• About

    What is ICPS

  • Handbook

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  • What is ICPS

    ICPS is the International Conference of Physics Students, which is the main event of IAPS, organized yearly by one of its member committees. The purpose of the conference is to create an opportunity for physics students from all around the world to come together, to talk about science and life, to practice presenting their research and, all in all, to have a great time. The first ICPS was organized by students of the Eötvös Loránd University, in Budapest, Hungary in the year 1986. The event had less than fifty participants, but since then, the conference has grown considerably, nowadays bringing together more than four hundred students.

    The one week of the conference has its fair share of scientific, social and touristic programs. One gets a chance to listen to and give lectures on various topics in physics, to check out the laboratories of the host city, to make friends with physics students from all around the world, to get a little glimpse of the foreign cultures that gather here, and to see another part of the world.

    Previous ICPS

    Utrecht, Netherlands http://www.icps2012.com/

    Budapest, Hungary http://icps2011.mafihe.hu/

    Graz, Austria http://icps2010.tugraz.at/

  • What is ICPS

    The jIAPS contest.

    Write a physics related article to be published in jIAPS, and be eligible to win the full registration fee for ICPS 2013 in Scotland!

    1. The article must be written in English, using the LaTeX typesetting system;

    2. Any references must be made using bibTeX;

    3. One must submit a physics related article in the range of 2-5 pages when images are included, specifically between 1500 to 3000 words;

    4. articles must be submitted by April 14th and the winner will be announced by May 1st;

    5. articles will be judged on how well the knowledge is converted into understandable language which is neither too complex not too simplistic.

    Disclaimer: Winning the contest does not guarantee that you will have a place at ICPS 2013, as that is subject to the Organising Committee's decision. In case the winner cannot attend ICPS due to the fault or decision of the Organising Committee, the prize may be carried over for next year. The contest will not be held if we do not receive enough applications.

    The articles should be sent to jiaps@iaps.info

  • Registration

    Early registration is now fully booked. For your name to be put on the waiting list please contact Claire Garland at Claire.Garland@iop.org.


    Citizens of the EU do not need a visa to enter Britain. If you are from any other country, please check the visa requirements before you travel - visit the 'Home Office, UK Border Agency at http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/. If you do require a visa, and need a letter confirming your registration, email conferences@iop.org

    Late registration: Open 1st June - Close 1st July. Late registration will be £ 210

    The payment email you receive IS your confirmation of a place, so please dont wait around for another email! So when you receive that email with an invoice you have 30 days to pay. Let me say again, the email you receive as an invoice is the confirmation of a place.

    Price for the conference is £ 190 (£100 for local students, which does not cover accommodation) +10 Euro if a non IAPS member.

  • Registration

    Student lectures at ICPS are a great way for students to practice their presentation skills and show off some ground breaking research. This years student lectures will be offered two options of presentation, both options are 15 min presentations (12 minutes lecture, 3 minutes for questions)

    “chalk and talk” which is similar to the classic style of lecturing given in Universities. It gives the student the option to slowly go through formulae or hand drawn diagrams. This would be suited to students who are giving lectures on small concepts that can be explained better with a chalk board.

    “PowerPoint” is the usual style of presentations at these conferences. For submission please submit PDF presentations.

    If you would like to participate in giving a student lecture please contact Oliver Brown otbrown91@gmail.com with the following information

    Author name

    Lecture Title



    Topic area (the presentations are being arranged by topic, pick one which your presentation best fits in)

    Astronomy & Space Physics

    Condensed Matter and Materials Physics


    Nuclear and Plasma Physics


    Physics & Life Sciences

    The conference also offers students the chance to present posters. The required size is A1 (landscape or portrait). *Posters will NOT be printed by the ICPS 2013 organisers*. If you would like to submit a poster please also contact Oliver Brown (otbrown91@gmail.com) with the following information:

    Author name

    Poster title

    Poster Abstract

  • Sponsors

    Institute of Physics (IOP)

    Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA)

    SUPA is a successful association which brings together Scottish research and postgraduate education creating a large pool of experience and ideas. It is supported by the Scottish Funding Council and it focuses on 7 areas of Physics research. The SUPA graduate programme helps in educate and train post-graduate students in over 60 courses available to them.

