the Condensed Matter Division of the German Physical Society DPG.

The foundation of the “RIXS revolution” was laid in the 1990’s, when Lucio Braicovich with Claudia Dallera and Giacomo Ghiringhelli designed the Advanced X-ray Emission Spectrometer (AXES) and installed it at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ERSF) together with ESRF staff scientist Nick Brookes. The modular design of AXES allowed them to systematically enhance resolution by implementing new components and improving their alignment over time. By 2002, the attained resolution of 0.5-0.8 eV allowed unprecedented momentum- and polarization-dependent studies of crystal-field excitations in Mott-insulating manganates, nickelates, and cuprates with photons at the L- and M-absorption edges of the transition metal ions.

Braicovich and Ghiringhelli then designed and constructed the Super-AXES (SAXES) spectrometer, installed at the Swiss Light Source in collaboration with staff scientists Thorsten Schmitt and others in 2006. The ensuing improvement of the spectral resolution to ~ 0.1 eV led to the discovery of a dispersive excitation branch in the high temperature superconducting cuprates, with behaviour identical to that of spin waves previously studied by neutron scattering. The observation proved that single-magnon excitations are accessible to RIXS. In further experiments on doped La2CuO4, Braicovich and Ghiringhelli confirmed the theoretically predicted polarization dependence for spin-flip excitations of the valence electrons due to strong spin-orbit coupling, at the base of the observation of single magnons in RIXS. They then mapped out the magnetic excitation spectrum, with greatly enhanced cross-section and sensitivity to high-energy excitations compared to previous studies.

The discoveries made using RIXS have fundamentally changed the discourse on the electronic structure of the cuprates. Notably, Braicovich and Ghiringhelli and their collaborators showed that dispersive high-energy spin excitations may persist well into the cuprates’ overdoped regime. The greatly enhanced sensitivity of the SAXES spectrometer was crucial in the discovery of a charge density wave (CDW) phase in moderately doped cuprates. High-resolution RIXS was also used to detect momentum-dependent, collective orbital excitations (“orbitons”) in cuprates, titanates, and vanadates. The possibility to directly address orbital degrees of freedom is truly groundbreaking, and represents a qualitative advance over prior experiments that had probed these excitations at zero momentum transfer.

Recently, Braicovich and Ghiringhelli (again with Nick Brookes) have commissioned the ERIXS spectrometer at the ESRF, and have conducted the first experiments that take advantage of its unprecedented resolution of 0.03 eV (at the Cu L-absorption edge). These concern detailed, quantitative comparisons of magnon dispersions in different families of cuprates; the measurement of phonons and the electron-phonon interaction; and the discovery of collective modes of charge density waves.

The advantages of the RIXS technique – measurement of the entire Brillouin zone, unprecedented energy resolution, applicability to small sample volumes under extreme conditions – have led to advances and discoveries inconceivable just a few years ago, that have transformed the landscape of solid-state spectroscopy, inspired a new generation of scientists now entering the field, and will continue to very significantly impact condensed matter research in the years to come. This revolutionary development is due to the vision, the commitment, and the determination of Lucio Braicovich and Giacomo Ghiringhelli, who conceived and worked on high resolution RIXS with great determination for well over a decade, have pioneered the development of both key hardware and scientific concepts, and performed crucial experiments.

Lucio Braicovich is professor of physics at the  Politecnico di Milano.

Lucio Braicovich was assistant in Physics at the Politecnico di Milano as of 1964. He became Associate Professor in Physics in 1970, and Ordinary professor in 1980. Since then, he has pursued an intensive scientific activity in solid state physics, with particular attention to the study of electronic states in the volume as well as at the surfaces of solids. He initiated the study of surface physics at the Politecnico di Milano and in Italy. He has also pioneered the extensive use of synchrotron radiation, which he has used as a basis for the larger part of his work. During the last decade, his research has been essentially dedicated to the Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering Spectroscopy technique, using the ESRF synchrotron in Grenoble, where he permanently installed an apparatus to this effect. An instrument with improved resolution, completed at the Politecnico de Milano in 2006 has since been installed at PSI in Villigen in Switzerland. Lucio Braicovich has also participated in experiments at SSRL (Stanford), Lund, Bessy (Berlin), PULS (Frascati), Elettra (Trieste), SuperACO (Orsay) and SOLEIL (Saint Aubin). Lucio Braicovich is the author  of about 300 publications in refereed international scientific journals. He was, for 7 years, member of the Scientific Council of the ESRF synchrotron in Grenoble, of which he was the chairman from 2002 to 2005.


Giacomo Claudio Ghirnghelli is Full professor of Physics at the Politecnico di Milano.

Prof Giacomo Claudio Ghirnghelli graduated from the Politecnico di Milano in 1995, with a degree in Nuclear Engineering. He also holds a diploma of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Technologies Avancées (ENSTA) in Palaiseau. In 2001, Giacomo Claudio Ghirnghelli obtained his PhD from Université Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, France. He went on as a University Researcher at the Politecnico di Milano, where he became an Associate professor at the Physics Department in 2005. His scientific interests include Solid State Physics, the use of X-ray spectroscopies for the studies of the the electronic properties of solids, Resonant Inelastic X-Ray Scattering spectroscopy, Resonant X-Ray Absorption spectroscopy, spin-resolved photo-emission spectroscopy, X-ray circular dichroism, X-ray optics, properties of transition metal compounds, high temperature superconductors, magnetic compounds, among which magnetic manganites. Giacomo Ghiringhelli received the Kai Siegbahn Prize in the Kai Siegbahn Hall at the Ångström Laboratory in 2015, and the SPECS VUVX Conference Award in condensed matter physics in 2016.

