2020 Impact factor 3.911

News / Highlights / Colloquium

EPJ Plus Highlight - Assessing the impact of loss mechanisms in solar cell candidate

Diagrams chart the impact of interface recombination and absorber minority carrier lifetime on efficiency and open-circuit voltage of a solar cell.

The superconductor antimony sulfide selenide is a potential candidate for solar materials, but this depends on understanding how to boost its efficiency.

As climate change continues to present itself as the most pressing threat facing our planet, researchers push to find efficient and clean alternatives to fossil fuels. Foremost among this research is harnessing free energy from the sun. Doing this efficiently requires advanced knowledge of the qualities of materials used in the construction of solar cells.

In a new paper published in EPJ Plus, Maykel Courel from the Centro Universitario de los Valles (CUValles), Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico, and co-authors, look at the limitations of the material antimony sulfide selenide, which has emerged as a potential candidate for solar cell fabrication.

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EPJ Plus Highlight - Characterising limestone rocks with Raman spectroscopy

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Research published in EPJ Plus shows that it is possible to classify rocks according to the size of the particles they contain during quarrying, using a portable Raman spectrometer.

The nature and potential uses of a sedimentary rock depends on the size of the particles or grains that they are composed from, and particle sizing is an important part of rock classification. A group of researchers led by Iacopo Osticioli of Istituto di Fisica Applicata “N. Carrara”, Florence, Italy has shown that it is possible to size particles and identify rock samples rapidly and accurately while they are being quarried using a portable Raman spectrometer. This work has now been published in the journal EPJ Plus.

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EPJ Plus Highlight - Searching for dark matter with a haloscope

An artist’s impression of the haloscope, ready for testing at a temperature close to absolute zero. Credit: Nicolò Crescini

A new paper in EPJ Plus introduces a novel method of searching for a type of dark matter known as axions; a modified version of this technique may have useful ‘real life’ applications.

Most of the universe is now thought to consist of dark matter: mysterious substances which, because they don’t interact with light or any other kind of electromagnetic radiation, are almost impossible to detect. Physicists have been searching for it for decades, using different techniques; Nicolò Crescini, now of Institut Néel, Grenoble, France, developed a novel method of searching for one type of dark matter, axions, when working at the Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro, Padova, Italy. This work has now been published in the journal EPJ Plus.

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EPJ Plus Highlight - Tackling large data sets and many parameter problems in particle physics

The Pandemonium tool links together six clusters of data and provides a graphical interpretation.

A new tool to break down and segment large data set problems and problems with many parameters in particle physics could have a wide range of applications.

One of the major challenges in particle physics is how to interpret large data sets that consist of many different observables in the context of models with different parameters.

A new paper published in EPJ Plus, authored by Ursula Laa from the Institute of Statistics at BOKU University, Vienna, and German Valencia from the School of Physics and Astronomy, Monash University, Clayton, Australia, looks at the simplification of large data set and many parameter problems using tools to split large parameter spaces into a small number of regions.

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EPJ Plus Focus Point on Rewriting Nuclear Physics Textbooks: Recent Advances in Nuclear Physics Applications

Guest Editors: Nicolas Alamanos, Carlos Bertulani, Angela Bonaccorso, Angela Bracco, David M. Brink, Giovanni Casini, Maria Agnese Ciocci, Valeria Rosso & Michele Viviani

This collection of articles contains some of the lectures presented at the Summer School ``Re-writing Nuclear Physics textbooks: recent advances in nuclear physics applications" which was held at the INFN Sezione di Pisa and Department of Physics of the University of Pisa in July 2019. The School followed two previous editions dedicated to "30 years with Radioactive Ion Beam Physics" and "Basic Nuclear Interactions and Their Link to Nuclear Processes in the Cosmos and on Earth" also held at the same place in July 2015 and 2017 respectively.

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EPJ Plus Focus Point on A Future Higgs & Electroweak Factory (FCC): Challenges towards Discovery

Guest Editors: G. Corti, B. Heinemann, P. Hernandez, P. Koppenburg, M. McCullough, A.-S. Müller, A. Seryi, J. Tanaka

This Focus Point on the FCC-ee maps the current status and the challenges lying forward to realize a future Higgs and electroweak factory like the one envisioned by the Future Circular Collider design study for the post-LHC era. This strategic guideline from the 2020 update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics (ESPP 2020) defines an electron-positron Higgs and electroweak factory "as the highest-priority next collider" that would allow a wide range of precise measurements of the Standard Model parameters including the recently discovered Higgs boson. The proposed FCC-ee best complies with this guideline, and consequently offers, in a cost-effective fashion, the broadest physics discovery potential and the most ambitious perspective towards a 100 TeV high-energy proton collider housed in the same tunnel and profiting from the new infrastructure.

