South African Physics students attend a weeklong workshop at Mafikeng Campus

John Nchoe -- Thu, 11/27/2014 - 08:30

South African Physics students attend a week-long workshop at Mafikeng Campus

The Department of Physics on the Mafikeng Campus of the North-West University (NWU) is hosting a week-long workshop starting from 24 November 2014 until 28 November 2014 for third-year Physics students from across South Africa.

The aim of the workshop is to expose young South Africans to research methods in the topics of Mathematical Physics especially at the interface between particle, nuclear and Astro - Physics.

This workshop is aimed at providing experimental and theoretical tools to allow deep understanding of the open problems in the physical processes occurring in relativistic nucleus-nucleus collisions and in the astrophysical and cosmological matter. The workshop is cross-disciplinary, being widely recognized that no advance in the understanding of the Universe is possible without the cooperation of different disciplines, from elementary particle physics to Nuclear Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology, each with its own approach and computational tools. The topics of the workshop have been chosen in the young and fast expanding fields at the interphase between nuclear, particle, astrophysics and cosmology. The idea is to bring together internationally highly recognized experts in the field with young scientists and students. In the morning the experts give introductory and review lectures of general and special topics, while the afternoon is mainly devoted to seminars of the participants, leaving time for discussions and special topical schools.

“By its nature, Science is constantly evolving, and new research fields continuously emerge, in part out of the convergence of fundamental questions of several established fields, the combination of their technologies, and the fertile interaction of scientists of different training. The relatively new fields of high energy Physics, relativistic heavy-ion collisions, particle and Nuclear Astrophysics, gravitation and Cosmology provide interesting examples of such vitality” said Dr Kaitano Dzinavatonga the head of Physics at Mafikeng Campus of the North-West University.

“Hot and dense nuclear matter plays an important role in the quark-hadron transition shortly after the big bang, in the element production in stars and the interior of neutron stars. The properties of such matter under extreme conditions can be studied in relativistic heavy-ion collisions. Several countries operate facilities or have plans to build new accelerator systems, such as FAIR at Darmstadt and NICA at Dubna, to investigate hot and dense nuclear matter in heavy-ion collisions. Current experiments are conducted at GSI in Darmstadt, the RHIC (Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider) in Brookhaven and at the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at CERN in Geneva. The primary aims of the experiments at the high-energy frontier are: (i) to study a new state of matter, the 'quark-gluon-plasma' (QGP) and to infer its equation of state and transport properties; (ii) and to study the physics of the Standard Model and beyond” concluded Dr Dzinzvztonga.