Program Overview

Plenary Session

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

  • Laura Baudis, Uni Zürich: The state-of-the-art in the direct search for dark matter
  • Sibylle Günter, MPI für Plasmaphysik Garching: Science with the most modern stellarator, Wendelstein 7-X
  • Laura Heyderman, PSI Villigen & ETH Zürich: Artificial Ferroic Systems
  • Jonathan Home, ETH Zürich: Trapped-ion quantum state engineering
  • Michele Parrinello, ETH Zürich & USI Lugano: Variationally-Enhanced Sampling
  • Aleksandra Radenovic, EPF Lausanne: 2D-material nanopores as a new playground for biophysics
  • Tilman Sauer, Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz: Biography of an Idea: the Case of Gravitational Lensing

Furthermore a public lecture is scheduled on Tuesday evening:

  • Hervé le Treut, Université Pierre et Marie Curie & Ecole Polytechnique, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Paris: Après la conférence de Paris sur le climat (COP21): quels enjeux et quelle place pour la science?

Topical Sessions

The following parallel sessions will be held in the afternoons:

  • Applied Physics and Plasma Physics
  • Atomic Physics and Quantum Photonics
  • Beyond Research – How Physics impacts the Marketplace
  • Biophysics, Medical Physics and Soft Matter
  • Condensed Matter Physics (KOND)
  • Earth, Atmosphere and Environmental Physics
  • Electronic Properties at Surfaces and Interfaces
  • History of Physics
  • Magnetism and Spintronics at the Nanoscale
  • Mott Physics Beyond the Heisenberg Model
  • Nuclear, Particle- & Astrophysics (TASK)
  • Theoretical Physics

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 Tuesday morning, while the scientific contributions will be placed in the TASK sessions.


Poster Session

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

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 new in Computational Physics (sponsored by COMSOL). Each award is granted with CHF 5000.-.

The award ceremony will be held on 23 August in the afternoon.


General Assembly

The general assembly is scheduled for 23 August. The agenda will be published in the SPS Communications No. 49. 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 will be mailed within the next weeks 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.



In the morning of the 23 August we will organise a visit to the CSCS (see box). You can register for this visit 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.


CSCS – Driving innovation in computational research in Switzerland

The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) is opening its doors to those interested in discovering the world of high performance computing. Founded in 1991, CSCS develops and provides the key supercomputing capabilities required to solve important problems in science and/or society. The centre enables world-class research with a scientific user lab that is available to local and international researchers through a transparent, peer-reviewed allocation process. CSCS's resources are open to academia, and are available as well to users from industry and the business sector. During the visit you will learn more about the centre and see the supercomputers that allow researchers to demonstrate science that was never possible with theory and experimentation alone.


Conference Dinner

A conference dinner is scheduled for the evening of 24 August. We will drive with busses to the Swissminiatur, the park will be accessible for the participants and fully illuminated.
You can select the dinner during the normal registration procedure. The price is CHF 65.- (incl. meal, drinks and bus transfer).
On the ride back the busses will stop at selected places so the hotels can easily be reached.


Additional information for selected sessions

Beyond Research – How Physics impacts the Marketplace
The section "Physics in Industry" proudly announces a dedicated session on "How physics impacts the marketplace" at this year‘s annual meeting. Invited speakers from corporate research institutions, technology start-ups and academia will provide insights based on their experience on how to successfully bridge the gap between research and the marketplace. It is planned to start the session with a historical overview on the past century and the relevance of physics from pure academic research to new tools and methods in every day life, followed by a discussion of the innovation potential of corporate research organizations versus agile start-ups, which directly leads over to the crucial decision whether to it is preferred to publish or pursue a trade secret strategy. Moreover, best-practice examples will be provided by the founder of a technology-heavy start-up, to illustrate ways on how to overcome barriers to become an entrepreneur. Last but not least, we would like to wrap up the session with a speech about physics in the entertainment sector and how to trigger emotions by “approximate” physics.
We are also soliciting contributions for this session and hence encourage you to consider to share your experience on the above topics.

Contact: Thomas Brunschwiler and Patrick Ruch, IBM Rüschlikon


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

Contact: Christian Rüegg, PSI and University of Geneva


Electronic properties at surfaces and interfaces
The session on "Electronic properties at surfaces and interfaces" will be dedicated to the newest developments and investigations of novel electronic states confined at surfaces or interfaces employing large facility based spectroscopies and other techniques. The material systems that will be covered range from thin films over oxide heterostructures to toplogical insulators.

Contact: Thorsten Schmitt, Ming Shi, Swiss Light Source, PSI


Magnetism and Spintronics at the Nanoscale
This session brings together scientists investigating magnetic phenomena or spin transport in systems with restricted dimensions. The major focus is given to experimental and theoretical aspects of static and dynamic spin manipulation, as well as recent advances on spin transport and spin injection effects, in thin films, interfaces and nanostructures.
Invited presentations will be given by Dirk Grundler (TU Munich, Functional Thin Films) and Pietro Gambardella (ETH Zurich, Magnetism and Interface Physics).

Contact: Naëmi Leo, Anna Suszka, Laura J. Heyderman, PSI


Mott Physics Beyond the Heisenberg Model
The SNF Sinergia Network organises an international workshop and topical session on the physics of systems with strong spin-orbit coupling. This follows a series of international workshops on the same topic at EPFL (2012), on Monte Verita (2013), and in Oxford (2014). The organisers invite submissions of abstracts by anybody interested in the topic.

Contact: Henrik Rønnow, EPFL