EPN 47-3

Préparation du document

Physics of ball sports
New information from historical artefacts
CO 2 -Neutral Fuels
Physics in daily life: disappearing iron
20 Years of SOHO
Volume 47 • number 3
European Union countries price:
104€ per year (VAT not included)

Physics of ball sports
New information from historical artefacts
CO 2-Neutral Fuels
Physics in daily life: disappearing iron
20 Years of SOHO
Volume 47 • number 3
European Union countries price:
104€ per year (VAT not included)
Cover picture: Golf ball being hit. See 'physics of ball sports' p.13 © iStockPhoto
03 EPS and Open Science Policy
C. Rossel
m PAGE 13
Physics of ball sports
m PAGE 17
Discovering new
information from
historical artefacts
m PAGE 22
CO 2 -Neutral Fuels
m PAGE 27
20 Years of SOHO
04 Historic sites: Cabinet of Physics, University of Coimbra, Portugal
05 New DPG president
06 EPS Council 2016
08 2016 Lise Meitner Prize
09 Back to basics with thermoelectric power
First measurement of 60 Ge β decay
Jamming meets constraint satisfaction
10 Electronic counterpart to ecological models revealed
Tumble-proof cargo transporter in biological cells
11 Negative refraction without negative-index materials
Repulsive Casimir forces at quantum criticality
Timeless thoughts on the definition of time
12 Analysing Coulomb-excitation experiments with exotic beams
Charge and spin density in helical Luttinger liquids
13 Physics of ball sports
C. Cohen and C. Clanet
17 Discovering new information from historical artefacts
A. Macková, Ž. Šmit and L. Giuntini
21 Letter to the editors
W. Kundt
22 CO 2 -Neutral Fuels
A. Goede and R. van de Sanden
26 Physics in daily life: disappearing iron
L.J.F. (Jo) Hermans
27 20 Years of SOHO
B. Fleck and D. Müller
31 Letter to the editors: the world is better than it has ever been
M. Ferrero
32 Opinion: Excellent Universities: How do we foster them?
Dieter M. Imboden
EPN 47/3 01

EPS and Open Science Policy
Open science has become a significant way of promoting science
and increasing its societal impact. Through open science,
research results are rapidly available to other researchers, saving
resources, improving the quality of research, providing new skills
and access to knowledge in general. The systematic transition
towards open science is being driven by new IT technologies and
big data handling tools.
It is amazing to see how quickly this
transformation takes place and
is well received among citizens,
companies and decision-makers as it
increases also business opportunity.
The European Commission and EU
Council have expressed their wish to
facilitate and accelerate the changes
towards open science. In particular
by bolstering and interconnecting
existing research infrastructure, the
Commission plans to create a new
European Open Science Cloud. In
February 2016 a call for expressions
of interest was published in order to
select members of the High-Level
Advisory Group 'Open Science Policy
Platform' (OSPP) [1] to be created.
EPS expressed quickly its interest to
become a member of this platform
and I am very proud to announce
that it has officially been nominated
as such by Director General Robert
Jan-Smits of DG Research of the
European Commission. The launch
of the OSPP is planned during the
27 May 2016 Competitiveness Council
in Brussels.
At this point let me emphasize that
Physics has long been at the forefront
of open science. Indeed since the
17 th century the societal demand for
access to scientific knowledge started
with the advent of academic journals
when it became necessary for groups
of scientists to share resources and
do their work collectively. Today the
development of internet and social
networks has made the dissemination
of scientific research and access
to publications and data much easier.
For example the arXiv has been
used by researchers in most fields of
physics to self-archive their research
papers. The arXiv was created in 1991,
before open access to scholarly articles
reporting scientific research was
discussed at the policy level. Other
important areas in open science
where physics has made pioneering
contributions include outreach and
public understanding, citizen science
projects, and innovative science
teaching. EPS has been intimately
associated with the development of
open science by fostering the free
flow of scientific information among
physicists from Eastern and Western
Europe, through the organisation of
conferences on both sides of the political
and ideological divide that characterised
Europe until the 1990s. Our
Society was part of the working group
that laid the ground work for the
concepts behind the SCOAP3 consortium.
