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The International Conference M2S HTSC 2015 : a vibrant week


By Dirk van der Marel, Chairman and Manfred Sigrist Program chair of M2S-2015

The International Conference M2S HTSC 2015 took place from Sunday, August 23 until Friday, August 28 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The central subject of M2S-2015 was superconductivity : the phenomenon of electrical current flow without any loss of energy due to resistance. This extremely useful phenomenon is nowadays routinely applied in medical applications of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), in large scale magnetic guiding systems such as CERN, the presently constructed nuclear fusion energy plant ITER, in high throughput electrical power cables, as well as the maglev train presently in construction by Japanese Railways. Participants of M2S are actively involved in materials science, experimental techniques, theoretical research and/or applications of superconductivity. Experimental techniques involve materials processing, crystal growth and characterization, low temperature techniques, ultra high vacuum, various kinds of neutron-, electron-, optical-, X-ray, and scanning probe techniques. Superconductivity is also the subject of intense theoretical research, and has spurred novel ground breaking theoretical approaches to the mechanisms of supercondore generally of emergent properties of strongly interacting electrons.


The M2S-2015 conference was dedicated to all aspects of basic superconductivity and its applications. Searching for new superconductors and understanding the mechanisms for high-temperature superconductivity are key issues in condensed matter physics and materials science.

New work presented was focused on searching for new superconductors and understanding the mechanisms for high-temperature superconductivity are key issues in condensed matter physics and materials science. The recent discovery of superconductivity at 190 Kelvin in pressurized H2S, and transient superconductivity close to room temperature using excitation with infrared light leads us closer to the dream of superconductivity at room temperature.

We were honored by the participation of numerous great scientists. Important highlights are: the  meeting kicked off with three lectures by Prof. Karl Alexander Müller, Nobel prize in physics 1987, by Prof. Anthony J. Leggett, Nobel prize in physics 2003, and Prof. Rolf Heuer, Director general of CERN.


On Monday evening, 24th August the Kamerlingh-Onnes Prize was awarded to Prof. Gill Lonzarich, the Bardeen Prize to Prof. Vinai Ambegaokar and the Matthias prize to Profs. Xianhui Chen, Zachary Fisk and Zhongxian Zhao jointly. The evening of Tuesday, 25th August featured the public lecture by J. Georg Bednorz, Nobel prize in physics 1987, IBM Research Zurich, and Louis Taillefer, professor at the University of Sherbrooke, Canada on «Superconductivity : Theory and practical challenges of a quantum phenonemon».  The lecture was organized in the main auditory of the University of Geneva in the city center. The two lectures of 30 minutes each were followed by a (very animated !) discussion with the public of about half an hour. The public lecture was a tremendous success :  The event was attended by some 500 interested citizens from Geneva (Switzerland), Annemasse (France) and Lausanne (Switzerland), as well as 200 participants of M2S-2015.

All in all M2S-2015 has turned out to be a vibrant week of new developments in the field and of fruitful discussions. Some 700 scientists from 42 countries have participated. The conference has brought inspiration for novel activities in science and technology, as well as education.

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