2023 Impact factor 2.6
Special Topics

EPJ Plus Focus Point Issue: Progress in Medical Physics in Times of CoViD-19 and Related Inflammatory Diseases

Guest editors: E. Cisbani, S. Majewski, A. Gori, F. Garibaldi

COVID-19 is a systemic disease attacking the total body; one of the signatures of the disease is inflammation, an extremely complex phenomenon, in different parts of the body, that can benefit of a multidisciplinary imaging approach. Understanding inflammation is an important step for curing from COVID-19; its role must be understood, in particular for the strategies and technologies to be used against COVID-19, its consequences and potential future pandemics. Among the molecular imaging technologies that can play a central role is the Nuclear Medicine imaging. New advanced technologies that are under development could translate into increased sensitivity of early detection, avoiding the long-term side effects of inflammation. In this context, the Focus Point presents the most promising developments for more effective imaging in Nuclear Medicine. The intrinsic multidisciplinary and the related difficulty to address complex, specific, questions to the different scientific communities have been taken into account in the selection of the contributions, their scientifically sounding relevance and at the same time their capability to be understandable outside their reference discipline.


EPJ Plus Highlight - Introducing the European strategy for accelerator-based photon science (ESAPS 2022)

Timeline of future upgrades

Through new plans detailed in ESAPS 2022, the LEAPS consortium aims to strengthen Europe as a global leader in accelerator-based photon science.

The League of European Accelerator-based Photon Sources (LEAPS) is made up of 19 large-scale synchrotron (SR) and Free-electron Laser (FEL) facilities, situated across 10 European countries. This contribution to the EPJ Plus Focus Point “Accelerator-based Photon Science Strategy, Prospects and Roadmap in Europe: a Forward View to 2030” introduces the European Strategy for Accelerator-based Photon Science (ESAPS 2022): a pan-European plan formulated by LEAPS aimed at addressing the future challenges and needs in science and innovation, which strengthens Europe as a global leader in many areas of research and technology. Through the plans set out in ESAPS 2022, LEAPS could soon provide valuable new resources for more than 35,000 researchers using its facilities today, spanning fields as wide-ranging as materials science, drug design, biochemistry, quantum technology, geology, and planetary science.


EPJ Plus Focus Point Issue: Focus Point on Environmental and Multiplicity Effects on Planet Formation

Guest Editors: Giuseppe Lodato and Carlo Felice Manara

Star formation does not take place in isolation, and young stars are subject to different kind of interactions with their natal environment. Dynamical encounters with other young stars and photoevaporation of the protostellar disc due to the intense UV field of neighbouring stars are just a couple of examples of how the environment affects star formation. Since planets are born during the star formation process, such effects may naturally affect also planet formation itself. The aim of this focus point is to define the state of the art of our knowledge in this particular field and to provide a few highlights of interesting new research avenues to pursue.

All articles are available here and are freely accessible until 24 October 2023. For further information, read the Editorial.

EPJ Plus Focus Point Issue: Advances in Cryogenic Detectors for Dark Matter, Neutrino Physics, and Astrophysics

Guest Editor: Luca Pattavina

The papers included in this Focus Point collection offer a glimpse of the very broad range of applications of low-temperature detectors. This class of detectors has seen in recent years a boost in its performance and in the achieved background levels. Nowadays, cryogenic detectors are considered a leading technology in the investigation of the fundamental properties of the most abundant particles in the Universe: neutrinos and Dark Matter, and their applications reach out to nuclear, particle, and astroparticle physics. The papers included in the collection cover the most recent technological progress of low-temperature detectors, from different perspectives (e.g. computational approach, material development). The research groups that contributed to this collection show the range of methods available to tackle the latest experimental challenges of the community.

All articles are available here and are freely accessible until 27 September 2023. For further information, read the Editorial.

EPJ Plus Focus Point Issue: Breakthrough Optics- and Complex Systems-based Technologies of Modulation of Drainage and Clearing Functions of the Brain

Guest Editors: Jürgen Kurths, Thomas Penzel, Valery Tuchin, Teemu Myllylä, Ruikang Wang, Oxana Semyachkina-Glushkovskaya

The treatment of brain diseases during sleep is a pioneering trend in modern medicine. This is due to new discoveries in the science of lymphatic "vessels-vacuums" that clean the brain during deep sleep. Today, sleep is considered as a novel biomarker and a promising therapeutic target for brain diseases associated with the drainage system injuries and the blood-brain barrier (BBB) leakage, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, depression, brain trauma and intracranial hemorrhages. This issue presents multi-disciplinary approaches, including nonlinear signal processing analysis, maсhine learning technologies, modeling of the brain drainage system, optical methods, brave and innovative ideas and very promising experimental and clinical results focusing on the study of therapeutic and diagnostic properties of sleep as well as the development of novel strategies for the modulation of restorative sleep functions.