EPS was also the lead organisation
for the World Year of Physics
in 2005 and the International year of
Light in 2015. It is involved in various
inquiry-based science education projects,
and provided the initial network
and selection process at national level
for Physics on Stage (now Science on
Stage). In addition, specialist input
has made
in outreach
and public understanding,
citizen science
projects, and
© iStockPhoto
is provided by EPS Governance or
members of our Divisions or Groups
into policy debates. Recent examples
include the EPS analysis of the “Importance
of Physics to the Economies
of Europe”[2] and the Position Paper
by the Energy Group on “European
Energy Policy” [3].
Finally, thanks to its large base of
physicists from all fields of physics,
active in academia, education, industry,
research funding bodies, or scientific
publishers, EPS will continue
to be an active stakeholder in open
science policies and practices. As
such it also supports the Amsterdam
Call for Action on Open Science [4],
a living document that came out of
the Conference 'Open Science –
From Vision to Action' organised
in April 2016 by the Netherlands’
EU Presidency. Thus EPS is making
another step forward in its Brussels
activities, in agreement with the conclusions
and recommendations of its
Strategy Review Group presented at
Council 2016. n
llChristophe Rossel
EPS President
[1] https://ec.europa.eu/research/openscience/index.cfm?
[2] http://www.eps.org/resource/resmgr/policy/
[3] http://www.eps.org/resource/resmgr/policy/
[4] http://www.openaccess.nl/en/events/
EPN 47/3 03
2016 • Volume 47 • number 3
Europhysics news is the magazine of the European
physics community. It is owned by the European
Physical Society and produced in cooperation with EDP
Sciences. The staff of EDP Sciences are involved in the
production of the magazine and are not responsible for
editorial content. Most contributors to Europhysics news
are volunteers and their work is greatly appreciated
by the Editor and the Editorial Advisory Board.
Europhysics news is also available online at:
General instructions to authors can be found at:
Editor: Victor R. Velasco (SP)
Email: vrvr@icmm.csic.es
Science Editor: Jo Hermans (NL)
Email: Hermans@Physics.LeidenUniv.nl
Executive Editor: David Lee
Email: david.lee@eps.org
Graphic designer: Xavier de Araujo
Email: xavier.dearaujo@eps.org
Director of Publication: Jean-Marc Quilbé
Editorial Advisory Board:
Gonçalo Figueira (PT), Guillaume Fiquet (FR),
Zsolt Fülöp (Hu), Adelbert Goede (NL), Agnès Henri (FR),
Martin Huber (CH), Robert Klanner (DE),
Peter Liljeroth (FI), Antigone Marino (IT),
Stephen Price (UK), Laurence Ramos (FR),
Chris Rossel (CH), Claude Sébenne (FR), Marc Türler (CH)
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Individual Members of the European Physical
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Europhysics news through their society, except members
of the Institute of Physics in the United Kingdom and the
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at www.europhysicsnews.org. The following are 2015
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ISSN 0531-7479 • ISSN 1432-1092 (electronic edition)
Printer: Fabrègue • Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche, France
Legal deposit: June 2016
Cabinet of Physics
University of Coimbra, Portugal
The Cabinet of Physics of the University of
Coimbra is the first Historic Site of the European
Physical Society in Portugal. In a ceremony on
March 11, 2016, a commemorative plaque was
unveiled by Luisa Cifarelli, Chair of the EPS
Historic Site Committee and Joa ~ o Gabriel Silva,
Rector of the University of Coimbra.
The Age of Enlightenment, a period historically associated with
changing mentalities in Europe, which had been shaken after the
terrible Lisbon earthquake in 1755, was a brilliant period for the
University of Coimbra: it was a time which brought about sweeping changes
in the intellectual attitude towards natural phenomena. The Cabinet of
Physics - situated in the building of the ancient Jesus College, at uptown
Coimbra classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2013 - was
created in 1772, with the reform of the University of Coimbra.
To Marquis of Pombal, the Prime-Minister of Portugal and the Reformer
of the University, it was imperative to promote the studies in Natural
Philosophy. The Italians Giovanni Antonio Dalla Bella and Domenico
Vandelli were hired as professors of the new Faculty of Philosophy. One
of the most important accomplishments of this renewal project was the
creation of the Cabinet of Physics, since the experimental teaching of this
science was considered a major need.
. The Cabinet of Physics of the University of Coimbra
EPN 47/3
EPS historic sites
m From left to right: Helena Caldeira, Luiz Alte da Veiga, Décio Martins Ruivo, Teresa Peña, Luisa Cifarelli, Conceição Ruivo,
Carlota Simões, Ermelinda Antunes, José António Paixão, João Gabriel Silva, Isabel Nobre.
