Prestigious Grant Awarded by the Lorentz Center

TLorentzhe University of Sheffield academics Dr Viktor Fedun from the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering and Dr Gary Verth (SoMaS), in collaboration with Dr Brian Reville (Queen's University Belfast, UK), Dr. Eamon Scullion (Northumbria University, UK), Prof Hans Goedbloed (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research, the Netherlands) and Prof James G Lunney (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland) have been awarded a prestigious grant by the Lorentz Center, which is a world-leading research center and host of international scientific workshops.

This distinguished research center is named in honor of the Dutch Nobel Laureate for physics (1902) and alumni of Leiden University, Hendrik Lorentz, who was also chair of the first five Solvay conferences in 1911-1927, which had amongst its notable attendees, none other than Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Henri Poincare and Ernest Rutherford.

It’s great that as Sheffield University academics we have been given the opportunity by the Lorentz Center to bring together world-leading scientists in what were traditionally thought of as two disparate fields, i.e., solar physics and laboratory-based plasma physics. Dr Gary Verth and I are very optimistic, that due to the significant advancements in both research fields over the past decade alone, the two communities can really pull together and come up with new and mutually beneficial ideas at this international workshop.

Dr Viktor Fedun, Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

Dr Viktor Fedun, Dr Gary Verth and their international collaborators were recently given final approval by the Lorentz Center panel for proposed workshop, entitled: ‘Solar-Terrestrial and Experimental Plasma Physics Synergy (STEPPS)’. It is scheduled to take place between the 10th – 13th April 2017 at Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands, founded in 1575. The Lorentz Center believes that innovative research thrives on the interaction between creative researchers. Workshops hosted at the Lorentz Centre focus on new collaborations and on interactions between diverse researchers with different scientific viewpoints.

The principal aim of the proposed STEPPS workshop is to bring world-leading experts in solar observations and modelling together with experts in the field of laboratory-based theoretical and experimental plasma physics. This is in order to exploit both the compelling collaborative potential and the multi-disciplinary investigations of plasma processes in the solar atmosphere with their laboratory analogues.

The funding of this workshop was made possible by Leiden University and several national funding agencies (NWO-divisions, FOM, STW and KNAW), anticipating the benefit of STEPPS workshop to the Dutch research community.

Dr Gary Verth remarked on the competition they faced,

“We know the competition to be awarded a Lorentz Center scientific workshop is fierce. In this regard, we were informed by the Astronomy and Phsyics Advisory board that our success was due to our proposal’s originality and its cross-disciplinary aspect. Our novel interdisciplinary approach for the study of plasma processes fits ideally with the mission statement of the Lorentz Center and we hope to have a very fruitful and productive time there.”

You can read more about the Lorentz Center here.