International EMMI workshop SIGN 2014 a great success

The EMMI workshop SIGN 2014 on the Sign Problem in QCD and beyond, which took place at GSI in Darmstadt, Germany, from 18 to 21 February, was deemed a great success.

Sign picThe meeting, for which the initiative was taken by Professor Gert Aarts of the Physics Department and which was co-organised with Professor Owe Philipsen of the Goethe Universitaet Frankfurt am Main, brought together 75 scientists from Europe, Japan, China and the USA to exchange results on the resolution of the so-called sign problem in Quantum Chromodynamics and related theories.

The sign problem appears in systems with a mismatch in particle and anti-particle densities (neutron stars, low-energy heavy ion collisions, high-temperature superconductors) and prevents standard numerical methods based on Monte Carlo algorithms to be applicable. The interdisciplinary character was emphasised with special sessions devoted to the sign problem in condensed matter systems as well as the emergent field of quantum simulators.

Thanks to the generous funding of EMMI (ExtreMe Matter Institute at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum fur Schwerionenforschung) a well-catered reception, poster session and banquet provided ample opportunity for networking, while the registration fee was waived for 32 early-stage researchers. This was the third meeting in a series started by Professor Aarts in 2009 at ECT* in Trento, Italy, and followed by SIGN 2012 in Regenburg (Germany). A record of the meetings can be found here.