Nowadays, at the Cabinet of Physics
we find scientific instruments from
the 18 th and 19 th centuries displayed
in two old rooms: Room Dalla Bella
(18 th Century) and Room Figueiredo
Freire (19 th Century).
In Room Dalla Bella the instruments
are presented in their original
shelves according to the Index
Instrumentorum, organized in 1788
by Dalla Bella, the first Director of
the Cabinet of Physics. Many of the
instruments were built in Lisbon by
Joaquim José dos Reis (woods) and
the brothers Schiappa Pietra (metals).
Precision instruments have also been
purchased in England, namely from
George Adams, Edward Nairne, Francis
Watkins, John and Peter Dollond,
James Champneys, Edmund Culpeper,
Benjamin Martin and Henry Pyefinch.
From Italy arrived one Campani microscope
and an instrument to illustrate
the composition of movements,
from Antonio Fabris. João Jacinto de
Magalhães (1722-1790), a renowned
Portuguese scientist, lived in Paris and
London where he met Volta, Lavoisier,
Franklin and Euler. He was responsible
for sending to Portugal numerous
scientific instruments, some with improvements
of his own.
At Room Figueiredo Freire, instruments
mainly from the first
half of 19 th century complete the
exhibition. In the nineteenth century,
electricity and electromagnetism
were the most important fields
of physics. José Figueiredo Freire
(1786-1837) was the third director
of the Cabinet of Physics, being responsible
for its expansion into this
room during the nineteenth century
and for the development of a catalogue
in 1824. At the beginning of
the 19 th century, the Physics Cabinet
and the Astronomical Observatory
of Coimbra commissioned many instruments
to the English instrument
makers William and Samuel Jones,
Edward M. Clarke, William Harris
and the French Hippolyte Pixii and
Augustin Chevallier. There are also
instruments made in Portugal: Jacob
Bernard Haas, a German craftsman,
who had a workshop of scientific
instruments in London, moved to
Lisbon around the year 1800.
The Cabinet of Physics is a European
Historic Site since March 11, 2016.
This recognition coincides with the
commemoration of the University of
Coimbra’s 726 th anniversary: 726 years
have passed since the signing of the
royal decree Scientiae thesaurus mirabilis
on March 1, 1290. Thanks to King
D. Dinis, the University of Coimbra’s
founding document already contained
the word “SCIENCE”. n
llCarlota Simões
Director of the Science Museum
of the University of Coimbra
llDécio Ruivo Martins
Scientific adviser for the collection of
scientific instruments of the Science
Museum of the University of Coimbra
On the 5 th of April the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft
witnessed a change in command. In the Magnus-Haus in
Berlin, Edward Krubasik handed over the presidency of the
DPG to Rolf-Dieter Heuer, former Director General of CERN.
He is the newest in a respectable list of people who headed
the DPG in the past. The list contains names like Max Planck,
Albert Einstein and Walther Gerlach, just to name a few. The
presidency of the DPG is an honorary position, with a two
year term. The DPG is the oldest physical society and – with
over 62,000 members – the largest in the world. n
m Rolf-Dieter Heuer (right) with his predecessor Edward Krubasik (left)
and departing vice president Johanna Stachel (Photo: DPG / P. Chiussi)
EPN 47/3 05
EPS Council 2016
Over 80 participants attended the EPS Council meeting which was held on the campus
of the Université de Haute Alsace, in Mulhouse (FR) on 31 March and 1 April 2016.
EPS Council is the opportunity for the EPS Divisions and Groups, Member Societies and
Action Committees to meet, and share information on the development of the EPS.
Highlights 2015
The meeting was graciously opened by the
Professor C. Gangloff-Zielgler, the President
of the UHA, who spoke of the opportunities
for collaboration between the UHA
and the EPS.
Christophe Rossel, the EPS President,
provided an overview of the activities
in 2015.
The EPS has 42 Member Societies that
represent over 130,000 physicists in Europe.
The EPS also has around 50 Associate
Members representing large European
research facilities, academia and industry.
The 11 EPS Divisions and 6 EPS Groups
cover all areas of physics and carry out
many EPS activities.
The Executive Committee is charged
with oversight and implementation of EPS
activities. It has met 4 times since Council
2015. The meetings were efficient in discussing
EPS priorities, as well as providing the
opportunity to discuss with EPS Member
Societies and Divisions and Groups. Summaries
of Executive Committee meetings
are prepared by the Honorary Secretary,
and are available to all EPS members.
