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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:


Survey about satisfaction of students and graduates in research

20160413_175333In general, people do not know much about lives of the scientists and researchers, their career and educational possibilities. One of the projects of Prague EPS Young Minds section is make a survey which would address graduates and current master and doctoral students mainly from our faculty about satisfaction with the quality of their former education, in the context of their research career, work experience, salary, travel possibilities, amount of their free time, quality of their personal life, plans for the future, etc.

Our survey helps to familiarize with the situation in the science and research in objective and professional manner. It will draw attention to strong and, what is more important, weak points of the student scientific life at our faculty.
The survey was created using Google forms and it is acessible here: http://goo.gl/forms/vo1FAJM5Wg. For now survey is available only in Czech, but in the future we will consider translation into English and provision of the survey to other Young Minds sections. Our survey was finished in March 2016 and subsequently sent to chosen respondents. For now, first results are available. Totally, the survey was filled in by 45 respondents, mainly by master and postgraduate students from our faculty. Majority of them study or finished their studies in physics, mathematics and information technology. In general, respondents are satisfied with their studies and career, although there is large group of students who are satisfied only partially with their studies. Main problems are small amount of free time, lack of money at faculty and some boring subject that do not correspondent to requirements of their research projects. But on the other hand, many respondents appreciate interesting lessons, professionalism and friendliness of teachers and possibility to do high-quality research at faculty or in cooperation with foreign universities and research institutions.

We have also found out that financial situation of master and doctoral students and researchers is average, but many of them would appreciate better financial reward because in comparison with private sector, financial situation of respondents there is highly above the average salary in the Czech Republic.

Gathered data were and are still being processed in more detailed way.
After that, results were presented and discussed. During the presentation, small beverages were offered to students. Attending students were highly interested in these survey, thus we plan to repeat this presentation at the beginning of the next semester. The results of our survey will be also published on Prague EPS Young Minds website and printed it on the posters located at several universities. Our aim is also present these results to management, departments and student union of the faculty. The survey will serve as a feedback and help improve the current status of various study programmes.

The survey and gathering data will continue in the next semester with possible enlargement of number of interesting additional questions. We would like to increase statistics of the results by addressing more respondents focusing more on graduates.

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

lviv_workshop_sIn the end of January Lviv Young Minds Section received an EPS Activity Grant  for part of organization of the XVI Workshop and Award for young researchers in the field of statistical physics and condensed matter theory. This event was both with the Council of Young Scientists of ICMP and was held in Lviv at the Institute for Condensed Matter Physics on June 9–10, 2016.
The aim of the event is to promote the studies of young researchers in statistical physics and condensed matter theory as well as to establish connections among young scientists from different research centers of Ukraine.
This year participants of the workshop had a great opportunity to listen to invited lectures of five top experts in statistical physics and condensed matter theory from Ukrainian and Polish scientific institutions. 21 short communications of young researchers and 4 contributed talks of the Award applicants from various research centers in Kiev, Odessa, Dnipropetrovsk and Lviv were presented during two days of the event. As a result 3 awards for best short communications and one Special Award for contributed talk found their owners according to the findings of the Competition Committee.
The full list of photos from the event is on the web-page of the Workshop http://www.icmp.lviv.ua/konkurs/gallery.html
Participants from other cities were highly interested in activities of Young Minds. We still keep in touch so hopefully some of them will apply to YM to create their YM Sections.

Soft Skills in Hard Science

IMG_0065In cooperation with the SFB 767 “Controlled Nanosystems” in Konstanz (Collaborative Research Centre) we organized a workshop on the topic of presentation skills, which took place at the 22. of February 2016. This workshop was held by Dr. Carsten Rohr who did his PhD in physics and speaks „the language of natural scientists“. His trainings and workshops are specifically developed for the field of natural science. After his PhD Carsten Rohr received further education and training and is a certified trainer by the IHK since 2015. He is currently employed at the TU Munich.
Further information about Dr. Carsten Rohr and his presentation skill training (and other trainings) can be found on his homepage: www.carstenrohr.de.
As a scientist the presentation of ones work is an important and common task. Results have to be presented in group seminars, on conferences, at the PhD defence or to address a public audience. The goal of this workshop was to help the participants to present their results in the best possible way, satisfy the expectations of the audience and have fun while doing so. The interactive concept of the workshop allowed the participants to directly apply the learned methods and processes onto their own presentations.
The topics of this 1-Day Workshop were:
– Planning the structure of a presentation
– Visualization
– Presentation techniques
– Handling of difficult situation
– … and a lot of practical exercises
The targeted audience for this workshop were PhD students in their first or second year and master students at the end of their thesis. The actual group of participants also included interested Postdocs. The workshop was held in English language because the participating PhD students came from different countries around the world (Spain, France, China, Germany, …).
The feedback we got for the workshop was very good so that we plan to organize another workshop by Dr. Rohr in the next year. A topic for the next workshop could be “How to write a scientific paper” or “Efficiency”.

