by Jean Cleymans . Published: 16 November 2013

The International Conference on Hard and Electromagnetic Probes of High-Energy Nuclear Collisions known as Hard Probes 2013 took place in Stellenbosch near Cape Town in South Africa November 4-8 2013.

The Hard Probes conference series started out as a small workshop called Hard Probes Cafe in 1994 at CERN on the initiative of Helmut Satz and Xin-Nian Wang.

Following its success, it became a regular conference series in 2004 in Ericeira, Portugal. Subsequent conferences took place in Asilomar (USA), Illa da Toxa (Spain), Eilat (Israel) and Cagliari (Italy). The aim of the Hard Probes conference series is to bring together the experimental and theoretical communities interested in the hard and electromagnetic observables related to nuclear matter at extreme temperatures and densities.

Early in November, the 6th Hard Probes Conference took place in South Africa. The venue of the conference was the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies, located in the town of Stellenbosch in the surroundings of Cape Town, South Africa.

Hard Probes 2013 gathered the largest number of participants (190) so far. The conference is dedicated to relativistic heavy ion collisions and focuses on finding effects of the medium on the production of jets, quarkonia, nuclear modification factors and electromagnetic signals. It should be noted that prior to the conference, the University of Cape Town hosted a summer school for young physicists working in the field.

Following previous years, results were presented over five half-days of plenary sessions, three half-days of parallel sessions while there was also a special poster session. New results from proton - lead and deuteron - gold collisions attracted lots of attention and ALICE was well-represented with 19 talks given by members of the collaboration, of which 8 were plenary talks.

The next conference will be held in Montreal, Canada in 2015.