Action Committees, created by the EPS
Executive Committee, administer policies
and programmes of the EPS and provide
the Executive Committee with advice on
specific issues. The EPS currently has 5 Action
Conferences (chair D. Vernhet), to administer
conference qualifications and
conference grants, and to advise on conference
Distinctions and Awards (M. Ducloy
until Council 2016, then J. Hermans), to
review requests for endorsement, and propose
the creation of new awards
Equal Opportunity (L. di Ciaccio), to administer
activities promoting equal opportunities
in physics and propose policy
and activities
European Integration (G. Djordjevic) to
administer activities for European integration
and propose policy and activities
Forum Physics & Society (A. Macdonald)
to explore the bi-directional relationship
between physics and society, run workshops
and propose policies
Historic Sites (L. Cifarelli), to administer
the EPS Historic Sites programme
Young Minds (A. Marino), to administer
the EPS Young Minds programme, and advise
on policies related to young scientists.
The EPS derives its scientific credibility
from the expertise and quality of its Divisions
and Groups. Divisions and Groups
are active in creating and representing the
various communities in physics. As physics
is a very dynamic field, it is normal for Divisions
and Groups to evolve. In 2015, the
EPS Experimental Physics Control Systems
Group was dissolved, and is now part of a
larger international grouping of specialists
in the field. The EPS is exploring new areas
where physics is developing to attract
and create communities to represent these
fields. In 2015, EPS Divisions and Groups
organised 13 of the world’s premier conferences
in all fields of physics. The EPS is
actively involved in promoting scientific
excellence, and awarded 31 prestigious
prizes in 2015.
Physics for Development is an area
where opportunities exist for increased
EPS involvement. A Round table at Council
on the topic was organised by E. van
Groningen, the chair of the EPS Physics
for Development Group. The round table
brought together 5 experts, each presenting
a different approach to tackling problems
in physics for development. C. Rossel
would like to develop more EPS activities
in Physics for Development in the coming
year. A Special Activity Fund has been created,
which collects donations from many
different sources. The Special Activity Fund
will be overseen by a specific committee,
and activities in field of physics for development
could be financed from this fund.
The EPS is active in publication. Its flagship
journal is EPL, publishing high quality
letters in all fields of physics. EPL will celebrate
its 30 th anniversary in 2016. Novelties
in 2015 included the introduction of Perspectives,
and the introduction of the post
of Deputy Editor to improve the communication
with the co-editors. The quality of the
content and the visibility of the journal have
been enhanced, thanks to the hard work of
the Editor in Chief Giorgio Benedek.
The EPS news magazine, Europhysics
News, is distributed in 25,000 copies 5 times
a year to 40 EPS Member Societies. Victor
Velasco, the Editor, and Jo Hermans, the
Science Editor rely on Council delegates to
contribute to the continued development of
the magazine.
The European Journal of Physics (EJP)
is an international journal dedicated to
maintaining and improving the standard
of taught physics in universities and other
higher education institutes. In 2015, Professor
Michael Vollmer the editor in chief
introduced many new initiatives, and witnessed
the growth of submissions and the
number of published articles in 2015.
The EPS electronic newsletter, e-EPS is
published monthly. It is distributed to over
35,000 readers around the world. It contains
news items about important developments
in physics, as well as items of interest to the
general community. The Editor, A. Bracco,
leads the editorial team and is assisted by G.
Gunaratnam, the Technical Editor.
EPS was involved in various policy
initiatives in 2015. Among them are the
publication of the Statement on the Importance
of Funding Basic Natural Science,
and the EPS contribution to the
European Energy Policy and Global
06 EPN 47/3
Reduction of CO 2 emissions (the statements
can be found here: http://www.
eps.org/?page=policy). In addition, the
EPS sponsored a workshop on Integrating
Access to Pan-European Research
Infrastructures in Central and Eastern
Europe (INARIE) in Debrecen (HU). The
workshop explored the barriers to access
to research infrastructures encountered
by researchers in small and medium-sized
countries, and possible solutions. A declaration
relating to the conditions for access
to research infrastructures was signed by
the presidents of Hungarian Academy of
Sciences, of the EPS and by the chair of
European Forum on Research Infrastructures
(ESFRI) (http://www.eps.org/
The Historic Sites programme remains
successful, with 8 new Historic Sites in 2015:
Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory, Leiden, NL
Residencia de Estudiantes, Madrid (SP)
The Fasor Lutheran Secondary School of
Budapest, HU
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität [LMU],
Munich, DE
Mount Vesuvius Observatory, Hercolaneum,
Naples, IT
Inst. of Radium Research, Vienna, AT
Einstein house, Bern, CH (EPS-APS)
Hotel Metropole (Solvay), Brussels, BE
The Historic Site ceremonies are excellent
outreach opportunities, bringing the
EPS Member Societies into contact with
local policy makers, and establish a lasting
connection to the local community.