    More information can be found here: http://www.supa.ac.uk

  • Sponsors


    None this now. Be the first!


    None this now. Be the first!


    Thor Labs

    If you need anything to do with optics, they’ll have it.


  • Prof. Miles J. Padgett, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)

    Abstract: In 1992 Allen et al. recognized that light beams could carry an orbital angular momentum in addition to the photon spin. This twist can be created using lenses, or holograms encoded onto liquid crystal displays. Both whole beams and single photons can carry this twist, or transfer it to particles causing them to spin. I will introduce the underlying properties and discuss a number of manifestations of orbital angular momentum. These will highlight how optics still contains surprises and opportunities for manipulation, imaging and communication in both the classical and quantum worlds.

    Biography: Miles Padgett holds the Kelvin Chair of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. His group’s has pioneered the understanding of light's momentum, including conversion of optical tweezers to optical spanners, the opportunity for angular momentum in optical communication, and demonstrating an angular form of the quantum EPR paradox.

  • Prof. Daniele Faccio, Heriot-Watt University (United Kingdom)

    Abstract: Light propagates following laws that depend on the "optical length'' of the medium. Hence, by changing the refractive index spatial profile, one may create an effectively distorted space in which light propagates. This is the basic idea behind so-called transformation optics. On the other hand, if one changes the refractive index in time, then an effective distorted time or, more generically, spacetime is created. I will overview a very simple and accessible mechanism by which effective spacetimes of different kinds may be created using nonlinear optics. This technique allows to create strongly distorted media that may simulate and test a range of fundamental predictions that are still lacking an experimental demonstration. Examples are Hawking radiation from event horizons, dynamical Casimir emission from oscillating media and amplification from rotating media. I will overview the basic theory and ideas behind these examples and describe ongoing experiments together with some preliminary experimental results.

    Biography: Daniele Faccio was born in London, 1973. He obtained a Degree in Physics from the University of Milano, Italy in 1998, an MPhil from the Optolectronics Research Centre (ORC), Southampton in 2001 and a PhD in Physics from the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France in 2007. He has worked for a number of years in the optical telecommunications industry (Pirelli Labs and Corning 2001-2004) and has worked as a visiting scientist/professor at a number of Universities (MIT, Boston - 2003, FORTH Laser Institute, Crete -2008, 2010) and was Assistant Professor at the University of Insubria, Como, Italy from 2004 to 2010. He joined Heriot-Watt University in November 2010 and is currently leading the Extreme Light group.

  • Prof. Kishan Dholakia

    Shaping the future of manipulation

    Abstract: The light-matter interaction is incredible. This talk will describe the field of manipulation of microscopic objects purely with light. This non-contact method has enabled numerous exciting experiments in physics and biomedicine. The studies span particles in liquid, air and even vacuum where research aims to look at the classical physics-quantum physics boundary.

  • Prof. Leandar Litov

    The Higgs boson or how the mass is born

    Abstract: Particle physics is trying to answer two fundamental questions: what are the basic constituents of matter and what are the forces ruling their behaviour. Our understanding today is called Standard Model of strong and electroweak interactions (SM). There is one open problem in it – what is the mechanism behind the generation of the masses of particles? After a short introduction to the basics of the SM and the idea of spontaneous symmetry breaking (Brout- Englert-Higgs mechanism) I’ll present the recent experiments performed at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Special attention will be paid to the discovery of a new particle with properties corresponding to those of the predicted within the framework of the SM Higgs boson.