All articles are available here and are freely accessible until 13 May 2023. For further information, read the Editorial.

EPJ Plus Highlight - Better simulations of neutron scattering

Estimating neutron scattering after a collision

A new simulation approach named eTLE aims to improve the precision of a primary tool for estimating neutron behaviours in 3D space. This study examines the approach in detail – validating its reliability in predicting the scattering of neutrons in crystalline media.

Tripoli-4® is a tool used by researchers to simulate the behaviours of interacting neutrons in 3D space. Recently, researchers developed a new ‘next-event estimator’ (NEE) for Tripoli-4®. Named eTLE, this approach aims to increase Tripoli-4®’s precision using Monte Carlo simulations: a class of algorithms which solve problems by repeatedly estimating the characteristics of a whole population of neutrons, by selecting random groups of individuals. Through new research published in EPJ Plus, a team led by Henri Hutinet at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission implement and validate eTLE’s reliability for the first time.


EPJ Plus Focus Point on Tensions in Cosmology from Early to Late Universe: The Value of the Hubble Constant and the Question of Dark Energy

Guest editors: S. Capozziello, V.G. Gurzadyan

The papers included in this Focus Point collection are devoted to one of the hot topics in modern cosmology - the Hubble constant tension – claimed as a discrepancy between the descriptions of the early and late Universe. A broad range of topics are involved in the Hubble tension issue, from the sophisticated methods of observational data analysis up to dark energy models dealing with modifications of the standard cosmological model and related to the extensions of the General Relativity. The papers included in the collection are authored by known experts and groups, and reflect the diversity of approaches, both, aiming in solving the tension improving measurements and datasets and in searching for new physics capable of addressing the problem.

All articles are available here and are freely accessible until 3 May 2023. For further information, read the Editorial.

EPJ Plus Highlight - Building a computer with a single atom

How small can a computer get? As small as an atom new research suggests. Credit: Robert Lea (created with Canva)

New research opens the horizons regarding what a “computer” can be and how small a computational unit can get

Considering a “computer” as anything that processes information by taking an input and producing an output leads to the obvious questions, what kind of objects could perform computations? And how small can a computer be? As transistors approach the limit of miniaturisation, these questions are more than mere curiosities, their answers could form the basis of a new computing paradigm.

In a new paper in EPJ Plus by Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, researcher Gerard McCaul, and his co-authors demonstrate that even one of the more basic constituents of matter — atoms — can act as a reservoir for computing where all input-output processing is optical.


EPJ Plus Focus Point on Memristive Chaotic Circuits and Systems

Guest Editors: Qiang Lai, Xiao-Wen Zhao & Jacques Kengne

The memristor was theoretically postulated by Chua in 1971 and physically realized by the HP Labs team in 2008. Its unique nonlinear features actively promote the generation of chaos and other interesting dynamical behavior and sets new challenges in applications. This topical issue aims to collect some new ideas, methods, and recent results so as to shed some light on the future research directions concerning the design, analysis, and novel applications of related chaotic systems. Overall it makes a timely and valuable contribution to broadly advancing science and technology using memristors and memristive circuits.

All articles are available here and are freely accessible until 18 March 2023. For further information, read the Editorial.

EPJ Plus Highlight - Citizen Science: From the cosmos to the classroom

Map of Italy showing the locations of schools participating in the EEE Project. Red dots show schools with telescopes and cyan dots show participating schools without telescopes.

An extensive network of cosmic ray detectors allows high school students in Italy to contribute to cutting-edge particle physics research

Citizen science projects offer the general public, or segments of that public such as school students, an opportunity to take part in scientific research. The Extreme Energy Events (EEE) Project in Italy is a cooperation between particle physicists studying cosmic rays and school students, and their teachers, throughout the country.

This has the twin aims of bringing cosmic ray research into schools and setting up a country-wide ‘open laboratory’ of particle detectors. One of the lead researchers from the EEE Project consortium, Silvia Pisano of the Italian Centro Fermi and Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati of INFN, Rome, Italy, has summarised the results from about 20 years of this project in a new paper in EPJ Plus.


Managing Editors
Sandrine Karpe and Vijala Kiruvanayagam (EDP Sciences) and Sabine Lehr (Springer-Verlag)
Dear Sabine and Isabelle,
Thank you so much for all your help and excellent work you did on the EPJ ST volume "Nonlinear Dynamics of Deterministic and Stochastic Systems: Unraveling Complexity". This was a great experience and collaboration.

Alexander Neiman (on behalf of the guest editors), Ohio University, Athens, USA
Editor EPJ Special Topics 222/10, 2013

ISSN: 1951-6355 (Print Edition)
ISSN: 1951-6401 (Electronic Edition)

© EDP Sciences and Springer-Verlag