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EPJ ST Highlight - Using particle accelerators to investigate the quark-gluon plasma of the infant Universe

In the early stages of the Universe, quarks and gluons were quickly confined to protons and neutrons which went on to form atoms. With particle accelerators reaching increasingly higher energy levels the opportunity to study this fleeting primordial state of matter has finally arrived.

Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP) is a state of matter which existed only for the briefest of times at the very beginning of the Universe with these particles being quickly clumped together to form the protons and neutrons that make up the everyday matter that surrounds us. The challenge of understanding this primordial state of matter falls to physicists operating the world’s most powerful particle accelerators. A new special issue of EPJ Special Topics entitled ‘Quark-Gluon Plasma and Heavy-Ion Phenomenology’ edited by Munshi G. Mustafa, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata, India, brings together seven papers that detail our understanding of QGP and the processes that transformed it into the baryonic matter around us on an everyday basis.

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EPJ ST Highlight - Gaining insight into the Universe’s most powerful objects and events

A timely new collection reminds us that even in times of great hardship, our understanding of the Universe’s most explosive, spectacular and mysterious events and objects continues to grow

Supernovas, neutron stars, and neutron star mergers are some of the Universe’s most powerful events and mysterious objects, leftover after the burning of nuclear fuel is exhausted within massive stars. A new special issue of EPJ Special Topics entitled ‘Nuclear astrophysics in our time: supernovae, neutron stars and binary neutron star mergers’ edited by Debades Bandyopadhyay, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata, India, brings together several papers that document our understanding of these astrophysical events and compact stars.

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EPJ A Highlight - Celebrating the life and work of Mahir Hussein through cutting-edge research

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A new collection of papers focusing on the dynamics of nuclei pays fitting tribute to Iraqi/Brazilian physicist Mahir Saleh Hussein.

On 16th May 2019 Iraqi/ Brazilian physicist Mahir Saleh Hussein passed away leaving behind a distinguished career of achievements in a broad range of physics disciplines. There is, perhaps, no better way of paying tribute to this influential figure in physics than presenting a collection of cutting-edge, peer-reviewed papers. A special edition of EPJ A, edited by Valdir Guimarães, Universidade de São Paulo Instituto de Física, Brazil, Carlos Bertulani, Department of Physics of the Texas A&M University-Commerce, USA, and Nicolas Alamanos, Deputy Director of the Institute of Research into the Fundamental Laws of the Universe (IRFU), France, brings together a collection of papers focusing on nuclei clustering and dynamics as a fitting tribute to Hussein.

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EPJ QT Highlight - Steps towards post-quantum security by Aleksey Fedorov

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Aleksey Fedorov

Prof. Dr. Aleksey Fedorov is a Junior Principal Investigator at the Russian Quantum Center, Professor of Physics at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and founder of startup companies in quantum technologies. His research is related to quantum information technologies and quantum many-body physics. His paper about world-first quantum-secured blockchain was covered in MIT Technology Review, Business Insider, Forbes and put in the list of "the hottest top 5%" of all research outputs by Altmetrics. Aleksey was selected for ’30-under-30’ for Forbes Russia.

Life in our society is suffused with information technologies. Many of our activities — ranging from online shopping and chatting to operating production environments and management systems — are based on collecting, processing, and transmitting data. One of the key aspects in this regard is security. Surely, the history of the problem of ensuring information security is virtually as long as human history. However, for modern society the issue of information security has become truly vital: unauthorized access to various kinds of information could lead to major losses, including financial losses and loss of reputation, for governments and businesses alike.

Continue reading Aleksey Fedorov’s post here.

EPJ E Highlight - Simulating microswimmers in nematic fluids

Microswimmer pushes through nematic liquid crystal

A combination of two simulation techniques has allowed researchers to investigate how swimming microparticles propel themselves through ‘nematic liquid crystals’ – revealing some unusual behaviours

Artificial microswimmers have received much attention in recent years. By mimicking microbes which convert their surrounding energy into swimming motions, these particles could soon be exploited for many important applications. Yet before this can happen, researchers must develop methods to better control the trajectories of individual microswimmers in complex environments. In a new study published in EPJ E, Shubhadeep Mandal at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (India), and Marco Mazza at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organisation in Göttingen (Germany) and Loughborough University (UK), show how this control could be achieved using exotic materials named ‘nematic liquid crystals’ (LCs) – whose viscosity and elasticity can vary depending on the direction of an applied force.

