The theoretical and experimental studies of the strong interaction, a cornerstone of the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics, attract an active community of about 2500 researchers in Europe, who are part of the STRONG-2020 Project, recently approved by the European Community within the framework of the Horizon 2020 programme.
STRONG-2020 has obtained a funding of about €10 million and includes 44 participant institutions. The Laboratory of Instrumentation and Experimental Particle Physics (LIP) represents Técnico in this consortium. Professor João Seixas (Department of Physics – DF and president of the Center of Physics and Engineering of Advanced Materials – CEFEMA) is the national coordinator of the project and ensures effective participation in two working groups focused on fixed-target experiments at the LHC and nucleon structure. Professor Guilherme Milhano coordinates the working group on heavy-ion physics. The participation of these two Técnico researchers in the STRONG – 2020 consortium is largely due to the effort and merit of both.
In total, about 12 Técnico researchers will be involved in this consortium. “I am working in a fixed-target project called AFTER@LHC”, explains professor João Seixas. “The work of my colleague Guilherme Milhano is related to Jet physics in heavy-ion collisions”, he adds.
STRONG-2020 is strongly supported by NuPECC (the Nuclear Physics European Collaboration Committee) and brings together many of the European leading research groups and infrastructures presently involved in the forefront research in strong interaction, thus fostering relationships between theoretical and experimental physicists across Europe.
The project will also contribute to fundamental research for physics beyond SM. The tools and methodologies for the new-cutting-edge experiments within STRONG-2020 will provide upgrades to the European Research Infrastructures, enhancing their competitiveness. The developed technologies will also impact in medicine and industry, and may also lead to advances in computing/machine learning. According to professor João Seixas “this is the most important consortium in this area, in the coming decades”.