Links : Physics World,

CMD and the European Magnetism Association join forces

CMD and the European Magnetism Association (EMA) have decided to unite forces as regards structuring and speaking out for the European community of physics activities pertaining to magnetism. While remaining legally separate one from another, it has been agreed that EMA will fulfill the duties of a Magnetism section of CMD:
• EMA delegates a member of its General Council to the board of the Condensed Matter Division
EMA contributes to providing relevant input to CMD, e.g. for organizing the biennial EPS-CMD conference, for prizes or lobbying actions; all CMD events and actions pertaining to magnetism will be organized jointly with EMA;
• the CMD board will be informed of the meetings of the EMA General Council, and be invited to send a delegate, if relevant for the matters discussed;
• EPS - CMD members will benefit from reduced rates for EMA events, such as the European School of Magnetism;
Moreover, you will find links to all EMA / magnetism-related news in the CMD Newsletter.


Upcoming Events
School: 49th IFF Spring School 2018​ - Physics of Life
26 February 2018
XXXIII International Conference on Equations of State for Matter
01 March 2018
CMD27 : 2018 Joint Conference of the Condensed Matter Divisions of the EPS and the DPG
11 March 2018
Joint DIPC, JCNS & SoftComp Workshop 2018: Functional Polymers
19 March 2018
Physics of Solar Cells: from basics to nanoscience
25 March 2018
School: "Frontier research on 2D materials"
02 April 2018
Magnetism 2018
09 April 2018
Conference / Magnetism: 11th International Symposium on Electric and Magnetic Fields, EMF 2018
10 April 2018
International Thematic School on ​ EXCITONICS for PHOTONIC APPLICATIONS
16 April 2018
HYPER 2018: DIPC International Spring School on High Performance Computing
23 April 2018
MAT-Science Week: coupling swift heavy ion irradiation and high pressure
24 April 2018
Journées de la Diffusion Neutronique - Neutron Scattering Meeting 2018
14 May 2018
Spin Cavitronics
15 May 2018
Italian school on Magnetism: Advanced magnetic materials and devices for biomedical applications
21 May 2018
12th International Conference on the Scientific and Clinical Applications of Magnetic Carriers
22 May 2018
School: PALM international School 2018 Attosecond Science: from ultrafast sources to applications
28 May 2018
Conference / Magnetism : International Symposium on Spin Waves
03 June 2018
CIMTEC 2018 - 14th International Conference on Modern Materials and Technologies
04 June 2018
SPSSM-2018 - International Symposium on Structure-Property Relationships in Solid State Materials
08 June 2018
WMM 2018 : the 8th International Conference on Magnetism and Metallurgy
12 June 2018
15th European Vacuum Conference
17 June 2018
Conference / Magnetism: Sol-SkyMag 2018
18 June 2018
E-MRS Spring meeting : Symposium K "Defect-induced effects in nanomaterials"
18 June 2018
14th European Summer School on "Scattering Methods Applied to Soft Condensed Matter"
19 June 2018
MLZ Conference : Neutrons for Culture and Arts
19 June 2018
International LEES 2018: Conference on Low-Energy Electrodynamics in Solids
24 June 2018
5th International Workshop on Neutron Delivery Systems
25 June 2018
Conference : Graphene 2018
26 June 2018
NanoTech France 2018
27 June 2018
Conference SHIM-ICACS 2018
01 July 2018
01 July 2018
School - INMRAM 2018
02 July 2018
2018 PNCMI - Polarised Neutrons for Condensed-Matter Investigations - International Conference
03 July 2018
8th International Conference on Unsolved Problems on Noise
09 July 2018
XXI International Conference on Ultrafast Phenomena
15 July 2018
11th ANM Conference : Advanced Nanomaterials
18 July 2018
23rd International Conference on High Magnetic Fields in Semiconductor Physics​ (HMF-23)
22 July 2018
2018 International Conference on Nanoscience + Technology (ICN+T)
22 July 2018
Conference / Semicond. : International Conference on Superlattices, Nanostructures and Nanodevices
23 July 2018
Joint 18th International Conference on High Pressure Semiconductor Physics & 2nd International ....
23 July 2018
Conference / Semiconductors : the 34th International Conference on the Physics of Semiconductors
29 July 2018
BICMM 2018 : Magnetic Materials - New Technologies
24 August 2018
7th EuCheMS Chemistry Congress​
26 August 2018
Conference: 56th EHPRG Meeting on High Pressure Science and Technology
01 September 2018
New Generation in Strongly Correlated Electrons Systems (NGSCES 2018)
03 September 2018
Conference / Magnetism: JEMS 2018
03 September 2018
WOLTE 2018: Workshop ON Low Temperature Electronics
10 September 2018
Photovoltaics Technical conference - “From advanced materials and technologies to multiscale integr
12 September 2018
Conference / Magnetism: Advances in Brillouin Liught Scattering
12 September 2018
3rd School / Magnetism: International Advanced School on Magnonics 2018
16 September 2018

Board Member
Jose Maria DE TERESA
Board Member
Christian Enss
Board Member
Manuel Ricardo Ibarra
Board Member
Guenter Reiter
Board Member
Massimo Rontani
Board Member
Petra Rudolf
Board Member
Erich Runge
Cornelis van der Beek

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