Keeping Up with Chemists

Konferencijos_CCT_zenklas_RGB.cdrConference „Chemistry & Chemical Technology 2016“ (CCT 2016) took place in Lithuanian Academy of Science on April 28-29, 2016. It was dedicated to the 210th anniversary of the electrolysis theory proposed by Theodor von Grotthuss, who had lived in Lithuania for many years. European Physical Society Young Minds Section of Vilnius University (EPS YM Vilnius) successfully took part in the organising by helping Lithuanian Chemistry Society with sharing the knowledge of conference management and even presenting some or at least listening to our neighbors’ presentations from the field of chemistry and chemical sciences.

260 scientists from variety of countries took part in CCT 2016, moreover, a big number of young researchers were among the participants, thus it was a great chance for EPS YM Vilnius to connect and discuss future possibilities in both out-reach and research. The first day was dedicated to electrochemistry, while the second one for other areas of chemistry. The newest research was presented by known European electrochemists from Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, and Sweden. The conference chair discussed the development of the electrochemistry in Lithuania in XX century in his presentation. As mentioned before, Theodor von Grotthuss is believed to be very influential scientist who actually also had some impact in physics as well, in addition to scientific presentations one of the professors introduced the audience to Grotthuss’ works. The speakers from Vilnius University, Kaunas University of Technology, FTMC and industrial representatives presented their research in organic, inorganic, polymer synthesis, applied chemistry, nanotechnology and chemical technology. The total of 6 keynote lectures, 11 invited presentations and 12 oral presentations were given in the conference. More information can be found at the conference website http://cct2016.ftmc.lt.

Chemistry and chemical technologies are very important part of the scientific world. Great advancements have been made in recent years so huge potential for interdisciplinary research and collaboration between physicists and chemists arise. The benefits are hoped to be felt in the number of chemists participating in the international conference for physics of natural sciences “Open Readings” as well.

Interdisciplinary seminars on technological applications of nanomaterials

seminThe EPS YM Section of University of Calabria has organized a cycle of seminars aimed at highlighting the contribution of nanotechnology and two-dimensional materials in the novel field of nanomedicine.
We have tried to put in evidence the interdisciplinary nature of nanomedicine and the key role of physics and materials science.
In a first seminar, Dr. Marco Alfano has discussed bioengineering and tissue engineering, by reporting the most striking innovations in the field, with a particular attention to the printing of artificial organs and their surgical implantation. The most astonishing issue addressed in the seminar was the motivation behind the puzzling evidence that an artificial nose or ear grows in time in young patients. Moreover, a video showing the printing of an artificial bone has been projected.
The role of materials science and engineering has been clarified.
We have invited prof. Luigi Pasqua of the Chemical Engineering Department for a second seminar on the role of chemistry in nanomedicine and, moreover, the impact of nanotechnology in pharmaceutics.
In the second seminar, prof. Pasqua has illustrated his proper research activity in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Pharmacy of our University. Prof. Pasqua’s team has developed multifunctional hybrid mesoporous silica-based materials, potentially useful for drug targeting or as sensors. The creation and structuring of the matter as molecular systems, at the nanometer scale, represents the possibility to interact with biological systems and to produce devices potentially useful in cancer therapy. Some success stories have been reported.
Such an interdisciplinary research has led to a highly innovative spin-off, funded by Calabria Region. A careful evaluation of prospects, opportunities and challenges has been provided. In particular, the global market of nanopharmaceutics has been carefully evaluated in all its aspects, in order to give the participants an overview of the relationship between the business world and nanotechnology.
In a third seminar, dr. Antonio Politano from Department of Physics of University of Calabria has reported the challenges of nanomedicine with two-dimensional materials. In particular, the key issues in artificial retina have been discussed, with a particular attention for the role of flexible nanoelectronics. Biocompatibility of two-dimensional materials has been also treated, with some case-study examples.
Refreshments with some beverages and snacks have been offered to the participants.

DOFFI Conference 2016

PrintWe have taken part in organising an annual 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 four-day event 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 organised as the following:
A presenter gave a presentation of their own paper (10 minutes).
A discussant gave a short critical analysis of the presenter’s work (5 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 dark photons).
Several physicist employing companies presented themselves to offer different jobs (e.g.Morgan Stanley).
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:

Physics is Back

fotoIn order to enrich the orientation programme offered by our department for master students, PONYS members proposed and organized a series of talks meant to underline of a physicist can work and excel outside the research world.
During 2015-2016 academic year, PONYS members organized a series of seminars about the possibilities, for a physicist, to begin an alternative career along the research one.
This meetings were held at the physics department of University of Naples Federico II.
Lecturers were chosen among those who decided to start a career far from the “research world”. Indeed, we invited former physics students of our department that now have job positions outside universities and research centers. We wanted to know and to focus the conversation on how a “physical backgroung” could be used outside the academia. All the students of our department were warmly invited to join the seminars and to take part with their curiosity and questions.
Our speakers were:

  • Emilio Sassone Corsi, Senior Partner & CEO Management Innovation, 12th February 2016. His speech was entitled “From Physics to innovation management and back.”
  • Marco Valli, data scientist at Pangea Formazione, 30th March 2016 whose talk was entitled “from Physics to the industrial world and back.”

