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Odessa conference surveys new trends

12 November 2019
Maciej Trzebinski

The 2019 edition of New Trends in High Energy Physics took place in Odessa, Ukraine, from 12 to 18 May, with 84 participants attending from 21 countries. Initiated by the Bogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics at the National Academy of Sciences in the Ukraine and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, the series focuses on new ideas and hot problems in theory and experiment. The series started in 1992 in Kiev under the name HADRONS, changed its title to “New Trends in High-Energy Physics” at the turn of the millennium, took place for a decade in the Crimea, then moved to Natal (Brazil) and Becici (Montenegro), before coming back to Ukraine this year.

This year’s conference had an emphasis on heavy-ion physics and strong interactions, with aspects of the QCD phase diagram such as signatures of the transition from quark–gluon plasma to hadrons highlighted in several talks. The interpretation of recent experimental results on collectivity (the bulk motion of nuclear matter at high temperatures) in terms of the formation of a “perfect liquid” was also discussed. Future searches for glueballs and other exotic hadronic states will contribute to an improved understanding of non-perturbative aspects of QCD.

Many problems of low and intermediate energy physics are still unresolved

Parallel to the quest for the highest possible energies, many problems of low- and intermediate-energy physics are still unresolved, such as the critical behaviour of excited baryonic matter, the nature of exotic resonances and puzzles relating to spin. The construction of new facilities will help answer these questions, with high-luminosity collisions of particles ranging from polarised protons to gold ions at JINR–Dubna’s NICA facility, complemented by fixed-target antiproton and ion studies with unprecedented collision rates at FAIR, the new international accelerator complex at GSI Darmstadt.

Talks on general relativity and cosmology, dark matter and black holes explored the many facets of modern astrophysical observations. Future multi-messenger observations, combining the measurements of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum and neutrinos with gravitational wave signals, are expected to contribute significantly to an improved understanding of the dynamics of binary black-hole and neutron-star mergers. Such measurements are of great significance for a variety of open issues, for example, nuclear physics at densities far beyond the regime accessible in laboratory experiments.

The next edition of the conference will be held in Kiev from 27 June to 3 July 2021.

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