Sitemap

Dr. Magdalena Djordjević, Scientific Advisor at the Institute of Physics in Belgrade

QGP: Front-Line Science And Why Serbia Needs It

Quark-gluon plasma (QGP) is a state of matter that exists under extreme temperatures and pressures. As a reminder, the nucleus of atoms consists of protons and neutrons, which are in turn composed of even smaller particles (quarks and gluons). In QGP, the temperature and pressure are so high that quarks and gluons become free

While it is considered that QGP existed in the early Universe, it is today created in powerful particle colliders, such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in CERN near Geneva, and the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) in Brookhaven National Laboratory in the U.S., where QGP was first discovered in 2005. Creating and studying QGP, thus, enables an understanding of the origins and properties of matter at the most basic level.

How did it happen that someone in Serbia is studying such basic phenomena, which was discovered only 14 years ago? I was lucky to be involved in QGP research at just the right time, during my PhD studies at Columbia University, when the first measurements started at the RHIC. This phase of my research also contributed to the discovery of QGP and received the 2007 PhD thesis award in Nuclear Physics from the American Physical Society. Following its discovery, QGP research entered an exciting phase of studying its properties. It is exactly for this, i.e. for proposing a new approach to studying QGP properties, that our group received a grant of 1.4 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC).

Through ERC grants, the EU finances the best science projects and researchers in the wider European area, with 44 countries included (even including Switzerland and Israel), so competition is very high. Thus, one may ask, why is our project important for Europe? Billions of euros are invested each year to take measurements in large particle colliders, the largest of is located in CERN. Within the scope of the project, our team develops theoretical and numerical models in order to determine QGP properties from the data, so that the huge sums invested in, for example, CERN are used much more optimally.

Without strong basic science, one cannot have a strong economy or society, neither in Serbia nor anywhere else

An obvious practical benefit for Serbia is that the project brought significant nonrefundable financing from the EU. Part of these funds is used to employ our young scientists, who would likely move abroad without these funds. Equally importantly, we have employed foreign scientists in Serbia, because no scientific institution can be successful as a closed system, i.e. international exchanges of people within science are crucial. We have also bought cutting edge computing equipment that would otherwise not be available in Serbia.

Even more importantly, the recent emphasis of Serbian science policies focuses on applied research, with immediate applicability on the product market. Our project concerns basic laws of nature, so it has no direct application to industry. Why, then, should someone in Serbia care about this research, beyond the funds that we brought to the country? Well, as you read this text, it may happen that you found the article through the World Wide Web, which was invented (for scientific purposes) by Tim Berners-Lee, a scientist working precisely at CERN.

More generally, I don’t know if any country that has a strong economy and industry without having strong basic science (and vice verse). It is a strong basic science that produces talented and educated people, who then contribute to all other areas of society.

My main message is without strong basic science, one cannot have a strong economy or society, neither in Serbia nor anywhere else.

Related Articles

Nada Popović Perišić

Repositioning Our Entry Into the Third Decade

I think that at least two positions could be dominant when it comes to the decade ahead. The world, and with it Europe and...

Vladimir Bilčík, MEP, European Parliament’s Standing Rapporteur for Serbia

Dialogue Is The Only Way

When it comes to improving the political environment in Serbia, conditions for free and fair elections and a functioning parliamentary culture, the only way...

H.E. Aida Smajić, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Serbia

Improving Bilateral Relations is the Goal

As next-door neighbours, in the waiting room for entry into the chambers of Europe, we should resolve our open issues through constructive dialogue, mutual...

What are the pros and cons of the Western Balkans regional economic zone?

Gains Depend on How We Count Them

There’s no doubt that forming a regional market might unshackle intraregional trade and make the Western Balkans a more attractive investment destination. However, there...

Mark Harrison, Principal, Harrisons

20 Years & Counting

It was two decades ago that Mark Harrison abandoned his comfort zone to become the first English Solicitor to set up an English Law...

Vladimir Popović, Managing Director for SEE Ingram Micro

We Have a Team for Every Project

Ingram Micro d.o.o. Belgrade, as part of the Ingram Micro group, which is the world’s largest distributor in the field of IT equipment, covers...

