The Hungarian Association of Physics Students (Mafihe, NC Hungary) was founded in 1988 in Budapest, one year after the formation of IAPS. The first Summer School was organized in 1993 and continued from that time. After some years of omission we were happy to organise a Summer School again in the name of celebrating the International Year of Light at Lake Balaton from 20 – 26 July, 2015. We invited speakers in all the hot topics in physics which are related to light. The topics included spectroscopy, photonics, quantum optics, astrophysics and laser physics.
The School has also acted as the Hungarian part of the jDPG-Mafihe Exchange Program. However, it was open for every IAPS member.
Keeping to the old traditions in Mafihe we decided to put the School next to Lake Balaton (hence the name Balaton Summer School in Physics). Lake Balaton is a popular holiday region because of its sandy beaches and shallow waters. The surrounding countryside consists mainly of fertile plains dotted with old villages. Balatonalmádi is one of the most popular holiday towns in the area. It is easily accessible by train from Budapest and absolutely able to host a summer school since everything in the center is reachable in 15 minutes.
Our accommodation was in a dormitory of a high school. There were 4-bedded rooms and we tried to create as much national diversity in the rooms as possible. The lectures were in the conference room of the Ramada Hotel. We ate in a restaurant near to hotel and the beach was also about 5 min walk from there.
At the opening ceremony I presented Mafihe then Professor Norbert Kroó spoke about the International Year of Light. After that I gave some other general information about the BSS. The original number of participants was 65 students from 13 countries. Unfortunately, there were some of them who could not come because of visa issues.
There were 3 plenary lectures and 18 parallel lectures at the School. The first plenary lecture was given by Professor Norbert Kroó who spoke about surface plasmons. His presentation consisted of two parts. In the first one, some of the basic features of nanoscience and nanotechnology were presented. In the second part, plasmonics, the fast growing new branch of optics was discussed as the most promising branch of nanooptics. Then Professor Lajos Diósi presented a way to decide the Schrödinger’s cat state of a macroscopic object and explained some parts of the Diósi-Penrose Theory. He showed us the new field of Quantum Optomechanics. In Quantum Optomechanics, a quantized oscillator weighting nanograms or even grams is coupled to photons for double purpose: preparation and detection of controlled quantum state of the massive oscillator. The last plenary lecture was given by Professor Dezső Horváth who spoke about the spectroscopy and properties of antimatter. He presented the recent results from experiments from CERN and at the end of his talk he showed an overview the real, possible and impossible practical applications of antimatter from medical diagnosis through dream to fantasy.
I would like to emphasize some of the most popular parallel lectures. There was an astrophysics lecture about Digital sky surveys: building up the 3D picture of the Universe by Professor László L. Kiss from the Konkoly Observatory. He discussed both the most spectacular recent results and the planned future projects of the 2020s. Professor Péter Raffai gave us an overview on gravitational wave measurements. In the Quantum Optics Section, Dávid Nagy and Gábor Kónya introduced a complete course on Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics. Professor Péter Dombi showed the Phsyics of Attosecond Nano-Optics which play a fundamental role in many nanotechnology applications including photovoltaics, sensorics and biomedicine.
Besides professional programs, we placed great emphasis on cultural and community programs in order to create a cohesive community among physics students.
On the first night, we had a getting acquainted party. The members of the Italian delegation found a piano and started to play it which immediately cheered the party up. We spend the second night on the shore of Lake Balaton with some moonlight, in order to bring closer the people from different delegations to each other. The third night was the Hungarian night, we cooked goulash in a stew-pot on an open fire, tasted some palinka and sang the Physicist March together. After the Excursion day we had a cocktail party and some of us played the Physicist’s Activity at which you were supposed to mimic the Ricci tensor… We spent the last night with swimming in the Lake at night and playing some games at the shore.
Of course we were able to enjoy the summer on the beach at daylight, too.
Regarding the food, we showed all of the specialties of the Hungarian kitchen like having soup every day or having salty things for breakfast and sweet things as a main course for lunch. There was a coffee break between the lecture with sweet bakery products and also scones.
We offered two options as excursion at the free day.
The Tihany tour begun with a boat trip meanwhile we admired the Lake Balaton. After we arrived to Tihany, we walked to Benedictine Abbey which was established in the Kingdom of Hungary in 1055. Then we went back to the center of the village where we made unforgettable memories.
The Badacsony tour also offered a spectacular view over Lake Balaton. However, reaching the top was much more exhausting then the other tour. On the other hand it was a wonderful feeling to hike in the forest surrounded by many-thousand years old stones. After the hiking the best Hungarian wines helped us to recover at a local winery’s wine tasting and have some rest in this beautiful place.
We hope that this Summer School provided a good opportunity to learn, not just about Physics but also about the cultures of other people.