This two meetings were attended by an average of twenty people between PhD and master students in physics.
Each meating was closed with a light buffet, ment to thank our guest and to enjoy some time with the parecipants. This coffe breaks were a good occasion for us to present and talk about our past activities and future projects!

Conference “Developments in Optics and Communications 2016”

1imgA little earlier than usual – just before Easter -, from the 21st to 23rd of March, the 12th International student and young scientist conference “Developments in Optics and Communications 2016” (DOC 2016) was held in Riga. It gathered many brilliant young scientists from different countries to share their scientific work, insights and experiences in various fields related to optics: vision science, optical materials, biophotonics, laser physics and spectroscopy.

Each topic also featured an invited speaker that shared their experience with the young scientists. This year from Latvia – Dr. Mara Reinfelde talked about “Practical application of holography” for the Laser Physics and Spectroscopy section, University of Latvia OSA student chapter advisor Dr. Florian Gahbauer gave an amazing speech on the topic of “Magnetic sensing with nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centres in synthetic diamond”. The conference organizers had also invited speakers from Israel and Finland to talk about their research.

Dr. Igor Meglinski was invited to tell students about “Cloud Monte Carlo for the needs of biomedical optics” for the biophotonics section and Prof. Zeev Zalevsky from Israel gave a speech about “Super resolved and extended depth of focus concepts for remote and ophthalmic imaging systems” for vision science students. Students were so engaged in Prof. Zalevsky’s speech that it took almost an extra 20 minutes just to answer all the questions and give in-depth explanations of his work.

Traditionally the best poster and the best oral presentation are given an award for their work funded by University of Latvia OSA student chapter, and this year was no exception. The best speech award was given to Janis Smits for his talk “Deconvolution – a tool for enhanced resolution magnetic images” and the best poster was presented by Andris Antuzevics (“Structure of Gd3+ ions in oxyfluoride glass ceramics containing fluorite crystallites”).

This year was special also because of the conference venue. The conference was held in the newly built Academic Center for Natural Sciences of the University of Latvia (ULACNS) in Tornakalns. ULACNS opened its doors on September 7th, 2015. It was hoped that relocating to the new UL ACNS would create unprecedented opportunities for cooperation between scientific fields and study programs. And indeed it was an amazing experience to listen to talks and admire posters in the new building. The premises on the 7th floor provided an amazing view over Riga for every attendee to enjoy. The staff were also kind enough to allow conference guests to enjoy the view from the rooftop.

The conference was not only an event to present one’s work and listen to others, but also a way to meet fellow physicists in an informal environment. Since the best collaboration ideas are usually born while discussing various topics outside the conference rooms, this year a friendly paint-ball tournament for the conference participants was held.

The conference was organised alongside University of Latvia SPIE and OSA chapters.

Seminars and Workshops on General Theory of Relativity

Seminar2The activity of weekly seminars and workshops was launched and continues successfully. Starting from January, 16 theory seminars and 7 workshops of exercises solving were held, covering first 3 chapters of book “Spacetime and Geometry. An Introduction to General Relativity” by Sean Carroll. For administration, advertisement and proper book-keeping of the activity, the website of the seminars has been created (http://www.tfk.ff.vu.lt/seminarai/english-gr-seminars/). At the end of the seminar, the seminars attracted 8 regular attendees and more occasional ones. Most of them were master/PhD students of Faculty of Physics. YM section has analyzed the feedback opinions of the participants and came to conclusion, that this subject is very exciting but also extremely tough for bachelor students and this has limited the number of attendees. The activity budged was spent as planned: we have purchased 2 books “Spacetime and Geometry. An Introduction to General Relativity” and snacks for attendees. The lecture notes were prepared and printed for each chapter at its end. Faculty of Physics of Vilnius University has provided auditorium and multimedia for the seminars. The activity will be continued during the next semester regardless of funding sources. The YM section of Vilnius University contributed to the activity by advertising the seminars in the faculty (by posters and emails in students’ mailing lists). 2 chapter members were regular attendees of the seminars and 4 chapter members were occasional attendees. As the seminars were quite popular, the talks between the chapter and faculty administration about possibilities of changing the status of the seminars to a credited regular student course has been started. If successful, the main goal of this activity will be reached.