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August 2021 - Farewell to VBScan

The end of August and the beginning of September saw the last VBScan events taking place: the MBI workshop and the Advanced VBS training school. The ongoing Covid pandemic required for safety measures to be taken: Masks, physical (but not social!) distance and a conference address given over video link. It will stay in memory forever and the photographs will at some time in the future historical documents. Unfortunately the pandemic also prevented spreading the love for vector boson scattering to the general public.

March 2020 - PREFIT Spring school

Corona cast its shadow also over the 2020 PREFIT spring school organised by the COST Networks ParticleFace and VBSCan , dedicated to unveiling new physics at the precision frontier and to creating an closely-interconnected community of VBS experts. A few lecturers could not travel to the school as intended and on the morning of the second day, a new DESY directive meant that four of the students (from risk areas) were not allowed to enter the campus. Some lectures were therefore given virtually, and on a daily basis the organisers had to establish whether the school could continue or not. The DESY director and deputy director for High Energy Physics, Joachim Mnich and Manfred Fleischer, were very supportive and helpful that the school could be completed without problems ( https://indico.cern.ch/event/817757/page/19926-corona-virus-information)

Feedback from the students who attended was overwhelmingly positive, as illustrated from the report by participant Jack MacDonald (Sheffield University): PREFIT20 succeeded in developing my understanding of how we can use EFTs to constrain new physics in precision measurements. This technique looks to be a promising avenue for finding evidence of BSM physics at colliders. Overall I found the school very rewarding, both in terms of content and the opportunity to mix with students from both the experimental and the theory communities. I look forward to using the knowledge gained in my current research and hopefully beyond!

Having lectures on both experimental and theoretical aspects gave a better appreciation of how the two sides depend on each other, and being in an environment with both experimentalists and theorists allowed for insightful discussions. The tour of DESY was a very good idea. It was interesting to learn about the history of the various accelerators/detectors, as well as their current uses, for example in producing synchrotron radiation for photon science. We also had a chance to see the HERA tunnel.

February 2020: Outreach event in Think Corner in Helsinki

Outreach event in Think Corner in Helsinki

During the Second In-person Meeting in the Third Grant Period an outreach event was organised in the Think Corner with a good mixture of Finnish and international researchers presenting on what particle physics is about.


  • 17:00-17:15: Prof. Paula Eerola (Vice-Rector, University of Helsinki)
    Welcome (English), Introduction and an overview from a Finnish perspective (in Finnish)
  • 17:15-18:00: Dr. Simon Plätzer (University of Vienna): Virtual Reality Particle Collisions
    I will present how Particle Physicists discover the fundamental constituents of matter and the laws that govern our Universe at the smallest scales. Computer simulations of the experiments we perform have become an indispensable tool for discovery and I will introduce how we build virtual reality versions of Particle Collisions to predict what the experiments might observe.
  • 18:00-18:45: Get to know a physicist
    Mingle with local and international particle physicists gathering in Helsinki to discuss vector boson scattering, a process intimately linked to the nature of the Higgs boson.
  • 18:45-19:00: Prof. Mikko Voutilainen (University of Helsinki): Big Bang Particles
    Finland has a reputation as a world leader in both education and mobile gaming. I will talk about my personal involvement with the Rovio spin-off Lightneer that attempted the ambitious goal of combining the two and in particular Big Bang Legends, a game to teach atoms and particle physics to kids.

July 2019 - Good turnout of VBScan at EPS-HEP Conference 2019

Good turnout of VBScan at EPS-HEP Conference 2019

Seven members of the VBScan network participated and some of them also presented at the EPS-HEP conference in Ghent, Belgium in July 2019. A good turnout of the network at the most important European Conference for Particle Physics.

July 2019 -- Life at CERN: Cafe Scientific in Istanbul

A discussion round on Life at CERN was organised as an open “cafe scientific” at a coffee place, located center of Kadiköy Moda. The podium composed of senior and junior research from Turkey and abroad discussed questions such as:

Questions: Why physics?

  • What did inspire you to study physics?
  • What was the thing you most loved when studying physics?
  • Do you remember any moment, when you got the feeling: “Now, this is what physics is about?”
  • What did you think studying physics would be like, before you started studying it – what what as expected? What was different?
  • What did you want to become when you started studying? What was the job you thought you would be doing later?

Questions: Why a PhD?

  • What changed, when you started your PhD?
  • What aspect of the PhD (the PhD “job”!) did you most enjoy?
  • How did you decided what to do afterwards?
  • What would you do differently? What would you do the same?
  • What small picture / incidence / anecdote summarizes your PhD for you?
  • How did you apply for jobs?

Questions: What afterwards?

  • What job did you decide to do afterwards? Why? Would you do it again?
  • How is it different from doing a PhD?
  • What would you suggest to other people?

Questions: How is CERN like?

  • What do you think people *think* CERN is like and how is it "really" like?
  • What do you do, when you are at CERN?
  • How are people at CERN? How is it working with so many people from all over the world?
  • What is it that you *actually* do everyday
  • and how is this helpful in real life?

February 2019 - Discussion with Physics students in Ljubljana

An informal meeting of the VBSCan@Ljubljana participants with students from the Deptartment of Physics happened during the Second In-person meeting in the 2nd Grant period in Ljubljana. In a relaxed atmosphere undergrad students could explore what it’s like to study for a PhD and to do research.

February 2019 - A physics company

As part of the training event for PhD students, a lecture and discussion on career prospects in industry was organised. Igor Verstovšek, co-founder of Cosylab, a physicist and recipient of the award "The Young Manager of the Year 2018" in Slovenia, gave a lecture on founding a company: The story of Cosylab: How a bunch of Physicists started a company. The lecturer will be Igor Verstovšek, co-founder of Cosylab, a physicist and recipient of the award "The Young Manager of the Year 2018" in Slovenia.

October 2018 - Physics in a Pub in Krakow

Physics in a Pub was organised in the first evening of the workshop, where citizens could meet with scientists from CERN and discuss various topics, from contemporary science in general, to the specifics of the everyday work of scientists.

Physics in a Pub Flyer

Flyer can be downloaded from here

June 2018 - Science Shots in Thessaloniki

"Meet physicists working at CERN! Find out all you would like to know but were too embarrassed to ask!" - This is how the VBScan outreach event in Thessaloniki was advertised. Quite a crowd of people gathered in Ypsilon, a bar with focus on giving room for arts and other performances, and listened to presentations in Greek and English, showing the funny side of particle physics. After the presentations a very lively discussion took place, engaging public and local and visiting scientists.

Science Shots Flyer

Flyer can be downloaded from here

June 2017 - Beer and Brains in Split

Meet and greet a real-life particle physicist and learn what it really is like to work with “Big-Bang-Theory”-Brainiacs – this chance had locals and tourists alike on the first evening of the first VBScan workshop. A flyer in croatian and english invited them to join the participants of the VBSCan workshop to join them in the Peristil - central square of the Diocletian Palace in Split. Nametags in the style of the flyer identified the participants, who had also brought photographs from CERN or material from their latest scientific result. Discussions, one to one, or in small groups gave people the opportunity to ask, what they never dared asking before. Lively discussions ensued, ranging from physics in general over life at CERN to science in Croatia.

Beer and Brains flyer

Flyer can be downloaded from here