Program Overview

Plenary Session

Eleven plenary talks will be adressing latest advancements in different research fields.

  • Willy Benz, Uni Bern: The CHEOPS mission: Goals and challenges
  • Mirko Cinchetti, TU Dortmund: Molecular spintronics: towards the active control of nano-scale hybrid units
  • Cornelia Denz, Westf. Wilhelms-Univ. Münster: Biophotonic micromanipulation of cells – empowering biomedicine by the force of light
  • Philippe Jetzer, Uni Zürich: Gravitational waves: a new window to explore the Universe
  • Manfred Krammer,, CERN: The Experimental Physics Program of CERN
  • Claudio Lenz Cesar, UFRJ & CERN: Spectroscopy of trapped antihydrogen atoms
  • Iain A. Neil, ScotOptix, Canobbio (TI): Technology dependance of reflective optical systems for EUV and astronomical applications
  • Tracy Northup, Uni Innsbruck: Trapped-ion interfaces for quantum networks
  • Leonid Rivkin, EPFL & PSI Villigen: Accelerators: multifaceted instruments for science and industry
  • Richard Warburton, Uni Basel: Quantum photonics with solid-state emitters
  • Christof Wöll, Karlsruher Inst. für Technologie (KIT): Liquid Phase Epitaxy of Molecular Frameworks on Solid Substrates: A New Class of Designer Solids?

Furthermore an evening lecture is scheduled at CERN on Tuesday and a public lecture at CICG on Thursday evening:

  • Matthew Philip McCullough, CERN: A Higgs-Eye View of the Cosmos
  • Thierry Courvoisier, Uni Genève: De la place de la science dans la société *

* This talk will be held in French.

Topical Sessions

The following parallel sessions will be held in the afternoons:

  • Applied Physics and Plasma Physics
  • Astronomy und Astrophysics **
  • Atomic Physics and Quantum Photonics
  • Biophysics, Medical Physics and Soft Matter
  • Condensed Matter Physics (KOND) (incl. NESY)
  • Correlated-Electron Physics in Transition-Metal Oxides *
  • Earth, Atmosphere and Environmental Physics
  • Emergent phenomena in novel low-dimensional materials *
  • History of Physics
  • Magnetism and Spintronics at the Nanoscale
  • Nuclear, Particle- & Astrophysics (TASK-FAKT)
  • Physics in Startups
  • Scientific Opportunities with SwissFEL
  • Surfaces, Interfaces and Thin Films
  • Theoretical Physics

* organised by NCCR MARVEL, ** organised by SGAA

Dependent on the number and contents of the contributed papers, each topical session will be split into special thematic subsessions.

CHIPP will have its internal, non-scientific meeting on Monday afternoon, while the scientific contributions will be placed in the TASK-FAKT sessions.

Poster Session

The poster session will be scheduled on 2 days, starting on the 23 August in the frame of a lunch buffet, and being continued with an apéro in the evening of 24 August.

It is expected that all posters are put up and being presented on both session days.

The three most outstanding posters will be awarded with a "Best poster prize", sponsored by EPL journal. Additionally to the above requirement, the first author of the poster must be personally present at the conference in order to qualify for the selection. The awards will be given in a small ceremony on Friday.

The maximum poster size is A0 (portrait).


Award Ceremony

As every year outstanding scientific works will be honoured with the SPS awards, in the respective fields of General Physics (sponsored by ABB Research Center), Condensed Matter Physics (sponsored by IBM Zürich Research Laboratory), Applied Physics (sponsored by OC Oerlikon), Metrology (sponsored by METAS) and in Computational Physics (sponsored by COMSOL). Each award is granted with CHF 5000.-.

The winner of the newly introduced Charpak-Ritz Award sponsored by the Société Française de Physique (SFP) and the SPS will be honored, too.
ÖPG and CHIPP will also award their respective winners, and the Swiss Neutron Scattering Society will give their "Young Scientist Prize, sponsored by SwissNeutronics".

The award ceremony will be held on 22 August in the afternoon.

General Assembly

The general assembly is scheduled for 22 August. The agenda will be published in the SPS Communications No. 52. We encourage all members to actively participate and contact the committee if special points of interest should be discussed at the assembly.


Vendors Exhibition

A vendors exhibition will be organized in parallel to the sessions. An invitation letter has been mailed to interested companies. If your company would like to join the exhibition, but did not receive the letter by the end of March, please contact the SPS Secretariat.