Janko Anđelić, Sales Director for SEE, Ingram Micro

We Live The Problems of Our Partners

Ingram Micro d.o.o. Belgrade is part of a group that has offices in 45 countries and 154 distribution centres worldwide. Ingram Micro cooperates with...

Miroslav Vraneš, Account Executive, Dell Technologies

Real Transformation

This year’s DELL TECHNOLOGIES forum was held in Belgrade on 12th November under the title ‘REAL TRANSFORMATION’. Our interviewee is Miroslav Vraneš, the Account...

More...

Academic Vladimir Kostić, SANU President

Memorandum II Is A Plain Lie

How many embittered criticisms of the Memorandum I’ve heard from people (not rarely foreigners) who would later admit timidly that they hadn’t read it...

H.E. Jaewoong LEE, Ambassador Of Korea To Serbia

Promising Long-Term Partnership

The Serbian people share many similar characteristics with Koreans, despite the two countries being thousands of miles apart ~ Jaewoong Lee Upon arriving in Serbia...

Branimir Jovanović, Economist, The Vienna Institute For International Economic Studies

Balancing Between East And West Comes At A Cost

Whether Serbia will emerge as a winner of the nearshoring trend over the coming years will depend primarily on political developments. If Serbia stays...

Bojan Stanić, Sector For Strategic Analysis and Internationalisation At The Chamber Of Commerce & Industry Of Serbia (CCIS)

War Is Always A Bad Friend

The continuation of the conflict in Ukraine could, over the long run, imperil the recovery of the western Balkans. That’s why political de-escalation in...

News

U.S. Adds $19.5 Million In New Funds To Development Partnership With Serbia

Today, the United States Government announced an additional $19.5 million in assistance to the Government of Serbia, as part...

UN: Ukraine War Stoked Global Food Crisis That Could Last Years

The United Nations has warned that the war in Ukraine has helped to stoke a global food crisis that could last...

Picasso’s Masterwork Of Lover And Muse Shines At Sotheby’s $408m Evening Sale

Following the Macklowe Collection’s white-glove sale, the Modern Evening Auction saw glittering results at Sotheby’s New York. Amongst 58...

UN Calls For Renewable Energy Push Following Damning Climate Report

UN chief Antonio Guterres has called for more investment in renewable energy and an end to the millions of...

Serbia To Produce 40 Percent Of Its Electricity From Renewable Energy Sources By 2040

Cooperation between Israeli and Serbian companies in the field of renewable energy sources (RES) and energy transition, which is...

U.S. Adds $19.5 Million In New Funds To Development Partnership With Serbia

Today, the United States Government announced an additional $19.5 million in assistance to the Government of Serbia, as part...

UN: Ukraine War Stoked Global Food Crisis That Could Last Years

The United Nations has warned that the war in Ukraine has helped to stoke a global food crisis that could last...

Picasso’s Masterwork Of Lover And Muse Shines At Sotheby’s $408m Evening Sale

Following the Macklowe Collection’s white-glove sale, the Modern Evening Auction saw glittering results at Sotheby’s New York. Amongst 58...

UN Calls For Renewable Energy Push Following Damning Climate Report

UN chief Antonio Guterres has called for more investment in renewable energy and an end to the millions of...

US And Global Banks Unveil Multi-billion Dollar Plan To Address Worldwide Food Crisis

The U.S., several global development banks and other groups unveiled a multi-billion dollar plan Wednesday meant to address a...

U.S. Adds $19.5 Million In New Funds To Development Partnership With Serbia

Today, the United States Government announced an additional $19.5 million in assistance to the Government of Serbia, as part...

UN: Ukraine War Stoked Global Food Crisis That Could Last Years

The United Nations has warned that the war in Ukraine has helped to stoke a global food crisis that could last...

Picasso’s Masterwork Of Lover And Muse Shines At Sotheby’s $408m Evening Sale

Following the Macklowe Collection’s white-glove sale, the Modern Evening Auction saw glittering results at Sotheby’s New York. Amongst 58...

UN Calls For Renewable Energy Push Following Damning Climate Report

UN chief Antonio Guterres has called for more investment in renewable energy and an end to the millions of...

US And Global Banks Unveil Multi-billion Dollar Plan To Address Worldwide Food Crisis

The U.S., several global development banks and other groups unveiled a multi-billion dollar plan Wednesday meant to address a...