The Polish-German WE-Heraeus Seminar & Max Born Symposium “Many-particle systems under extreme conditions” attracted about 50 experts who came to Görlitz for this in-person event in early December 2023. While the focus was on the Polish and German research communities, also several top speakers from the US joined the event and engaged in lively discussions. “Given the high level of all talks, including those by young investigators, the active interaction among the participants from different fields and the promising young talents presenting their work at the poster competition, the event clearly was a success,” says David Blaschke, Professor at the University of Wrocław and CASUS Visiting Faculty.

Prof. Blaschke, one of the organizers besides Prof. Thomas D. Kühne (Director CASUS, HZDR) and Prof. Ralf Schützhold (Director Institute of Theoretical Physics, HZDR), adds that many Polish and German groups working on many-particle systems under extreme conditions were brought together for the first time. The research foci of the participants ranged from the atomic and QED plasma scales to nuclear matter and the quark-gluon plasma in terrestrial experiments (including inertial fusion, heavy-ion collisions, high-intensity laser systems). In addition, also nuclear matter and plasma topics from astrophysics like neutron stars and their mergers, supernovae, cosmic rays and primordial black holes were discussed.

“There were several layers of cross-talk between communities which otherwise rarely meet and I was told of several new collaborations already agreed upon directly at the event,” says David Blaschke.

Dr. Stefan Jorda from the Wilhelm and Else (WE) Heraeus Foundation came to Görlitz to highlight the work of the foundation. According to Blaschke, he was – as many others –  impressed by the quality of talks and discussions and, on top, also by the organization of the event which was accomplished by the CASUS event team. Another attendee, Prof. Gerd Röpke from the University of Rostock, was also full of praise: “Everything was very well organized: nice hotel, first-class venue with history, excellent speakers who covered a broad spectrum of topics, time for fruitful discussions, and the integration of young scientists from both countries.”

The Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation is a private institution that supports scientific research and education with an emphasis on physics. Organizing WE-Heraeus Seminars is the most important and oldest funding activity of the foundation. The topics cover cutting-edge research in both physics and neighboring fields. Trademark of these meetings is an informal atmosphere with plenty of opportunity for personal contacts. In 2019, binational WE-Heraeus Seminars were introduced and the Görlitz event is already the ninth installment.

The awardees of the event’s poster prize competition were Agata Zdanowicz (Warsaw University of Technology, 1st spot), Vimal Vijayan (GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung Darmstadt, 2nd spot) and Valeriya Mykhaylova (University of Wrocław, 3rd spot).

The image gallery below and event video provide some more impressions of the event at the Cultural Forum Görlitz Synagogue.