Message from the Director: Online vs traditional conferences
This story goes back to 2016 when the IUPAP C11 Commission for particles and fields assigned ICHEP2020 to Prague. Among the congratulations, I got one cynical recommendation: “make sure you get the best wifi and good coffee, that’s all you should worry about”. Even if I do not share this view, we did not ignore it when negotiating with the Prague Congress Center. Their experts were sceptical of our bandwidth and power cord requests saying that half of the participants would stroll downtown and others would cope with their smartphones. They have apparently never served a particle physics congress!
But things changed and the localised way to build IT services for ICHEP had to be abandoned and replaced by a truly distributed approach. As the first conferences moved online, we started to peep into each other’s households, learn the favourite art style of our colleagues by admiring paintings in their homes, and became acquainted with our colleague’s kids and pets. And we also started to worry about connection quality.
At this moment we prepared our first technical plan: all talks would be pre-recorded and played from the central hub, and speakers would be asked to be connected and available for Q&A. But thinking it through would this really contribute to a ‘live’ conference? With more conferences running online successfully with live presentations we also followed this path and hope there will not be too many perturbations - but this is yet to be seen! So please read carefully all the instructions provided, get the best network connection you can, and check your hardware and software beforehand. Also connect well in advance as your presentation could start earlier if previous speakers have issues - this is especially true for the plenary sessions.
To be honest: we are not completely non-local. All 18 parallel Zoom sessions are hosted from the Charles University campus which is almost empty due to extended vacations. Our current regulations allow us to run this control centre on the campus, so we will have no living room painting exhibitions from Prague. We have no conference coffee either!
Here we highlight some of the talks that will be taking place during the 17 parallel sessions that we have today:
Higgs Physics Don’t miss the presentation from ATLAS on a new measurement of the H→ μ μ coupling - it is the most precise measurement to date! There will also be reports on prospects for Higgs boson measurements at future colliders.
Beyond the Standard Model Can the Standard Model flavour structure account for all the observed CP and flavour-violating effects? Can hypothetical long-lived particles keep evading our detection efforts forever? Join us for today's session where the frontiers of our current knowledge, pushed by world-leading experimental collaborations, will be explored in great detail.
Dark Matter Detection Today’s session will probe low-background techniques aimed at detecting dark matter interactions, including "SuperCDMS Searches for Low-Mass Particle Dark Matter" and "The DARWIN experiment: the ultimate detector for direct dark matter search".
Strong Interactions and Hadron Physics A selection of interesting spectroscopic measurements including exotic states and their theoretical interpretation will be covered, and we will hear about physics programs for Electron-Ion Colliders!
Heavy Ions We will explore theoretical studies with heavy ion colliders, as well as experimental proposals for the current collider facilities (RHIC, SPS, and the LHC) and future colliders (LHeC, FCC-eh). We will conclude with discussions on forward physics results, focusing on diffraction and ultra-peripheral collisions from CMS, STAR and ALICE.
Astro-particle Physics and Cosmology Neutrinos are the focus today, with news from the DUNE collaboration followed by a report on the upgrade of SNEWS (SuperNova Early Warning System) - SNEWS 2.0 will bring new capabilities for a warning of a supernova core collapse in the Milky Way.
Accelerator: Physics, Performance, and R&D for Future Facilities We will look at strategies and plans for circular and linear accelerator facilities with the potential to have a high impact on our field, and then focus on muon colliders and muon-related experiments.
Technology Applications, Industrial Opportunities and Sustainability Applications away from traditional labs will be explored, including new generally applicable gaseous detectors, HEP systems used for monitoring the state of a volcano; the Laser-hybrid Accelerator for Radiobiological Applications; and new results in Proton Computed Tomography.
Diversity and Inclusion How diverse are our experimental collaborations? How have they dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic? Join the diversity and inclusion session to listen to how communities and experiments are addressing these issues and share your experience.
Don’t miss our Poster Sessions starting at 1:30p.m.!
Recommended by... Toru Iijima (Nagoya University), Belle II spokesperson
“I would listen to the Quark and Lepton Flavour Physics Session II, and hope to hear some updates on the CKM measurements as well as on the lepton flavour violation. Belle II will present the first results on Vub and Vcb.”
What You Missed Yesterday
If you missed yesterday’s sessions, never fear - you can watch them in our replay sessions, and via the session recordings that can be found here.
Evidence for the production of the exotic X(3872) meson in relativistic heavy-ion collisions was reported by the CMS Experiment. This measurement may help to elucidate the production mechanism and the nature of X(3872) as well as helping us to understand the interaction mechanisms leading to the suppression of high-pt particles traversing the quark-gluon plasma, which was discussed in detail in the heavy-ion session.
In the Top/EW Session, precision measurements of the Z boson transverse momentum (pT) distributions were shown by CMS, and pT distributions for the W boson by the Tevatron's D0 experiment. ATLAS and CMS presented 1D and 3D differential spectra of top quarks in, with CMS showing photon triple differential cross-sections, LHCb exploring EW physics in its forward region, and ILC precision EW plans were shown.
The social side of ICHEP
We cordially invite you to join us for a short walk around Prague, taking in views of the monuments and significant locations. Our guide will be physicist and painter Jan Hladky - we will see Prague through his eyes! Enjoy the tour, the paintings, and musical accompaniment by the famous Czech composer Bedrich Smetana about the river Vltava that flows through Prague. Now, let us start the tour...