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EPJ D Topical review - Review of experimental and theoretical research on positronium ions and molecules

Artist's view of the positronium negative ion and the positronium molecule.

The relativistic quantum theory developed by Dirac in the 1930’s is the cornerstone of Quantum Electrodynamics (QED), which has proved to be one of the most successful theories in physics. For example, measurements and QED calculations of the anomalous electron magnetic moment agree to 10 significant figures. Physicists now believe that QED can fully account for all effects that are mediated by electromagnetic interactions.

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EPJ Plus Focus Point on Light Pressure across All Scales

This focus point issue of European Physical Journal Plus (EPJ Plus) finds its inspiration in the huge number of applications of light pressure across all scales of Nature, from space to nanoscience and atomic physics. Together this issue features 11 papers, including both experimental and theoretical works, which span a wide range of activities. These also include 3 review papers on the theory and practice of optical tweezers, its application in single molecule experiments and in the study of critical Casimir forces.

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EPJD has appointed new Editor-in-Chief Joachim Burgdörfer

Joachim Burgdörfer

It is with great pleasure that the publishers of European Physical Journal D: Atomic, Molecular, Optical and Plasma Physics can announce the appointment of Prof Dr Joachim Burgdörfer (Vienna University of Technology, Austria) as Editor-in-Chief, effective July 1. A long-standing member of the Editorial Board of EPJD, he succeeds Prof. Dr. Andrey V. Solov'yov, who steps down after almost 7 years in the EiC role.

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EPJ ST Highlight - Hunting Dark Energy with Gravity Resonance Spectroscopy

Gravitational quantum states in ultra-cold neutrons

A highly sophisticated technique enables researchers to search for minuscule anomalies in the quantum state transitions of neutrons, which could offer key clues about the elusive nature of Dark Energy

Dark Energy is widely believed to be the driving force behind the universe’s accelerating expansion, and several theories have now been proposed to explain its elusive nature. However, these theories predict that its influence on quantum scales must be vanishingly small, and experiments so far have not been accurate enough to either verify or discredit them. In new research published in EPJ Special Topics, a team led by Hartmut Abele at TU Wien in Austria demonstrate a robust experimental technique for studying one such theory, using ultra-cold neutrons. Named ‘Gravity Resonance Spectroscopy’ (GRS), their approach could bring researchers a step closer to understanding one of the greatest mysteries in cosmology.

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EPJ A Highlight - THOR: Driving collaboration in heavy-ion collision research

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Analysing collisions between heavy ions. Image by Pcharito - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/ index.php?curid=31433194

As an expansive platform for collaboration between different research groups, the THOR COST Action has enabled hundreds of physicists studying the aftermath of high-energy collisions between heavy ions to improve their predictions.

In the universe’s earliest moments, particles existed in an unimaginably hot plasma, whose behaviour was governed by deeply complex webs of interaction between individual particles. Today, researchers can recreate these exotic conditions through high-energy collisions between heavy ions, whose products can tell us much about how hot, strongly-interacting matter behaves. Yet without extensive, highly coordinated collaborations between researchers across many different backgrounds, studies like this simply wouldn’t be possible. This Topical Issue of EPJ A draws together a large collection of papers inspired by the theory of hot matter and relativistic heavy-ion collisions (THOR) European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action. Running between November 2016 and April 2021, THOR has provided a way for over 300 researchers involved in heavy-ion collision analysis to freely exchange their ideas, leading to exciting new advances in the wider field of particle physics.

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Managing Editors
Anne Ruimy and Vijala Kiruvanayagam (EDP Sciences) and Sabine Lehr (Springer-Verlag)
Dear Isabelle,
Many thanks for the hard work indeed! The entire volume and the cover look really very good, thanks again.

George Kampis, Collegium Budapest, Hungary
Editor EPJ Special Topics 222/6, 2013

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

© EDP Sciences and Springer-Verlag