    Biography:Prof. Leandar Litov is a lecturer in particle physics at Atomic Physics Department of Sofia University and department head in the period 2007-2012. His scientific interests are in the field of particle physics, design and development of detectors of ionizing radiation, high-performance computing and biophysics. He conducts investigations at the CERN accelerator complex since 1992. L. Litov is a founding member of the CMS Collaboration, member of CB and Team Leader of the Sofia University team at LHC. He is author and co-author of more than 400 publications, laureate of a number of national and international scientific awards. Chair of the Institution Board of RPC CMS Collaboration, member of the European Commission for Future Accelerators (ECFA) and of the CERN Council.

  • Dr. Chris Hooley

    Topology and melting: the role of quantum vortices

    This talk is about the unusual way in which two-dimensional superfluids turn into normal fluids when heated. This is by an unusual mechanism, elucidated by Berezinskii [1], Kosterlitz, and Thouless [2] (BKT), involving the spontaneous proliferation of vortices when a certain temperature is exceeded. I will begin by reviewing the way in which typical (three-dimensional) superfluids melt, and describe why two-dimensional superfluids are different. I will give a simple physical picture of the BKT vortex-unbinding transition, and explain how it works from a thermodynamic point of view. Finally, I will describe some recent work I have been involved in [3] concerning the case where the superfluid is close to a quantum instability to a competing phase.

  • What is IAPS

    IAPS (International Association of Physics Students) are an association of physics students and student societies from around the globe, working to promote peaceful collaboration amongst them. IAPS members are represented by national and local committees, who meet regularly to ensure the relevance of our activities.

    Since 1987 IAPS has worked continuously to promote peaceful relations and collaboration between physics students. IAPS support its members in their academic and professional work, as well as discussing and acting on scientific, social and cultural issues. IAPS is a recognised non-governmental organisation run entirely by students from around the world with a spirit of mutual understanding and equality. IAPS runs an annual International Conference for Physics Students (ICPS), visits to global research institutions, summer schools, exchange programmes and multinational meetings all over the world.

    IAPS collaborates with numerous international bodies including amongst others: the European Physical Society, the Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society (their student wing runs a national competition to sponsor their students to attend our events) and the Informal Forum of International Student Organisations.

    Website http://www.iaps.info/

  • Scotland

    Scotland is a part of the United Kingdom (UK) and occupies the northern third of Great Britain. Scotland’s mainland shares a border with England to the south. It is home to almost 800 small islands, including the northern isles of Shetland and Orkney, the Hebrides, Arran and Skye.

    Scottish people have a worldwide reputation for warmth and friendliness. Whether it’s the 2.5 million visitors who travel to Scotland every year or the thousands who come to live permanently, so many talk of a genuine friendliness and a welcoming hospitality. The Scots love people – and they like to make others feel at home. You’ll find an enthusiastic friendliness in so many places.

    Scotland has been handing down its traditions for close to a thousand years now, since the earliest days of the clans in the 12th century. However, Scottish traditions are not something sterile under glass and steel in a cold museum. They are vibrant, living things, constantly growing and evolving, and every generation adds the thumbprint of its own particular Scottish culture to the whole. Coming to the conference in August is a great time to see Scotland in its prime for culture as it is during the World Famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

    The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland’s capital city.Every year thousands of performers take to a multitude of stages all over Edinburgh to present shows for every taste. From big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the festival caters for everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, musicals, operas, music, exhibitions and events.

    Edinburgh Fringe Festival

    The Edinburgh Fringe festival is a world famous festival that takes place in Edinburgh every August. The festival hosts a range of different shows from theatre arts to comedy shows. The festival has many free events that take places in over 100 different venues across Edinburgh many of these venues are in city centre pubs. This years’ ICPS takes place in the middle of the festival which gives the conference participants an excellent chance to see what the festival has to offer.

