The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP)

By Mary Ann Williams, ICTP, Italy

ICTPThe Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) is an international educational and research institute based in Trieste, Italy. Its unique mission is to support cutting-edge, theoretical and applied physics research, while at the same time advancing scientific expertise in the developing world through training and educational opportunities. In 2014, ICTP celebrated its 50th anniversary.

ICTP’s unique strength lies in its ability to bring together large numbers of gifted scientists from developing and developed countries to participate in joint research in the following areas:

  • High Energy, Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
  • Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Earth System Physics
  • Applied Physics
  • Quantitative Life Sciences

ICTP enjoys a worldwide reputation for truly outstanding workshops, conferences and schools dealing with topics at the cutting edge of science. Each year, the Centre organizes more than 60 of these events, which attract thousands of scientists from around the world. Over the past five decades, scientists from 188 countries have made over 140,000 visits to ICTP to discuss the latest findings in their fields, returning to their native countries to share what they have learned.

ICTP operates under a tripartite agreement between Italy, UNESCO, and the IAEA. For more details, go to

Click here to read an article on the 50th anniversary of ICTP. Dr. Fernando Quevedo talks about changing with the times – and new programs for researchers and PhD students.

Top research papers from the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics:

Partition function of N=2 gauge theories on a squashed S4 with SU(2)×U(1) isometry
Nuclear Physics B, Volume 899, October 2015, Pages 149-164
Alejandro Cabo-Bizet, Edi Gava, Victor I. Giraldo-Rivera, M. Nouman Muteeb, K.S. Narain

A model of neutrino mass and dark matter with an accidental symmetry
Physics Letters B, Volume 746, 30 June 2015, Pages 430-435
Amine Ahriche, Kristian L. McDonald, Salah Nasri, Takashi Toma

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Hong Kong University of Science and Technology: Innovating Today, Imagining Tomorrow

By Michael Altman, HKUST

bird view hk

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is a dynamic, young research university with a diverse international faculty and student body in relentless pursuit of excellence. Situated on the hillside overlooking scenic Clear Water Bay on the southern tip of China, HKUST has rapidly established itself as a leading institution on the academic world map in the short time since it was founded in 1991.

The research strategy of the HKUST Department of Physics has focused since the outset on developing several core areas in which it has built up critical mass, including condensed matter, advanced materials, nanoscience, soft matter, laser and optical physics. The more recent establishment of outstanding groups in strategic new areas such as biological physics, particle theory and cosmology and atomic, molecular and optical physics that either branch from its core strengths or explore significantly different horizons is intended to broaden the impact of the Department's research programs in its third decade. Cohesive collaborative efforts in several areas are spearheaded under the frameworks of the Centers for Metamaterials, Fundamental Physics, Two-dimensional Quantum Materials, and the William Mong Institute for Nanoscience and Technology.

HKUST A priority in the near future will be to consolidate these efforts by further strengthening core strengths and building new areas to world-class stature. Wider impact is also being pursued through involvement in university-wide interdisciplinary initiatives such as computational science, sustainability and energy-related research. A close working relationship with the HKUST Institute of Advanced Study has been successfully leveraged to advance research in the Department. The Department also inspires future generations of scientists through its elite International Research Enrichment program for exceptional undergraduate students and by involvement in the Physics Olympiad training and mentoring program of secondary school students for regional and international competitions.

We are pleased provide you with free access until March 31st 2016 to a selection of the top research papers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology:

Manipulating spatial light fields for micro- and nano-photonics
Physica E: Low-dimensional Systems and Nanostructures, Volume 44, Issues 7–8, April–May 2012, Pages 1109–1126
Xiangsheng Xie, Yikun Liu, Mudong Zhang, Jianying Zhou, Kam Sing Wong

Anisotropic dynamic mass density for fluid–solid composites
Physica B: Condensed Matter, Volume 407, Issue 20, 15 October 2012, Pages 4093–4096
Ying Wu, Jun Mei, Ping Sheng

Spin polarized low energy electron microscopy of quantum well resonances in Fe films on the Cu-covered W(110) surface
Ultramicroscopy, Volume 130, July 2013, Pages 109–114
Qiang Wu, M.S. Altman

Tuning the optical and electrical properties of hydrothermally grown ZnO nanowires by sealed post annealing treatment
Solid State Communications, Volume 160, April 2013, Pages 41–46
Shuigang Xu, Chun Cheng, Wenhao Guo, Yuheng He, Rui Huang, Shengwang Du, Ning Wang

Probing Majorana flat bands in nodal dx2−y2-wavedx2−y2-wave superconductors with Rashba spin–orbit coupling
Physica E: Low-dimensional Systems and Nanostructures, Volume 55, January 2014, Pages 30–36
Noah F.Q. Yuan, Chris L.M. Wong, K.T. Law

Birth, growth and death of an antivortex during the propagation of a transverse domain wall in magnetic nanostrips
Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, Volume 368, November 2014, Pages 70–74
H.Y. Yuan, X.R. Wang

Spontaneous vortex dynamics in superconducting FeTe thin films
Solid State Communications, Volume 195, October 2014, Pages 35–38
H.T. He, G. Wang, H.C. Liu, T. Zhang, K.T. Law, I.K. Sou, J.N. Wang

Spoof surface plasmon polaritons on ultrathin metal strips with tapered grooves
Optics Communications, Volume 356, 1 December 2015, Pages 59-63
Hong Xiang, Yan Meng, Qiang Zhang, Fei Fei Qin, Jun Jun Xiao, Dezhuan Han, Weijia Wen

Chirality from shadowing deposited metallic nanostructures
Photonics and Nanostructures - Fundamentals and Applications, Volume 13, January 2015, Pages 50–57
Chunrui Han, Wing Yim Tam