The invited authors evaluate the progress toward the realisation of FCCs since the publication of the FCC Conceptual Design Report. Topics highlight the challenges lying ahead on the accelerator design of FCC-ee, ongoing work for the experiments and detector development, the open theoretical questions informing this endeavour and finally the computational and software challenges that should be tackled. These challenges also set opportunities for a wider community of scientists and engineers who are invited to join the diverse and dynamic environment offered by the FCC collaboration.

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EPJ Plus Highlight - Reassessing radon as a reliable groundwater tracer

Measuring radon exhalation after isolation.

A widely used technique for tracing natural radioactive atoms within flowing groundwater may not be as accurate as previously thought.

All radioactive materials which naturally occur in water will produce at least one isotope of radon as a decay product. As radioactive atoms are transported through groundwater aquifers in the form of gaseous radon, they are eventually transferred to the atmosphere. Measurements of the rate of this transfer can, in theory, be used to trace the infiltration of water into the surrounding soil. Yet in a new study detailed in EPJ Plus, researchers in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, led by Elsayed Elmaghraby at the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority, show that this technique could have a significant flaw.

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EPJ Plus has two new Editors-in-Chief: Beatrice Fraboni and Gastón García López

The publishers of The European Physical Journal Plus (EPJ Plus) are pleased to announce that on January 1, 2022 Beatrice Fraboni and Gastón García López took over the Editor-in-Chief role from Paolo Biscari and now share responsibility for papers submitted across the scope of the journal.

We would like to congratulate Prof Fraboni and Dr García López on their appointments as EiCs, and also take the opportunity to thank Prof Biscari for his long and highly dedicated service to EPJ Plus.

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EPJ Plus Focus Point on Small and Medium Particle Accelerator Facilities in Europe

Small and Medium Particle Accelerator Facilities (SMPAF) play a very important role in the landscape of European research. They can accelerate a variety of atomic nuclei, at energies in the MeV range, and have a cross-disciplinary application field. In most cases, they are open to external users, so a proper knowledge by the community of the possibilities provided by these facilities is of great importance.

Unlike other user-focused accelerators facilities such as synchrotrons, SMPAF have different characteristics. Given the relevance and the variability of the instrumentation and the available techniques (including medical science, neutrons, irradiation with swift heavy ions, detectors tests, low-energy nuclear physics, etc.), it has been found very timely to publish a series of focused articles, describing the current situation of some key centres of this kind. This Focus Point on Small and Medium Particle Accelerator Facilities in Europe presents a selection of ten representative and significant European SMPAF. Each article contains a brief description of the facility, including its often unique instrumentation or techniques, and a few recent research highlights.

All articles are available here and are freely accessible until 9 February 2022. For further information read the Editorial

EPJ Plus Focus Point on Innovative quantum materials

Quantum Materials are materials where the manifestation of the quantum mechanical nature of matter constituents, which comes into evidence at the macroscopic scale, is used to obtain new functionalities. The study of quantum materials is relevant both on the fundamental and on the applied side. Indeed, this class of materials provides a common thread between physics, materials science and engineering. The focus is on emergent excitations, such as Dirac and Majorana fermions. In particular it analyzes their sensitivity to external perturbations, such as electric and magnetic fields, and boundary conditions that can be controlled by surface/edge terminations, defect states and nanostructuring.

This focus point issue of European Physical Journal Plus (EPJ Plus) provides a broad description of innovative quantum materials discussing a variety of different phenomena:

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Editors-in-Chief
B. Fraboni and G. García López
The authors acknowledge the two anonymous reviewers for the constructive comments and suggestions which have helped to improve the manuscript significantly and thank the journal for the kind collaboration.

Sandra Morelli, Università di Modena, Italy

ISSN: 2190-5444 (Electronic Edition)

© Società Italiana di Fisica and
Springer-Verlag