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A full day for the Portuguese particle physics community

LIP-ECO | 18 Setembro, 2023

"Last Friday the European Committee for Future Accelerators (ECFA) visited Portugal and had a day-long meeting with the particle physics community at the National Library, in Lisbon. In the evening CERN’s director-general, Fabiola Gianotti, was in a public session at Pavilhão do Conhecimento, co-organized by LIP and CV."

The European Committee for Future Accelerators is an advisory body to the CERN management, CERN council, and other national and international organisations. Currently, the chairperson and scientific secretary of ECFA are Karl Jakobs (University of Freiburg) and Patricia Conde Muiño (LIP/IST), respectively. The Restricted ECFA (RECFA), composed of one member per country, acts as the communication channel to each participating country.

In this role, RECFA regularly visits the different countries and holds meetings with representatives of the scientific community and institutions. This time RECFA visited Portugal. A full-day meeting with the community was held at Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (BNP) in Lisbon (more in this below).

Fabiola Gianotti, director-general of CERN and ex-officio member of RECFA, was in Lisbon for this meeting. Profiting from her presence, LIP and Ciência Viva invited the director-general to give a public talk at Pavilhão do Conhecimento.

The title was “The Higgs boson and our life” — what’s the fundamental research developed by particle physicists and why does it matter in our lifes? What are the challenges CERN will face in the next decades, from unveiling the secrets of our Universe to technological and social innovation?

The truly enlightening and inspiring talk was followed by a debate in which also participated José Antão (Agência Nacional de Inovação, ANI) and Ricardo Barrué, PhD student at LIP and IST, with the moderation of journalist Sara Sá  (Exame Informática).

All this happened on Friday early evening, and the auditorium was completely packed. I the public there were of course members of the engaged particle physics community, but also science policy makers, industry representatives, teachers, many physics students and other curious people. Thank you for the enthusiasm and all the great questions!

Let us now go back to Friday morning at the BNP and take a look at the RECFA meeting with the community.

After the welcome addresses by the ECFA coordinators and by the Portuguese representative in the CERN Council, Mário Pimenta (IST/LIP), the opening was given by the president of FCT, Madalena Alves. Along the day, a series of talks and interesting discussions covered a variety of aspects of the community’s activities: overview of experimental particle physics in Portugal (Nuno Castro, UMinho/LIP), LHC experiments (Michele Gallinaro, LIP/IST), LHC upgrade and future accelerators (Ricardo Gonçalo, UC/LIP), astroparticle physics (Ruben Conceição, LIP/IST), neutrinos and dark matter (José Maneira, LIP), nuclear physics (Teresa Peña IST/LIP), accelerator physics (Luís O. Silva, IST/IPFN), quantum computing (Yasser Omar, IST/Quantum Technologies Group, CeFEMA), Medical and space applications (Patrícia Gonçalves, IST/LIP), computing (Jorge Gomes, LIP), theory (Filipe Joaquim, IST/CFTP), knowledge and technology transfer (José Antão, ANI), outreach (Pedro Abreu, IST/LIP), detector R&D (Alberto Blanco, LIP), the perspective of early career researchers (João Arruda Gonçalves, LIP/IST).

After a closed session, first impressions from RECFA were transmitted to the audience. A full report will later be prepared. More info: https://indico.cern.ch/event/1220513.

Photos: Agostinho Gomes




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