Polarized absorption spectra of (2,2) carbon nanotubes aligned in channels of an AEL crystal
Optical Materials, Volume 49, November 2015, Pages 138-140
Yanping Chen, Jianpang Zhai, Irene Ling Li, Shuangchen Ruan, Zikang Tang

Institute in the Spotlight: Nanjing University

By Jianxi Li, Chair, School of Physics at Nanjing University (May 2015)

Nanjing UniversityThe year 2015 marks the Centenary of Physics at Nanjing University. Located in the ancient capital of China, over the past hundred years, the School of Physics at Nanjing University has contributed significantly to the scientific developments and the modernization of the country, while itself has become one of the best physics departments in China. Research conducted in the School spans condensed matter physics, photonics and optics, acoustics, biophysics and soft matter, nuclear physics and high energy physics, and most notably, artificial microstructures studies.

History of the School of Physics

Physics at Nanjing University seeds from the Division of Physics and Chemistry which was founded in 1915 when NJU was known as Nanjing Higher Normal School. It was later renamed the Department of Physics in 1920, and is one of the earliest physics departments in China. With the development of physics science at Nanjing University, the Department of Information Physics and the Department of Material Science and Engineering were derived from the Department of Physics in 1984 and 1994, respectively. Based on these three Departments, the School of Physics, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the School of Electronic Science and Engineering were founded in 2009.

Over the past hundred years, the School of Physics at Nanjing University has contributed significantly to the scientific developments and the modernization of the country, while itself has become one of the best physics departments in China. NJU Physics ranked at Number 1 in China in 2007 and 2012 by the Academic & Graduate Education Development Center of the Ministry of Education of China. In the new era, the School of Physics aspires to become one of the most highly ranked physics departments in the world. We extend our warm welcome to distinguished scholars and outstanding young talents from China, and beyond, to join our effort.

Annals of Physicscover

Special Issue:  Nanjing Physics celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2015
Edited by Hyunseok Jeong and Victor Gurarie

Fudan University: Department of Physics - Heavenly light shines day after day!

By Jian Shen, Chair, Department of Physics, Fudan University, Shanghai (November 2014)

History of Fudan University

Fudan University - "Fudan" meaning "Heavenly light shines day after day"- belongs to China's national topmost institutions of advanced learning and higher education universities. Established in 1905, and after merging with the physics departments of eight universities in East China, the University developed into one of the key centers for physics research and education in China.

For the the coming five years, the department has ambitious plans: to match the international level, the favorable position in the field of Condensed Matter Physics and the domestic leading position in some of its sub-fields should be further developed and the fields of Theoretical and Computational Physics, Soft Matter, Physics Biology, and Optics strengthened. These changes, together with the addition of a new discipline, Nuclear and Particle Physics, should help attract young talent to the department.

university imageuniversity image

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Top research papers from the Physics Department of Fudan University

Optical  response of a flat metallic surface coated with a monolayer array of latex  spheres
Physics Letters A, Volume 374, Issue 8, 8  February 2010, Pages 1059-1062
Lei Shi, Xiaohan Liu, Haiwei Yin, Jian Zi

Recent  progress on sum-frequency spectroscopy
Surface Science  Reports, Volume 69, Issues 2–3,  September–October 2014,  Pages 105-131
C.S. Tian, Y.R. Shen

Resonance  properties of metallic ring systems
Materials Today,  Volume 12, Issue 12, December 2009, Pages 52-59
Lei Zhou, Xueqin Huang, Yi Zhang, Siu-Tat Chui

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Tohoku University: Physics at Tohoku University is all Around!

By Hirofumi Seike, University Research Administration Center, Tohoku University, Japan (January 2015)

Tohoku University is an internationally recognized research university, located in Sendai city, the northeastern part of Japan. Since its establishment in 1907, Tohoku University has contributed to the welfare of our global society through the creation of new knowledge and technological innovation.

Physics, along with materials science and chemistry, is our strong area of research. Our particularly strong sub-disciplines of physics include nuclear physics, particles and fields, optics, condensed matter physics, and above all, spintronics and spin-related studies.

Physics research at Tohoku University is being pursued not only in the Department of Physics, School of Science, but in School of Engineering and the university research institutes, such as Institute for Materials Research, Institute of Fluid Science, Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials, and WPI-Advanced Institute for Materials Research. This setting brings in diverse expertise and perspectives to enable Tohoku University's physics research to always stay vigorous and dynamic. As of April, 2015, taking advantage of our unique strength, Tohoku University will launch the International Graduate Program focusing on spintronics in collaboration with overseas leading universities, including Johannes Gutenberg-Universit├Ąt Mainz.

Top research papers from the Physics Department of Tohoku University (publications in 2013 and 2014)

Spin-dependent tunneling and Coulomb blockade in ferromagnetic nanoparticles
Yakushiji, K., Mitani, S., Ernult, F., Takanashi, K., Fujimori, H.
Physics Reports , Volume 451, Issue 1, October 2007, Pages 1-35

Polynomial chaotic inflation in the Planck era
Nakayama, K., Takahashi, F., Yanagida, T.T.
Physics Letters B, Volume 725, Issues 1–3, 9 August 2013, Pages 111-114

Study of the correlation of scintillation decay and emission wavelength
Yanagida, T., Fujimoto, Y., Yamaji, A., Kawaguchi, N., Kamada, K., Totsuka, D., Fukuda, K., Yamanoi, K., Nishi, R., Kurosawa, S., Shimizu, T., Sarukura, N.
Radiation Measurements, Volume 55, August 2013, Pages 99-102

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