Description of Topics

Four main topics will form the backbone of the school:

1) Theoretical Physics,

2) Experimental Subatomic Physics, and

3) Accelerators and Technologies, and

4) Information Technologies and GRID.


Each topic is further divided into an initial set of recaps of essential background knowledge, followed by four main lecture themes, and finally a dedicated theme on computing-related aspects of the topic, including Monte Carlo generators, GRID, and high-performance computing. The latter will be structured partly into hands-on practical sessions. Further, each main topic will contain a number of hooks for student projects. These will be completed in groups, with a single lecturer (mentor) assigned to each group. These groups will also provide opportunities for discussing questions arising from the lecture material. The groups will be assigned on arrival, and time will be reserved for this activity each working day during the school. These daily discussion sessions will provide a framework for mentoring students from different backgrounds. Each group will deliver a short presentation at the end of the program. 

Finally, six special “star” lectures will be organized during the school, to highlight the edge of current research and topics of special interest to the host region. These will be more pedagogical in nature, and could be opened to a wider audience, e.g., from the host institution and its surroundings. There will be one such talk for each of the three main scientific themes. A further two slots are reserved for presentations focusing on physics in Africa, and may involve bringing in additional lecturers to the school specifically for this purpose. The last slot is to be used as an eye opener to a topic not directly overlapping with those of the school; examples could be fusion energy, medical physics, climate physics, or a topic particularly relevant to the local host area.

The lectures will be divided into full and half days, spread evenly across the program.

On full days, there will be 6 hours of lectures. On half days, there will be 3 lectures and either hands-on exercises or work on student projects in the afternoon. To round off the afternoon session on half days, a Q&A session or star lecture will be scheduled in the late afternoon / evening. Not counting the arrival and departure weekends and allowing one free/excursion day per week, we arrive at 16 days of school program. 5 afternoons will be required for the practical exercises, and 4 afternoons will be dedicated to work on the student projects, for a total of 9 half days and 7 full days. Leaving 1 hour aside for welcome and practical information, for a total of 68 lecture hours.

1       - Theoretical Physics

The theoretical physics (TH) theme will be concentrated in the first half of the school. The focus is on theoretical nuclear and particle physics, with the emphasis on particle physics, and the main purpose is to describe the Standard Model of particle physics, including its foundations in quantum field theory. Additional main topics will be physics beyond the Standard model, the interplay with astro-particle physics and cosmology, particle physics phenomenology, and computer physics.

We assign 17 lecture hours in total to the TH theme (including its “star” lecture).

2       - Experimental Subatomic Physics

The Experimental Subatomic Physics (EP) theme deals with what we know about subatomic physics from experiments and how we know it. It will be divided evenly over the duration of the school. A significant part of it will focus on reviews of the existing body of experimental knowledge, including particle physics, heavy-ion physics, and nuclear physics. Further, a course on data analysis will give participants an introduction to how raw data are transformed into final measurements, including calibrations, backgrounds and uncertainty estimations. The participants will also be given a thorough review of the extremely versatile range of modern particle detectors, such as those employed by the LHC experiments.

We assign 21 lecture hours to the EP theme (including its “star” lecture).

3       - Accelerators and Technologies

The Accelerators and Technologies (AT) theme will be concentrated in the second half of the school and will cover accelerators, the physics of particle beams, instrumentation, and related technologies, including highlights on the Large Hadron Collider, on cryogenics and materials science, on medical physics applications, and on information technology.

We assign 19 lecture hours and one practical session in total to the AT theme (including its “star” lecture).

4       - Information Technology and GRID

The Information Technology (IT) theme mainly deals with practical sessions on GRID computing. Special theoretical and experimental topics will be included in practical sessions on doing the Monte Carlo simulation on the GRID. Introduction to ROOT and practical sessions on data analysis using ROOT on simulated data obtained from the GRID practical sessions will be covered.

We assign 15 lecture hours and one practical session in total to the IT theme.