On 21 and 22 August CERN will offer a few guided lab visits. You can register for these visits using the regular registration process on our website.

Important: Since the number of participants is limited, the rule "first come first serve" will be applied.

Registered participants will get in time a confirmation and further information.


Conference Dinner

A conference dinner is scheduled for the evening of 23 August in the "Café Restaurant du Parc des Bastions". You can select the dinner during the normal registration procedure. The price is CHF 70.- (incl. meal, drinks).


Additional information for selected sessions

Physics in Startups

The section “Physics in Industry” will present a session centered on startup companies who are entering the market with new products or services which rely on physics-based phenomena. Invited speakers with physics and engineering backgrounds will describe the physics behind their products and give a first-hand account of their experience in recognizing the commercial viability of their idea and developing it to market maturity. Different sectors will be covered, such as new manufacturing approaches, advanced sensors, as well as energy and space applications.
If you are part of a startup with a physics background and would also like to present your work in the context of this session, please submit your request to the organisers including a short description of your proposed talk before the abstract submission deadline.

Contact: Patrick Ruch, Thomas Brunschwiler


Astronomy and Astrophysics

This session organised by the Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy is entitled "Interacting stars: from the origin of massive black holes to star-planet interactions." Contributed submissions related to this topic are welcome.

Contact: Georges Meynet


Condensed Matter (KOND)

The condensed matter section of the Swiss Physical Society encourages submission of abstracts to all related focussed sessions (see below). Further topics in Condensed Matter Physics e.g. magnetism, superconductivity, semiconductors, among others will be covered by the regular KOND program.

Contact: Laura J. Heyderman, Patrycja Paruch


Magnetism and Spintronics at the Nanoscale

With this focus session we would like to highlight recent advances in the fabrication, measurement and control of novel functionalities in spintronic and nanomagnetic systems. We aim to bring together experimentalists and theoreticians from Switzerland, Austria, and the neighbouring countries exploring magnetic properties in thin films, interfaces, and nanostructures. Hans Hug (EMPA Dübendorf, Nanoscale Material Science) and Dieter Suess (TU Wien, Magnetic systems) will give invited presentations in this session.

Contact: Naëmi Leo, Susmita Saha, Laura J. Heyderman


Scientific Opportunities with SwissFEL

X-ray free electron lasers (XFEL) have become available in recent years for researchers worldwide – a dream that finally came true 50 years after the invention of the optical laser and 40 years after the first theoretical work on FELs. These research facilities are bold examples of disruptive technologies: revolutionary instruments that expand the scope of what can be achieved in a field of science. The high potential of the new X-ray FEL sources for science and innovation seeded the development and construction of a number of facilities in the US, Europe and Asia. In Switzerland, after four years of construction, the commissioning of SwissFEL started in December 2016. Pilot experiments are expected to start by fall 2017.
The two sessions will be dedicated to present and discuss scientific opportunities opened up by this new facility in selected research fields including condensed matter physics, materials science and chemistry. Invited speakers will give an overview of the achievements and perspectives. The contributed talks will focus on the research goals of academic groups.

Contact: Luc Patthey


Correlated-Electron Physics in Transition-Metal Oxides (organised by the NCCR MARVEL)

This session will focus on the experimental and theoretical aspects of the interplay between orbital, spin and lattice degrees of freedom in this class of materials, as well as in novel developments enabling their control. The presentations will cover advances in synthesis, characterization, design and property control of thin film, heterostructures and bulk oxide materials, as well as novel theoretical methods for the description of correlated electrons and for functional oxide design.

The session will include invited, contributed (oral) and poster presentations. The following invited speakers have already confirmed their participation:

  • Eva Benckiser, Max Plank Institute, Stuttgart, Germany
  • Nicholas Plumb, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland
  • Oleg Peil, Materials Center Leoben, Austria

We particularly encourage young scientists to apply for oral contributions.

Contact: Maria Luisa Medarde Barragan, Claude Ederer, Antoine Georges


Emergent phenomena in novel low-dimensional materials (organised by the NCCR MARVEL)

The combined effect of quantum confinement and reduced screening enables emergent phenomena and unprecedented functionalities in low-dimensional systems. This session will focus on recent experimental and theoretical efforts in the discovery of novel low-dimensional materials, with particular emphasis on the design and characterization of their electronic, optical, and topological properties.

Contact: Marco Gibertini, Oleg Yazyev