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Physico-chemical experiments on the core of a comet


In the first part of his talk he explained the preceding laboratory experiments on the formation and chemical composition of cosmic dust grains and their ice mantles. Using mass-spectrometry he found different organic molecules like amino acids formed in the laboratory comet by a photochemical reaction with UV-radiation as it is also likely to happen in space. Those molecules are interesting because of their occurrence in all Proteins and genetic information carriers such as DNA and RNA and proof of their existence on real comets might give a new view on the origin of live in our solar system.

The second part of the talk was a summary of the Rosetta mission and some of its difficulties. The Professor showed pictures of the comet taken by the orbiter and described the landing process of Philae, which was quite exciting. Finally he explained the onboard measurement configuration and the results of his experiments on the comet.

Before the talk we had a barbecue. In doing so we aimed to create an active exchange between the students of physics and of chemistry. After the talk we also gave interested guests the opportunity to get in contact with the referee.
All in all we were really glad about having Prof. Meierhenrich here at Jena and about having the possibility to hear about such an impressive project at first hand.

For more pictures you can wisit our webside:


Students 4 Students 2016

20160406_171837One of the main goals of EPS Young Minds project is to connect young scientists among different physics fields, and therefore Prague section decided to organize students’ colloquiums named Physics Pizza Party: Students 4 students, where young scientists from our university presented their research activities. These events prove to be very successful in winter semester of academic year 2015/2016.

Totally, we organized four colloquiums this semester, with various themes: first colloquium was about more theoretical concept as a quantum entanglement, second about holograms, third colloquium give information about nuclear waste and storage methods of waste and the last colloquium presented modern methods of cancer treatment – cyberknife. All contributions were presented by Ph.D. and master students.

For most of invited speakers, it was their first experience to present their research activities in front of the the audience, which was not familiar with the topic. Despite of this fact, each talk was perfectly prepared, and therefore there was no problem to understand given topic. Each event was scheduled for about 60 minutes, but with discussion during and after presentation, average time of colloquiums was about 90 minutes and even more. According to the speakers it was very rewarding experience for them.

These events were advertised in form of posters, which were placed in school buildings. For the purpose of inviting as many participants as possible, we also advertised it on our social sites, namely Facebook and Twitter. Thanks to this advertisement, our students’ colloquiums were most visited. Average number of participants was around 20 students per one colloquium.

The Prague EPS Young Minds Section found these colloquiums rewarding, since this style of presentation “students for students” is still very rare in our country and we were one of the first, who organized this style of colloquiums. According to the feedback from our participants, we concluded, that our colloquiums were successful, since they were very positively rated by participants. Thanks to these positive feedback and high number of participants, we would like to continue with this activity.

7th Czechoslovak Science Students Conference and FNSPE Students

20160323_182313Prague EPS Young Minds section organized two large student meetings during the last few months. Both of them took place at Czech Technical University in Prague, first of them in April and the other one in May.
The first one was Start of the Semester Party. Well-organized advertisement of this event across Prague universities resulted in attendance of approximately 60 students. At the beginning, invited speaker gave the interesting talk about the gravitational waves, one of the newest and very important science discoveries. After a long and passionate discussion, all of the students attending the presentation were invited for the evening buffet, that lasted till the late-night hours. This event was generally rated as a good idea to connect students via interesting multidiscipline and actual presentation, and it is demanded to be organized in future.
Czechoslovak Science Students Conference is meeting of university students, when they have great opportunity to present their physical research and meet their colleagues. This conference is organized each year alternately in Slovakia and Czech Republic. This year, 60 students from these countries met at Czech Technical University in Prague. During the first day, students could attend several excursions in laboratories in Prague. At the evening, they were invited to a ceremonial dinner. After this dinner, we presented Young Minds project and our activities, then students could watch movie “Particle fever”, owned by our section. The second day of conference was dedicated for presentations in 6 sections, each supervised by its jury. At the end of the conference, students with the best presentations were granted a prize. Prague EPS Young Minds section collaborated with Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical engineering on organization of this conference. Particularly, we organized all of the activities during the first day of this international meeting. The second day, we arranged coffee breaks and helped with technical issues of the conference. Our contribution on organization of this event was highly appreciated.


2015_Prague_P_03Prague section of EPS Young Minds project is the first one in the Czech Republic. It is not connected with any other group or local project. That is why it is needed, that as many people as possible recognize it and are informed about our goals and activities.

In these days, there many possibilities to promote activities and we try to exploit all of them. We would like to make good image to the name of “Young Minds”, so that every student is familiar with our main goals and style of our activities. That is why we decided to also prepare big posters, badges and business cards that were distributed to all people visiting our events, or to those, that could be future participants in our events.

Badges are very popular promotional object in these days. You can just pin them to your bag or jacket, and then everybody who see it knows, that you are interested in promoted activity. Layout of our Young Minds badge is simple – we just redesigned Young Minds logo. By having it on these badges, YM logo is being more and more known. Some people are asking about this logo, and consequently about the Young Minds project itself. We produced 50 badges, every YM member is obliged to have it on and we also distributed it in our events.