    For more information head to the festival website:http://www.edfringe.com/

    Scottish language Some Scottish words to help you understand the Scots Aye – yes Lad – boy Lassie - girl Boggin – disgusting Bonnie – pretty, nice Coo – cow Crabit – Grumpy Dour – glum, never smiles Eedjit – Idiot Greeting – crying Hammered – drunk Haver – talk too much Ken – do you know Pus- mouth Scran – food Weesht – be quiet No one understand us Scots : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAz_UvnUeuU

  • Heriot-Watt

    Heriot-Watt was founded in 1821 and has grown to become one of the best Universities in the UK. Heriot-Watt has recently been awarded the ‘Scottish University of the Year award’ for the 2nd year running and the Universities students union was also awarded the ‘Students’ Union of the Year award’ by the National Unions of Students Scotland in 2012.

    Heriot-Watt got its name from 2 famous Scots. The first was George Heriot, who was a goldsmith to King James and philanthropist. The other was James Watt a Scottish Inventor and mechanical engineer whose improvements to the steam engine helped shapes Britain’s industrial revolution.

    Heriot-Watt is a very international University supporting a diverse range of students on its main Edinburgh campus. The University has 3 campuses in its native Scotland but also has campuses all over the world including Dubai and recently more recently in Malaysia.

    The Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences is one of the many new research institutes set by the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt University. The research institute focuses its efforts in pushing the boundaries of theoretical science and creating new technologies to be used in the wider world.

    The institute has a wide range of research interests including:

    1. Quantum optics
    2. Semiconductor physics
    3. Material science
    4. Nonlinear photonics

    The research is also well supported by the UK Research Councils and because of the wide applications of the research, the institute is also well supported by a industry.

    The research is always seeking good candidates for PhD research – Available projects are available here http://www.eps.hw.ac.uk/research/phd/physics.htm

    IPaQS is part of the SUPA Graduate School (http://www.supa.ac.uk/) as well as the Scottish Doctoral Training Centre in Condensed Matter Physics (http://cm-dtc.supa.ac.uk/) and Industrial Doctorate Centre in Optics and Photonics Technologies (http://www.engd.hw.ac.uk/).

  • Travel information

    By Car

    The Edinburgh Campus is easy to access by car from the centre of Edinburgh and from all major routes leading to the city. The University is half a mile from the Calder Junction of the A720 City of Edinburgh by-pass and the A71, and you’ll see signs for Heriot-Watt University on your approach.

    By Bus

    The Edinburgh campus has 4 services bus services, the 25, 34, 45 and the X25 (also the N25 at nights) which make regular visits to the campus and are run by the Lothian Bus company. All the buses can be accessed from city centre on Princes Street. For a bus that will take you to Heriot-Watt it will be heading Westward and say Riccarton on the front of it. A single ticket will take you out to Heriot-Watt and will cost £1.40 (exact change is needed). The bus takes around 20-30 minutes to get out the campus.


    The city centre has taxi ranks in the Waverly train station and near the St. Andrews Bus station which you can get a taxi to campus from. Taxis are also available to wave down if their taxi light is turned on. If you arrive at the airport, there is a taxi rank outside where you can get a taxi to campus from.

  • Accommodation

    All accommodation available for the participants will be on campus this year, as we thought it would be easier for everyone. We will be in the halls of residence on the West side of the campus . The accommodation is a single-en-suite room with shower room, telephone, Ethernet cable internet access and access to guest lounges and a kitchen.

  • contact information

    find us

    Organising committee

    Chairman – Ross J Donaldson rjd9@hw.ac.uk
    Vice Chairman – Stuart Craneswc6@hw.ac.uk
    Evening Events – Oliver Brownob25@hw.ac.uk
    Website and Media – Mihail Petevmp191@hw.ac.uk
    General Enquiriesicps2013hw@gmail.com

  • About

    What is ICPS /n ICPS is the International Conference of Physics Students, which is the main event of IAPS, organized yearly by one of its member committees. The purpose of the conference is to create an opportunity for physics students from all around the world to come together, to talk about science and life, to practice presenting their research and, all in all, to have a great time. The first ICPS was organized by students of the Eötvös Loránd University, in Budapest, Hungary in the year 1986. The event had less than fifty participants, but since then, the conference has grown considerably, nowadays bringing together more than four hundred students.