An equitable gender balance in physics would be beneficial for the quality of research and education, which are key elements in the economic, social and cultural development of our Society. The under-representation of women in physics is very widely debated and is central for a Society caring about the well-being of its members.
“Light & Life” was the title of an international symposium held with great success on 21 and 22 July in the prestigious setting of Villa Monastero (Varenna, Lake Como, Italy). The reports presented by Italian and foreign experts – among them Robert A. Lieberman, President Elect of SPIE, the International Society for Optics & Photonics -, and which are now available on the website of the Italian Physical Society (SIF), embraced many areas of basic and applied research based on light sources (from the Sun to common light bulbs, from extreme power lasers to synchrotrons) and their effects (in analysis and investigation techniques, such as microscopy and sensor technology, as well as directly on biological processes).
The EPS Condensed Matter Division Europhysics Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Condensed Matter Physics has been presented annually since 1975 by the European Physical Society, and has become one of the most prestigious awards for condensed matter physics in Europe.
The selection committee is pleased to request nominations for the 2016 EPS Condensed Matter Division Europhysics Prize. The prize laureates will receive a cash award, as well as an invitation to attend and present their work at the 26th Condensed Matter General Conference (CMD 25) that will take place in Groningen, the Netherlands, from September 5th through September 9th, 2016.
The École Polytechnique in France has released the song ‘Step into the Light a remarkable musical tribute to the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015).
Step into the Light is an original composition urging the citizens of the world to step up and help to spread the message about the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives, for their futures, and for the development of society. The song has a chorus based on a simple melody and the composers are asking interested groups around the world to get involved. One way to participate is to record yourself singing this chorus in your own language and with your choice of traditional instruments. We will collate all contributions into a special recording for the end of the International Year and this will be your chance to have your contribution preserved for history!
The International Year of Light and Light Technologies is celebrated by a series of lectures at the University of Oslo Library. This fall, the series continue as follows, given by:
• Torunn Kjeldstad, Center of material science and nanotechnology, on solar cells, a hot topic in renewable energy, 1 September 2015.
• Mats Carlsson, Department of Theoretical Astrophysics, on the sunlight – a key to knowledge, 6 October 2015,
• Johan E. Moan, Department of Physics, on sun and health, 3 November 2015,
• Pål Brekke, Norwegian Space Center, on the Aurora – from myths to tourist attraction, 1 December 2015.
Physicists from all over the world gathered in Vienna in July 2015 for the biennial European Physical Society Conference on High Energy Physics, organized for the first time in the Austrian city of music, and chaired by Prof. Jochen Schieck from the Institute of High Energy Physics of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. About 750 physicists joined from the 22nd to the 29th of July to profit from 425 parallel talks, 194 posters, and 41 plenary talks covering the latest experimental and theoretical work in physics of particle colliders, neutrinos, heavy ions, astroparticles, and cosmology, as well as detector and machine developments. This was completed by a strong physics outreach program, and a rich social program including an exceptional concert.
We publish short portraits of successful young physicists showing that physics is not reserved only to men.
Barbara Marchetti is a young Italian scientist who after having obtained a PhD in Physics at the University of Rome Tor Vergata in 2011 and a Post Doc position in Germany, is now Primary Investigator of the linac for SINBAD, a project hosted at DESY in Hamburg. The SINBAD facility will provide long term Research and Development infrastructure for the production of ultra short bunches and novel compact acceleration techniques with high field gradient. Accelerator physics is a domain where women are still underrepresented.
In August 2015 Barbara Marchetti [BM] was interviewed by Lucia Di Ciaccio [LDC], chair of the Equal Opportunities Committee of the EPS.
The 29th International Conference on Photonic, Electronic and Atomic Collisions [XXIX ICPEAC] was held at the Palacio de Congresos “El Greco”, Toledo, Spain, on 22–28 July, 2015. ICPEAC is held biannually and is one of the most important international conferences on atomic and molecular physics. The conference gathered 670 participants from 52 countries.
During the conference, 854 contributed papers were presented in poster sessions, covering the recent progresses in photonic, electronic, and atomic collisions with matter (most of them can now be checked at online at J. Phys. Conf. Series, 635 (see http://iopscience.iop.org/1742-6596/635). In addition, five plenary lectures, including the opening one by the Nobel laureate Prof. Ahmed H. Zewail and the lectures by Prof. Maciej Lewenstein, Prof. Paul Scheier, Prof. Philip H. Bucksbaum, and Prof. Stephen J. Buckman, 62 progress reports and 26 special reports were presented.
In the school competition “Incredible Light Machine” [Die unglaubliche Licht-Maschine], kids from all over Germany were encouraged to submit videos of self-made “incredible machines”. The winner is the team “The Incredible Eight” from Luitpold-Gymnasium in Munich.
Bad Honnef / Cologne, 10 August 2015 – Sometimes it simply needs a little push to get things going. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the German Physical Society (DPG) have initiated a school competition in order to inspire teenagers for physics and technology in a hands-on fashion. In the school competition “Incredible Light Machine” (Die unglaubliche Licht-Maschine), kids from all over Germany were encouraged to submit videos of self-made “incredible machines”. The vast number of submitted movies and the creativity of the teams from 193 schools made it very difficult for the jury to name the winner. Finally, the team “The incredible Eight” from Luitpold-Gymnasium in Munich – six girls and two boys, who built a truly “incredible light machine” – came out on top.
The annual conference of the EPS Plasma Physics Division was held at CCB Lisbon from 22-26 June 2015. Hosted by the Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear, organised by Bruno Gonçalves and scientifically chaired by Robert Bingham, it attracted 650 participants from 38 countries. The conference reflected the diverse topics that plasma physics is engaged with, ranging from magnetic confinement fusion, beam plasmas and inertial fusion or basic, space and astrophysical plasmas to low temperature and dusty plasmas, industrial plasmas and plasmas in medicine. Two evening sessions were arranged; the first one, on ITER, featured Professor Bernard Bigot, Director General of ITER, as guest speaker, while the second one was devoted to EUROfusion.
“Publish or perish” is a well-known catch-phrase in academic circles. In accordance with the exponential information we live in (i.e. Big Data or Moore’s Law), scientific publication has undergone a drastic change in the last few decades. To be successful, researchers are forced to publish as many of their results in prestigious peer-reviewed journals as they can. Bibliometrics and scientometrics are being used to determine the value of scientific work.
The call for nominations for the 2016 Kavli Prizes is open from September 1 through December 1, 2015. The winners of the 2016 Kavli Prizes will be announced June 2, 2016 and the award ceremony will take place in Oslo, Norway on September 6, 2016.
Nominations for the Kavli Prizes should be submitted to The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters by way of the online nomination form.