Lot of young students are not used to write down email addresses or another contact, they just hope to remember it. That is one of reasons why we designed business cards with information about our section. These are also more useful for face-to-face discussions about our activities. First bunch containing 40 low quality business card was distributed in one week that is why we decided to redesign them to be as attractive as possible and to print them in better quality. Fifty of them was produced, and we are distributing them every time it is needed.

These two mentioned manners are kind of active advertising, but we also produced the passive one. It is a big poster that is situated in hall of our faculty. It contains basic information about the goals not only of the Young Minds project, but also the EPS and the Czech Union of Mathematicians and Physicists. Our plan is to produce another type with short opinions of our members about becoming an active member of YM.
These object helped us with spreading idea of Young Minds.

Reunión Nacional de Óptica Joven, RNOJ (Young Optics Spanish Meeting)

2015_Santiago_NetworkingOne of the most important national meetings is the RNO (Reunión Nacional de Óptical) that was held in Salamanca. Due to our work as PhD Students, this meeting is a great opportunity to meet other YM Section and to perform some activities and improve our social network.

In this case the Student Chapter from Salamanca proposed an outdoor activity during the afternoon. In this case the proposal was to make some experiments in one of the major squares in Salamanca. In our case, the proposal was to bring some of our material from Santiago and make one of the experiments we usually make. In this case we propose the performance of some activites we make in a local festival in Santiago (“Festa da Primavera”). We brought material like our Tindall Experiment or our portable black camera.

Moreover the outreach performed by the different student groups, the RNOJ was a good possibility to exchange our feelings about optics, our YM activities and the improvement of our social connections.

This activity is important to make strong connections and to make new collaborations between the groups. As an example we talked with the YM Section from Valladolid and with the OSA Student Chapter from Salamanca about to make some activities in the St. James Way. In this case we need to make efforts if we want to make possible this kind of huge purposes, however we think that it is a significant example about how important are this kind of meetings between the young researchers and their Students groups.

Optical Workshop

Optical workshopEach year University Jaume I (UJI) of Castellón celebrates the days of dissemination called “Connecta amb la Ciència” (means “Connect with the Science”). These days have the objective of publicize the courses and degrees offered by the scientific area of the UJI. People (teachers, postdocs, students…) working in several areas from the university go to many places around the region of Castellón and offer workshops about chemistry, videogames, optics and photonics, renewable energies, etc. and many high school students attend these workshops.
Taking advantage of the conference “Connecta amb la Ciència” the GOC members have travelled through different towns of the province to bring science to high school students.
We have prepared several micro workshops to show different physical properties and concepts related to optics (atmospheric scattering, refraction, diffraction on a CD, light absorption, polarization…) and also explain how works the human eye. In this way, students from all region have the opportunity to learn science by having fun.
We showed these workshops in 2014 and teachers from different high schools requested our workshops also for this year 2015 because the students enjoyed them. This year we have only visited the Puerto de Sagunto town (last 2nd March) and a high school near to the university (last 22nd April). However we have already planned visiting Morella (23rd October), Vinaroz (26th October), Sagunto (9th November), and Vila-Real (16th November). We have some new material for improve our explanations, so we hope students learn more and enjoy very much!


Ab initio simulations in investigating the origin of life

Messina_seminarioComputer simulations are nowadays an irreplaceable tool in predicting and exploring phenomena which occur at regimes difficult to achieve in ordinary laboratories. Moreover, they are capable to identify with an atomic resolution molecular re-arrangements or important chemical reactions elucidating inter alia the underlying delicate mechanisms. Only recently, it has been possible to simulate in a microscopic detailed fashion chemical reactions which may be occurred in some specific environments in the prebiotic era; these reactions, previously not known, represent another important route by which the bricks of life (i.e., the amino-acids) could formed on Earth.
Prof. Marco Saitta is one of the most important scientist in this interdisciplinary field since he is even developing with his group at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) – Sorbonne Université in Paris (France) new numerical tools which will be of extreme help in order to reproduce the energy landscape of any chemical reaction in a smart and simple manner.
In order to amplify the audience of this topic which can be tackled from many scientific points of view an in order to give the possibility to our University to host an high-profile scientist, we organized this Seminar. Although our primary targets were graduate and undergraduate students, a great participation of established scientists was appreciated. Prof. Saitta, by using on average an informal approach, has treated with meticulous clarity and depth this fascinating topic, stimulating important and delicate discussions at the end of the talk which involved many scientists present at the event. At the beginning and at the end of his presentation, Prof. Saitta did not lose the opportunity to acknowledge our YM Section and the general YM philosophy. Indeed, almost surprisingly, he has also shown a YouTube video made by another YM Section in which our colleagues “play” with different physical fields in which Prof. Saitta himself is deeply involved. Finally, Prof. Saitta, being a co-organizer of two important Schools on related arguments (i.e., computer simulations), has invited students and researchers to participate obtaining an enthusiastic response.
Just after the ending scientific discussions moderated by an our member as chairman, a refreshment was offered by our section to the participants. During this latter, informal scientific interactions were catalyzed by a convivial environment and the students had also the opportunity to interact directly with Prof. Saitta and discover different approaches to the study of physics present at the UPMC in Paris, one of the most recognized scientific institutions in Europe.

