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Pizza Physics & Beer

ppb_photo_nuclear_seminar_smallThe EPFL Young Minds section expanded with success during its first full year. As planned, monthly seminars were organised under the label ‘Pizza Physics Beer’ (PPB). We noted a rise in participations from 20-30 students per seminar during the first semester, to 30-45 during the second semester. We are now 7 students fully invested in the organisation of the PPB meetings and other events.
The subjects covered in the PPB meetings were: nuclear fusion, with a visit to the Tokamak reactor at EPFL; surface treatments to create ultra hard materials; safety measures regarding fission nuclear reactors, and the risks associated with human failure; the fabrication of anti-hydrogen at CERN; correlated dynamics in quantum systems; the use of perovskites for optoelectronic applications; the social behavior of solitons in microresonators.
This seminars were attended by PhD students from the whole EPFL Physics PhD Doctoral School (EDPY) as well as curious master students. This allowed some interaction between students, both during and after the seminar. The after-seminar gatherings lasted, in some cases, more than one hour.
Rogério Jorge, the association’s secretary, attended the leadership meeting of the EPS Young Minds associations in Naples, bringing a large number of innovative ideas to develop within the coming years, including “Physicist Speed Dating” and “Recruiting Event” activities. This first year, made possible by the EPS grants, is clearly encouraging. It reinforced us in our goal to make the EPFL physics community more interactive both within EPFL and with other members of the EPS community.
We are now focusing on the organisation of the physics day: a major event that will take place the October 16 at the Rolex Learning Center, EPFL. The four speakers of this event include the Nobel prize Stefan Hell as well as three other prominent physicists (L. O. Silva, P. Hazzi, A. Kellerer). This event will also be the occasion of a poster competition between the physics PhD students and will foster interactions among physicists of the physics doctoral school of EPFL.

Pizza Physics & Beer

The EPFL YM section was freshly and newly created. As targeted we could organize 3 ‘Pizza Physics Beer’ (PPB) seminars gathering from 20 to 30 people each time. The subjects we explored through these meetings covered nuclear fusion with a visit of the Tokamak reactor of EPFL, ultra hard materials which could be used for propellers and the hazards in nuclear reactor with an analysis of previous nuclear accident and the pertinence of the risk mitigation measures that were taken. This seminar serves now as the flagship event of our interactions within the Physics community at EPFL.
We also organized a visit to IBM Research in Zurich to participate to the event “Hack a Quantum Computer – Getting Involved with the IBM Quantum Experience“. It was the opportunity for us to meet with other EPS and YM members. It triggered the interaction of biophysicists, astrophysicists or condensed matter physicists from the campus around a common topic, namely the birth of quantum cloud computing. These first events made possible by the EPS grant are very encouraging and show us that we can make the EPFL physics community more vivid and interact more widely within the EPS community.