Authors: Matteo Vismara and Valentina Raspagni
Imagine being in Milan, Italy, together with a Nobel Prize Winner and 245 of the best minds in the world in the field of Physics: this is not imagination; it is PLANCKS, the world finals of the Physics Olympics.
PLANCKS is one of IAPS’ most significant annual events. The best physics students from all over the world, winners of national competitions, compete in solving problems concerning numerous physics disciplines. Every year, PLANCKS is organized by a different local committee. For the 2023 edition, the Milano Statale section of AISF has been entrusted with this role. AISF, the Italian Association of Physics Students, is the Italian National Committee of IAPS. The students of AISF will take care of the management and the correct execution of all the activities. They will help all the participants to enjoy the event, catering for their needs and requirements.
The tenth edition of PLANCKS will be held in Milan from 12 to 16 May 2023. In addition to the actual competition, which will take place in the Physics Department of the State University of Milan, there will also be presentations, seminars, guest lectures and visits to laboratories and centres of research in the Milan area. The event will allow students to discover new frontiers of scientific research, learn about Italian excellence and evaluate possible study paths in Italy, while making new personal and academic contacts. These activities also aim to help students from Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degree courses to orient themselves in the world of work.
Since the first edition, which was held in Utrecht in 2014, the entire academic world has recognised PLANCKS as an opportunity for dialogue between students, researchers and professors. As evidence of this, there is a succession of guest lectures held by illustrious scientists of the calibre of Stephen Hawking and by many Nobel Prize winners for physics, such as Reinhard Genzel.
This year, Milan will have the honour of hosting: Marco Liscidini, associate professor of the Physics Department of the University of Pavia, recognised as a fellow by the Optical Society of America (OPTICA, ex OSA) and expert in the fields of photonics and optics classical and quantum nonlinear; Claudia Pasquero, associate professor of Oceanography and Atmospheric Physics at the University of Milan Bicocca and vice-president of the Mathematical Geophysics committee of the IUGG (International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics); and Didier Queloz, Nobel Prize winner in 2019 for the discovery of the first exoplanet orbiting a primary sequence star.
Some of these lectures will take place in the classrooms of the University of Milan; others will be held in public spaces in the city of Milan to widen participation and include the local community. In fact, dissemination is one of the main objectives of IAPS and AISF: our mission is to take physics as far as possible, making sure that this splendid science, which links the abstract beauty of mathematics to the origin and transformation of our universe, is accessible to as many people as possible.
Opening these guest lectures to citizens makes the city of Milan an open-air laboratory, sharing the beauty of the ideas that have marked and still mark the path of science and technology in the history of humanity. It shows the importance of a scientific language, of a method, a
fundamental tool in the challenges that humanity must and will have to face.
PLANCKS is organised in collaboration with the Italian Physical Society (SIF) and is also supported by the European Physical Society (EPS), the Italian Society of Optics and Photonics (SIOF), the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) and the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA).
Follow the countdown to PLANCKS 2023 on Instagram and stay tuned for future jIAPS articles featuring PLANCKS Preliminaries.