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What is the h-principle?

“Flexible Mathematics, or… what is the h-principle?” is the title of SISSA new colloquium by Stanford University mathematician Yakov Eliashberg. Eliashberg is a world-renowned expert in the area of symplectic and contact topology. He was awarded the Crafoord Prize in Mathematics from the Swedish Academy of Sciences “for the development of contact and symplectic topology and groundbreaking discoveries of rigidity and flexibility phenomena”.  The colloquium will take place at SISSA Main Hall  on Tuesday 17 October starting from 5 p.m. (Image: Wikipedia)


The third edition of the National Conference on the Physics of Matter will take place at ICTP-SISSA Miramare Campus from 1 to 5 October. The Conference is organized by CNISM and CNR with the collaboration of SISSA and ICTP. Conference Chairs will be SISSA director Stefano Ruffo, Corrado Spinella from CNR and Ezio Puppin from CNISM. Topics of the event include Biophysics, Plasma Physics, Superconductivity, Nanotechnologies and Statistical Physics. (Image by Rost-9D, Istock by Getty Images)

For more information: The event website  

De Rerum Natura

Registrations for the “De Rerum Natura – Science in a click” photographic contest organised by SISSA Interdisciplinary Laboratory in partnership with Circolo Fotografico Triestino are now open. There are two themes for the third edition: “The Beauty of Nature and its Laws” and “The Soul of a City of Science: Trieste – Light and Vision”. Registration is free and open to all amateur photographers of any age or nationality. There are three prizes per category worth €500, €300 and €200 respectively and a total of six prizes.

Natural vs transformed

«It can be considered an instance of ‘embodiment’ in which our brain interacts with our body». This is the comment made by Raffaella Rumiati, neuroscientist at SISSA in Trieste, on the results of research carried out by her group which reveals that the way we process different foods changes in accordance with our body mass index. With two behavioural and electroencephalographic experiments, the study demonstrated that people of normal weight tend to associate natural foods such as apples with their sensory characteristics such as sweetness or softness.

How to move objects at the nanoscale

To move a nanoparticle on the surface of a graphene sheet, you won’t need a “nano-arm”: by applying a temperature difference at the ends of the membrane, the nanocluster laying on it will drift from the hot region to the cold one. In addition, contrary to the laws ruling the world at the macroscale, the force acting on the particle – the so-called thermophoretic force – should not decrease as the sheet length rises, sporting a so-called ballistic behavior.

Ex SISSA student awarded by European Physical Society

Her work tools are paper, pen and a whiteboard to use «when she needs to share ideas with others, discuss problems and look for solutions». Computers? «Yes, sometimes». Laura Foini fills everything with formulas and calculations – what is needed to study «systems out of equilibrium, my research sector, encompassed by the environment of statistical physics». It is a field in which this young researcher, born in 1984 in Brescia province, excels.

Flashes of light on the dark matter

A web that passes through infinite intergalactic spaces, a dense cosmic forest illuminated by very distant lights and a huge enigma to solve. These are the picturesque ingredients of a scientific research – carried out by an international team composed of researchers from the International School for Adavnced Studies (SISSA) and the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, the Institute of Astronomy of Cambridge and the University of Washington – that adds an important element for understanding one of the fundamental components of our Universe:

Unraveling the sense of smell

An odour can trigger a memory, cause disgust or even save our lives. Nonetheless, although it is so important for our existence, olfaction still remains the most enigmatic of our senses. Its mysteries and marvels will be analysed by Nobel Prize Linda Buck during the ICTP-SISSA Colloquium open to the public, titled “Unraveling the sense of smell”. The American neurobiologist will share the main phases of forty years of research on the functioning of the olfactory system and its impact on emotions and behaviours. Buck will be in Trieste to participate in the “Conference on Frontiers in Olfaction” which will be held from 24 to 28 July at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics "Abdus Salam" (ICTP). The Colloquium will take place on Tuesday 25 July at 5:00 p.m at ICTP (Leonardo Da Vinci Building).

Quantification of Uncertainty

QUIET 2017 - Quantification of Uncertainty: Improving Efficiency and Technology - is focused on the review of recent mathematical, numerical, methodological advances and the development of new research directions for uncertainty quantification in the setting of partial differential equations with random inputs. As such, the workshop impacts the scientific, engineering, financial, economic, environmental, social, and commercial milieus, including modern themes such as data assimilation, data science and analytics.

Shedding light on Galaxies’ rotation secrets

The dichotomy concerns the so-called angular momentum (per unit mass), that in physics is a measure of size and rotation velocity. Spiral galaxies are found to be strongly rotating, with an angular momentum higher by a factor of about 5 than ellipticals. What is the origin of such a difference? An international research team investigated the issue in a study just published in The Astrophysical Journal. The team was led by SISSA Ph.D.

Trieste will be the European city of science in 2020

During a press conference held today at ICTP, Professor Stefano Fantoni announced that Trieste was finally selected to host the EuroScience Open Forum, the most important European event dedicated to science, technology, society and policy. The event will take place from 4 to 10 July 2020. Prof Fantoni declared: "We are looking forward to working with EuroScience to make Trieste 2020, with the theme 'Freedom for Science, Science for Freedom'.

"Women in Science. Some worldwide initiatives”

"Women in Science. Some worldwide initiatives” is the title of the talk by Professor Silvina Ponce Dawson from Universidad de Buenos Aires scheduled for Thursday 13 July 2017. Professor Ponce Dawson is a physicist and member of the argentinian National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET). The seminar is organized by SISSA's Committee for the wellbeing (CUG) and will take place in the 7th floor Big Meeting Room at 3:30 pm. All interested are welcome.


MARS42 is a Summer School aimed at providing Master and PhD students or Post-Doc researchers with useful tools for seeing their studies in a new light. The school represents a unique opportunity to acquire important skills in the field of companies’ R&D and to learn how to transform scientific research into innovative business projects. The MARS 42 Summer Entrepreneurship School will be held at SISSA between 10 and 23 July 2017. (Image: Wikipedia)