Swansea particle physicists help launch new European collaborative network

On Monday the 17th of October scientists from 17 European countries gathered in Brussels for the kick-off meeting of the new COST network THOR.

Thor-Gert AartsThis network, devoted to the theory of hot matter and relativistic heavy-ion collisions, will enable theoretical particle and nuclear physicists to create a community platform as counterpart to the ongoing vigorous experimental activities, at CERN and elsewhere.

During the next four years, THOR aims to bring together excellent researchers to investigate matter under extreme conditions and to create a vibrant, innovative and world-leading pan-European research environment.

Image: The management committee members in the COST building in Brussels.

Prof Gert Aarts, who was representing the UK at the kick-off meeting and will serve on the Management Committee, said: "Science is an international endeavour, driven by passionate researchers. I am very pleased that during the coming four years THOR will create ample opportunities to address important questions in this field. One of the COST goals is to enable inclusivity and open cooperation, across geographical location, age and gender. In the current climate, where the future of existing collaborative
frameworks is uncertain, it is important to be able to emphasise how scientific activity brings people together in a positive and constructive manner, irrespective of where they are based or originate from."

During the meeting, Gert was also elected to lead one of the three working groups, namely on the phases of strongly interacting matter, an area of research to which the Particle Physics Theory group in Swansea's Physics Department contributes.

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