The seminar was hosted on the 2nd of October 2015 by the Messina YM Section.

DOFFI Conference 2015

2015_Buda_DOFFI03The Budapest YM Section took part in organizing a Conference to Hungarian PHD students.
The DOFFI Conference gave Physics PhD students from Hungary a chance to present their research and in return, gain an insight about the work being carried out by fellow students. Through a relaxed and friendly environment, it also gave attendees a chance to network with academics and students to create and strengthen professional relationships.
The three­day event (11-14 June 2015) was split into sessions which were chaired by top Hungarian academics in the field. Student presenters of the sessions had the opportunity to receive feedback from an assigned discussant and the audience. The sessions were organized as the following:
A presenter gave a presentation of their own paper (20 minutes).
A discussant gave a short critical analysis of the presenter’s work (5 minutes). A session led by a session leader followed (10 Minutes).
All of the audience was given the opportunity to present their work in a poster. This took place during the whole of the conference.
The PHD students also participated in daily plenary lectures with current research topics (for example gravity waves or the Higgs­Boson).
Several physicist employing companies presented themselves to offer different jobs. We organised a forum discussions on issues affecting the physicist community.
We hope that the participant learned a lot, and got to know each other.

Webpage with abstracts, pictures and program:

XV Workshop for young researchers in the field of statistical physics and condensed matter theory

2015_Lviv_Work_03The 15th Workshop and Award for young researchers in the field of statistical physics and condensed matter theory supported by EPS Young Minds project was held in Lviv at the Institute for Condensed Matter Physics on June 4–5, 2015. Since this year is announced as the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies, the event was dedicated to the 115th anniversary of Olexander Smakula (1900–1983), a famous Ukrainian physicist who is known for the invention of anti-reflective lens coatings based on optical interference.

Five invited lectures were given during the Workshop. In particular, the well-known Ukrainian physicist who studies the optical problems, Leonid Yatsenko presented his overview devoted to the application of light properties to the manipulation of small particles. A special talk about personal and scientific life of Olexander Smakula was given by Svitlana Apunevych. Three other speakers also presented enthusiastic lectures on other directions of modern statistical physics.

Young researchers in statistical physics and condensed matter theory had an opportunity to present their own results during the Workshop. Two of them – Khrystyna Haydukivska and Andrij Kuzmak – were awarded for the best presentations by Special Individual Awards. Four other young participants – Vasyl’ Vasyuta, Iryna Bzovska, Maryana Krasnytska and Kyrylo Snizhko – were distinguished by the Competition Committee as the most promising ones. In general, 19 young researchers not only from Lviv, but from Odesa, Dnipropetrovs’k, Kyiv – took part in the event.

Besides the official part, many cultural activities were organized, including city sightseeing excursion, evening beer-party and picnic. As usual, the Workshop gave a great chance to young and their more experienced colleagues to get in touch, to discuss interesting topics and to enrich scientific connections in friendly atmosphere.

Iryna Zahladko, the president of ICMP Young Minds Section in Lviv, gave a special presentation to familiarize the audience with the section’s activities and the general scope of EPS Young Minds project.

FacebookThe photos related to the event can be found on the group of our section on Facebook:

Bilateral section meeting with Glasgow University student chapter

2015_SCOPE_Bilateral_02On July 6th 2015, SCOPE (the Strathclyde Student Community for Optics & Photonics Engineering) came together with an OSA Student Chapter from Glasgow University, newly founded this year, for a first interchapter meeting and social night.
The event was hosted in the physics common room at Glasgow University. Food and drink was provided jointly by the Glasgow University Chapter as well as SCOPE ranging from pizza and beer to cake and juices. In total a number of about 25 people attended the evening with around 10 students joining us from Strathclyde University. Although many of these were full SCOPE members already, this was still a very good opportunity for recruitment for both the Glasgow University chapter, whose first event it was, and us to engage those students that had not joined our societies yet.
After dinner, the evening continued with a short, but cleverly designed quiz on light-related questions from physics, music and other categories, organized by the Glasgow University Chapter, as well as some socializing allowing the members of both chapters to get to know each other and talk about their respective research activities. For us, as the committee, it also provided an opportunity to exchange experiences with our chapters so far and discuss ideas for future events and potential future collaborations.
Overall, we received positive feedback from the people attending and have planned to repeat such a bilateral meeting with the Glasgow University OSA Chapter in due time. The EPS funding we received was used to provide subway travel for our members to the venue as well as our share of food and drink for the evening.