by Panos Charitos. Published: 01 March 2014

The World Laboratory for Cosmology and Particle Physics organized an advanced workshop on LHC physics and cosmology from 3- 14 February in Cairo, Egypt. The aim of the workshop was to bring together students working in these fields especially from African countries and provide a direct contact to field leaders in selected research areas, heading towards deep impact research activities. The workshop was open to young researchers from all over the world but particularly intended to serve the African young academic community.

During the workshop, the possible constraints on particle physics models obtained by combining data from the LHC and RHIC with astrophysical observations were reviewed. Ideas like the existence of super-symmetric particles, extra dimensions, various models for dark energy like those inspired by superstrings or non-equilibrium relaxation are revisited in the light of the recent LHC findings. Could super-symmetric matter and particles like the massive photino be the constituents of the astrophysical dark matter? What do we learn from particle accelerators about dark energy? Which are the useful constraints posed by the LHC and possible from future facilities? These were among the topics that were discussed in the workshop.

Special attention was also given to ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions and the links between results from Pb-Pb and p-Pb collisions with astrophysics and cosmology. Properties of the QGP and latest lattice QCD simulations were also presented.

The LHC is specifically devoted to probe and characterize the hadronization processes, the properties of the quark-gluon plasma and the origin of the weak scale, so the evolution of the early universe and searches for the various types of matter/radiation/energy filling the background geometry and LHC physics appear to be closely related. Recently, a spectacular progress in astrophysical observations has been achieved. It points towards a current era acceleration of our Universe, something that could be explained either by a non-zero cosmological constant in a Friedman-Robertson-Walker-Einstein Universe, or in general by a non-zero dark energy component, which could even be relaxing to zero supporting the geometric interpretation of the acceleration of the Universe today.

All in all it was a well-attended workshop that gave room for fruitful discussions that may lead to new research paths and open new collaborations among the participants.

The directors of the workshop were: Abdel Nasser Tawfik (Cairo). Jean Cleymans (Cape Town), Jui’ichi Yokoyama (Tokyo) and G. Villadoro (ICTP – Trieste). You can find more information about the programme of the workshop: here