Regional Potential project: CreteHEPCosmo
The Center is supported by an FP7-REGPOT-2008-1 grant CreteHEPCosmo with number 228644, from mid-2009 till mid-2012. Its purpose is to provide a boost to the competitiveness of the Center and establish links and research contacts with several prominent European institutions.
- CCTP and its Research
- Hiring of young researchers
- Establishing a computational facility
- Exchanges with European Institutions
- Organization of Workshops and Conferences
- Research and Publications
- Outreach and dissemination
- Deliverables and Reports
CCTP and its Research
The Crete Center for Theoretical Physics is conceived to enhance research and education in theoretical physics through postdoctoral fellowships and programs that identify and explore forefront issues in theoretical physics.
It has as a goal to address current mysteries and problems in the physical universe. In particular, issues related to the nature of the fundamental interactions, the content of the universe at large, as well as the knowledge and understanding of the various forms of matter are at the forefront of the research efforts by the physicists of the center.
Currently we are in an era where important experimental and observational data are suggesting that our view and knowledge of the universe is very incomplete. Confirmation of the problems of dark matter and dark energy suggest that more than 95% of the energy of the universe contains new forms of matter and energy. And although physicists have some well motivated guesses for dark matter, they are more or less at a loss with dark energy.
The goal of the research in the Center is to address questions that pertain to understanding the universe and its functioning components. It is more obvious than ever that different basic physics questions pertaining to different areas of research are interrelated. The issues and problems in Cosmology are closely connected to those of high energy physics. The problems of theories of quantum gravity are interrelated with those of extreme astrophysics and cosmology. And string theories of quantum gravity may be interrelated with several phenomena of dense/extreme matter.
The Center has researchers with expertise in all these different directions and places particular importance in the strong interaction between different approaches.
The Center is composed of select faculty members working mostly in high energy physics and cosmology, postdoctoral fellows that are selected yearly by an international search for the most talented individuals, and visiting and adjunct fellows. The Center also hosts workshops, conferences, seminars, public lectures and other activities.
It is supervised and advised by a three-member advisory committee, consisting of C. Callan (Princeton), J. Iliopoulos (ENS) and G. Veneziano (CERN and College de France). More information on the committee members can be found at the committee site.
It is supported in its starting steps by an FP7 Capacities Grant, CreteHEPCosmo, as well as several other research grants from the EU and Greek Secretariat of Research and Technology.
The Center is located at the Physics department at the University of Crete, in the Voutes area of Heraklion.
Hiring of Young Researchers
A senior researcher was hired, among 36 applicants, Vassilis Niarchos (PhD Chicago) from Ecole Polytechnique.
He joined CCTP in July 2010, and has led independent research in the Center, particiapted in the organization of tasks, and has
organized a very successful workshop in July 2012 in Heraklion.
Several other young researchers were hired in two rounds. The CCTP had a list of about 400 applicants both times, from all world academic institutions.
The following researchers have been hired on this grant
Rene Meyer (PhD University of Munich).
Matthew Lippert (PhD University of California, Santa Barbara).
Hong Bao Zhang (PhD University of Beijing).
Matti Jarvinen (PhD University of Helsinki).
Takeshi Morita (PhD University of Kyoto).
Anastasios Taliotis (PhD University of Ohio).
Pavel Spirin (PhD Moscow University).
and for short terms the following:
Andrew O'Bannon (PhD University of Washington, Seattle).
Ioannis Papadimitriou, (PhD Princeton-Amsterdam).
Umut Gursoy, (PhD MIT).
Blaise Gouteraux, (PhD Orsay, Paris).
Daniel Arean (PhD Santiago de Compostela).
Liuba Mazzanti, (PhD Milano-Ecole Polytechnique).
Establishing a computational facility
A computational cluster was also set up to perform the numerical calculations of the Center Researchers. It is composed of 15 CPUs: Intel® Core™ i7 920 @ 2.67 GHz (quad core) with a memory: 12GB/node (DDR3 1333MHz) and 1 Gbit network.
Exchanges with European Institutions
The Center has exchanged research personnel and students and has co-organized events with the following leading European Institutions:
Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
CERN, Theory Group, France/Switzerland.
Laboratoire de Physique Theorique, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, France.
Arnold Sommerfeld Institute, Munchen, Germany.
Universita di Roma II, Tor Vergata, Roma, Italy.
It has signed cooperation agreements with 6 of them and maintains close research and educational relations.
Organization of Workshops and Conferences
Several workshops conferences and schools have been organized.
- A cosmology workshop entitled "Crete Workshop on the frontiers of Cosmology" took place in spring 2010 and focused on the most important cosmological problems of the day.
- A conference entitled "Crete Conference on Gauge Theories and the Structure Of Spacetime" took place in September 2010 and surveyed the general theoretical problems of gauge theories and gravity.
- The 6th Crete Regional meeting on String Theory was organized together with the Israeli partners and other groups in the region. It took place in the Island of Milos, from 18-26 June 2011.
- The 6th Aegean Summer School, on quantum gravity and quantum cosmology, was coorganized by the CCTP, the
Athens Technical University Group and the AEI, Potsdam group.
- The workshop on "Gravity theories and their avatars" was organized in Heraklion 13-19 July 2012. It focused on issues and applications of the AdS/CFT, correspondence.
Research and Publications
The publications of CCTP, including core and associated members can be obtained here:
Outreach and Dissemination
Several outreach and dissemination activities were organized by CCTP during the project. They involve activities targeting high-school students, high-school professors or the general public. We summarize them below :
CCTP organizes in the last few years the yearly "masterclasses", whose
purpose is to bring in contact high-school students with High energy physics.
Prof. Tsamis coordinates this effort that involves a pan-Cretan move of students to the Department during a single day and lectures by prof. Tomaras on particle physics.
There is a hands-on competition with other groups in Europe in real time, by connecting to CERN and identifying particle signals in accelerator data. Prof. Kourkoumelis from Atlas has importantly contributed to this effort that seems to have a high impact.
- A day of lectures for High-School Professors is organized every year. Prof. Tomaras has systematically lectured in these meetings.
- Profs. E. Kiritsis and T. Tomaras systematically give lectures at High Schools for the students.
Several lectures were organized for the general public:
On the occasion of the 30 years of the physics department: Profs J. Iliopoulos, P. Sphicas and S. Katsanevas were invited to give public lectures.
Dimitris Christodoulou talked about Hellenistic Mathematics during his inauguration as distinguished professor in the Department.
E. Kiritsis and several external scientists gave public talks during the start and end of an exhibition focused on CERN.
- CCTP members write systematically popular articles for high-school students or for the media.
- The CCTP webpage on outreach organizes the outreach effort, and guides the public and students through advances in the field. It has many more links also to other organized websites on the field.
Deliverables and Reports
There were 9 deliverables in the project:
- D1: Initial Hiring Report
- D2: Computing Infrastructure Report
- D3: Advisory Commitee Initial Report
- D4: Report on the first workshop
- D5: Outgoing Visits Report
- D6: Report on the conference
- D7: Report on the second workshop
- D8: Report on the website of CCTP and the project
- D9: Final report of the advisory committee.
There are two main reports: The midterm report and the second(final) report.