Who are you? Can you tell us something about yourself?

 My name is Johann Marton affiliated to the Stefan Meyer Institute for subatomic physics (SMI), since 1989 I am Deputy Director of SMI, Vienna. I am Docent at the University of Technology (experimental physics) and affiliated at the Institute for atomic and subatomic physics of TU Vienna.


You are leading an activity within the HP3 project. Which are the scientifically exciting aspects of your research project?

 I am spokesperson of the networking activity LEANNIS in HadronPhysics3. LEANNIS stands for “Low Energy Antikaon Nucleon and Nuclei Interaction Studies”.

This network is devoted to the fascinating field of the strong interaction involving strangeness, i.e. strange and charm quarks – the second generation of these building blocks of nature.

We are familiar with the strong interaction of “normal” up and down quarks which is responsible for the visible matter and its mass surrounding us. The inclusion of strangeness can lead to new phenomena like antikaon-nuclear systems which might be an extremely interesting form of matter with specific and hitherto unknown characteristics. Questions in the theoretical QCD description with 3 flavors SU(3) using field-theoretical approaches can be clarified with the precise measurement of the low-energy observables in simple antikaon-nucleon systems like kaonic hydrogen (a simple hadronic atom consisting of a negatively charged kaon and a proton bound by the electromagnetic force). The research field of  LEANNIS is remarkably rich spanning from particle physics and nuclear physics to atomic physics. It is thus an ideal research area for the education and profiling of young scientists.

Who are the participants to your project?

 In the LEANNIS network are 9 institutions from 5 European countries participating. As associated partners institutes from Israel and Japan are included.

The institutions are highly ranked and the involved scientists have outstanding expertise in theory or experiment in the research field of LEANNIS.

What do you want to achieve with this activity?

 We want to clarify open questions in the low-energy strong interaction involving strangeness and charm. It is basic research at major European facilities but has also an outreach to facilities outside Europe like J-PARC/Japan.

We are studying the possibility of producing nuclear bound states mediated by antikaons which would be a new form of matter. To find out possible production mechanisms and the properties like binding energy and decay widths we are investigating these systems in experiment and theory.

In which way your activity could be of benefit for the society?

As outcome of the studies of LEANNIS there will be an advanced knowledge about the strong interaction, one of the fundamental interactions in nature. An especially interesting and open question is the role of strangeness and charm. It could be that strangeness plays an important role in the universe, e.g. in compact stars like neutron stars. Therefore one benefit for society is the advances in understanding nature.

Secondly the advanced instruments (particle and radiation detectors) in the experimental research have the potential of new and future-oriented applications, like medical applications, e.g. advanced diagnostics.

Furthermore, the research field is very well suited for young scientists. In the human-size collaboration they can gain scientific profile and international visibility – important requirements for the career.

Why do you think  a young person should choose to study science and is there any reason for which should they do so in Europe?

Science and enhanced knowledge in physics are very important for innovations like new methods, new technologies and techniques. The clearest connections are again the application in computers, medicine and technology. A competitive Europe needs well-educated people – especially in natural science like physics - to strengthen the capabilities in R&D but also in complex fields in general. In this context there are good chances for young bright persons to get an interesting and future-oriented employment.

On the other hand we have first-class facilities in Europe were young can participate in experiments to train the skills.

Would you like to add anything? (this could be both in your native language and in English)

Die Netzwerk-Aktivitäten, wie LEANNIS, im Rahmen von HadronPhysics3 sind von grosser Bedeutung für die Erweiterung unserer Erkenntnisse über die subatomare Natur der Materie. Für die Förderung dieser Grundlagenforschung muss der Europäischen Kommission gedankt werden.

The networking activities like LEANNIS in the framework of HadronPhysics3 are of great importance for enhancing our knowledge of the subatomic nature of matter. For the promotion and funding of this basic research one has to thank the European Comission.

The HadronPhysics3 project is supported by the European Union
under the 7th Framework Capacities Programme in the area of Research Infrastructures (RI).