The 15th Confinement conference (ConfXV) brings 230 physicist to UiS

The Quark confinement and the Hadron spectrum conference brought together 230 researchers for lectures and conversations about the smallest building blocks in the universe.

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En gruppe forskere samlet i en aula.
To provide a Covid-safe conference environment, the organizers instated an indoors mask mandate and ensured improved ventilation with CO2 monitoring at the venue. Photo: Kjersti Riiber

The conference had 230 in-person participants from 29 countries with 24 plenary presentations and 170 parallel talks presented in 8 concurrent tracks. In addition to that, four plenary round tables were arranged that brought together domain experts from around the world to discuss pressing topics in our research field.

Varied topics

The tracks span a variety of topics. Several tracks focused on the microscopic world and aimed to answer in detail how the quark particles inside the proton and neutrons behave under various conditions (in the world around us or shortly after the big bang). Other tracks looked at macroscopic phenomena, such as the collision of neutron stars (the most heavy astrophysical objects known) and how we can learn about the dense neutron matter in their interior. In addition the organizers also had tracks which discuss precision experiments. These experiments try to find small deviations between predictions of established theory and nature to learn about where we need to improve our understanding of the microscopic world. Last but not least a dedicated track that showcased modern data analysis methods including machine learning in the context of high energy particle physics.

Notable plenary speakers were:
  • Dam Thanh Son (University of Chicago), winner of the 2018 Dirac medal. He talked about theory progress to describe very heavy elements).
  • Zoreh Davoudi (University of Maryland), winner of the 2018 Ken Wilson Award. Talked about how quantum computers can improve simulations in nuclear physics.
  • Kenta Itahashi (RIKEN Japan), winner of the 2020 RIKEN EIHO award. Reported on a recent precision measurement involving so called pion particles.
  • Susan Gardner (University of Kentucky), winner of the 2022 Kirwan Memorial Prize. Talked about how a better understanding of quark particles can help us reveal what dark matter is.
  • Alexander Rothkopf (Universitetet i Stavanger), winner of the 2019 Lyse Research prize. Talked about the so-called inverse problem challenge, which affects many different research fields and to which research at UiS provides a common solution tool.