The EPS has been active in developing
its presence in Brussels. Office space
is shared with the European Association
of Chemical and Molecular Societies
(EuCheMS). Various activities have been
developed and piloted using a specialist
consultant in European policy. A meeting
was organised in Brussels with the Presidents
of EPS Member Societies to discuss
priorities and concrete proposals for action.
The EPS has provided input to the European
Commission in areas such as potential
members of the High level Group of the
Science Advices Mechanism. The EPS was
also one of the organisers of the workshop
Science Advice in Europe, organised in
Heidelberg in January 2016. To help the
EPS in providing timely advice, an Advisory
Board on Science Policy has been created.
Made up of eminent, well respected scientists,
the members of the ABSP will support
EPS activities in Brussels.
Strategy Review
Council 2015 established a group to review
the EPS Strategy 2010+. The review
was constructive and analysed measures
of success, actions, and/or new routes for
the strategy and its operational implementation.
Among the activities undertaken
during the period that must be considered
as highlights include the International Year
of Light in 2015, the creation of the e-EPS
newsletter, the introduction of the Historic
Sites Programme, the Study on "The Importance
of Physics to the Economies of
Europe", the growth of the conference services
department, and the introduction of
new prizes such as the Edison Volta Prize
and the Emmy Noether Distinction. It was
noted that many of these activities span
across the “federal” and “learned society”
aspects of the EPS mission.
The Strategy Review Group nonetheless
pointed out shortcomings still to be addressed
in the coming years. Communications,
both internally and externally need to
be improved. Many activities of the EPS are
not adequately communicated, inside and
outside the EPS. There is potential for growth
of both Individual Members and Associate
members, and increasing the membership
base has many advantages. A campaign to increase
members needs to be devised and implemented.
The Executive Committee needs
to be comprised on motivated volunteers
that can bring expertise in specific areas,
e.g. education, publication, European relations
etc. The Executive Committee should
be structured by “portfolio”, with systematic
reporting on items of interest to the EPS.
Council needs to be more involved in
setting EPS priorities. More time at Council
should be devoted to discussing EPS future
activities. Council delegates should be asked
prior to Council whether they have items
that they would like to have discussed on
the agenda. Input from Council delegates
will be particularly important as the EPS
becomes more involved in science policy
in Europe.
EPS Distinctions
Council approved the following individuals
as Fellows of the EPS:
Luc Bergé, CEA, Paris, FR
Eberhard Bodenschatz Max-Planck-Institut
for Dynamics and Self-Organization
Göttingen, DE
Reinhard Brinkmann DESY Hamburg, DE
Sydney Gales Institut de Physique Nucléaire,
Orsay, FR
Victor Malka Laboratoire d’Optique Appliquéz
Palaiseau, FR
Karlheinz Meier Kirchhoff Institut for
Physics, Univerity of Heidelberg DE
Council approved the award of the
EPS Achievement Award to Douglas
I.J. MacGregor, University of Glasgow,
Scotland, UK for his outstanding leadership
skills and his active promotion of the
activities of the Nuclear Physics Division,
increasing the visibility, significance and
impact of the EPS.
Council approved the award of the
EPS Achievement Award to Jozef Ongena,
Forschungszentrum Jülich DE for his
outstanding contributions to the EPS in
his various functions over a long period of
time and for his enthusiasm in promoting
the image and the impact of the EPS with
the scientific community, policy makers and
other stakeholders.
Council approved the award of the 2016
Gero Thomas Medal to Dénes Lajos Nagy,
KFKI Research Institute for Particle and Nuclear
Physics, Budapest HU for his dedication
and numerous contributions and commitment
to the EPS in the fields of East West relations,
and international scientific cooperation.
. Jozef Ongena (left) and Christophe Rossel (right)
EPN 47/3 07