by Peter Jacobs. Published: 29 October 2014

The Third International Conference on New Frontiers in Physics (ICNFP) was held July 31-August 6, 2014, at the conference centre of the Orthodox Academy of Crete, situated near Kolymbari on Crete’s north-west coast. The conference was preceded by a two-day workshop on the physics of FAIR.
The ICNFP conference series is organized by ALICE’s own Yiota Foka together with Larissa Bravina and Sonja Kabana. The highly multi-disciplinary nature of ICNFP, together with its spectacular location and international mix of attendees, gives the conference its unique flavour and attraction.This year’s conference was the largest to date, with about 250 attendees in total. The conference consisted of both plenary and parallel sessions, with a poster session for good measure.

The conference gives special attention to events for the public, which included talks by Alvaro de Rujula and Dimitri Nanopoulos, as well as the event “Physics Hoists Sails” at the sailing club of Chania. The rich programme of social events included a gala concert featuring Greek soprano Kalliopi Petrou, who is the fiancée of a CMS physicist.

The conference covered a vast range of topics. Hot QCD was well represented, with many heavy ion talks from the RHIC and LHC experiments, and from theorists. ALICE of course had a strong presence, with emphasis on soft particle production, (Angela Badala, Francesco Barile,Domenico Elia, and Giacomo Volpe), heavy flavour (Annalisa de Caro, Shingo Sakai), and high pT probes (Jan Rak, Peter Jacobs). The question burning the hottest in the field concerns collective behavior in p+Pb collisions, and how such small systems thermalize (if they do). ALICE results helping to answer these questions were presented by Jason Kamin and Chiara Oppedisano, augmented in energetic style by Brian Cole discussing ATLAS measurements.
There was extensive discussion about the QCD phase diagram, with presentation of experimental results from the RHIC Beam Energy Scan and NA61/Shine at the CERN SPS, together with theory and modeling approaches including lattice QCD and hydrodynamics. Plans to extend these studies to yet larger baryo-chemical potential at CBM and NICA were presented. Other aspects of QCD included spin physics, exotic hadrons, kaonic atoms, and the connection between QCD and holography. About half the conference was devoted to other topics, with coverage of current Higgs measurements and their implications for cosmology; CP violation; CKM matrix; dark matter searches; SUSY and new particle searches; neutrinos cosmic, solar, or absent (from double beta decay); and the fundamentals of quantum mechanics.
The highlight of the week was a morning session celebrating the 60th anniversary of CERN, with historical talks by old CERN hands Lynn Evans, Danielle Treille, Felicitas Pauss, and Alvaro de Rujula. The state of the art of heavy ion physics was presented by two familiar experts, Peter Braun-Munzinger and Johanna Stachel.