Jahresbericht 2022 für

SPG/SSP/SPS: Schweizerische Physikalische Gesellschaft

Präsident/Präsidentin: Prof. Dr. Johan Chang

Von: Prof. Dr. Johan Chang, johan.chang@physik.uzh.ch


The SPS is actively organizing and participating in a variety of projects and events:

- The SPS Annual Meeting 2022 was from 27-30 June at the University of Fribourg. This meeting also hosted (as a satellite event) the first Women in Physics Career Symposium.

- The Clausius symposium at EPFL on 8 October.

The “SPG Mitteilungen” ( “Communications de la SSP”, “SPS Communications”; https://www.sps.ch/artikel/spg-mitteilungen) have appeared 3 times, and ca. every month the electronic SPS Newsletter with actual news at the Swiss, European, and global level has been sent to all subscribers. The second edition of the "SPS Focus" series has been published, dealing with the "Impact of Physics on Swiss Society".


The SPG Mitteilungen appear three times per year (2022: No. 66 - 68). It is the most important SPS publication for disseminating information about on-going activities within the society and reviewing scientific progress in various areas. High-class articles are published in specific article categories, i.e. “Progress in Physics”, “Milestones in Physics”, “Physics Anecdotes & Personal Recollections”, “Physics and Society”, “Physicists in Industry” or “History and Philosophy of Physics”. A paper copy of the SPG Mitteilungen is distributed to all members. An electronic version can be downloaded from our webpage a few weeks after the release of the printed journal.

The SPS also issues an electronic Newsletter at a monthly interval. News items inform about current research, prize winners, conferences, symposia and more. Besides SPS members, every interested person can subscribe.

The SPS Focus is a new publication appearing only irregularly. Every issue deals with a specific topic in greater depth. In 2022 the second edition appeared on the "Impact of Physics on Swiss Society".

Tagungen / Kurse

The SPS Annual Meeting 2022, including the General Assembly, took place from 27-30 June at the University of Fribourg. Besides the usual scientific program with plenary, parallel and poster sessions, the satellite event "Women in Physics Career Symposium" has been held for the first time.

About 370 people attended the meeting, with more than 200 oral and 34 poster presentations. The program is found on our website. The Clausius symposium, celebrating the 200th birthday of Rudolf Clausius, pioneer in the field of thermodynamics, was held at EPFL on 8 October, with excellent talks from renowned speakers. The symposium was combined with the Young Talents Day, which allows winners from different pre-university physics contests to get a first glimpse on scientific research labs or events.

Internationale Aktivitäten

A) wissenschaftliche Zusammenarbeit:

The SPS and the SFP (Société Française de Physique) sponsor a joint prize named Charpak–Ritz Award. This prize is given alternately to a French physicist (in odd years) and to a Swiss Physicist (in even years). In 2022, the winner was Laura Baudis (Uni-Zurich) for her seminal contributions to dark matter research. For more information, see https://www.sps.ch/en/awards/charpak-ritz-award/winner-2022.

B) institutionelle Zusammenarbeit:

The SPS is a member of the European Physical Society (EPS). As such, we distribute the EPS publication "Europhysics News" to all our members. Andreas Schopper (CERN) is Member of the Executive Committee of the EPS. In this function, he is in charge of relations with the Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands and, obviously, the Swiss Member Societies. Hans Peter Beck (Uni Bern) is the Swiss Delegate at EPS Council. Christophe Rossel is chair of the EPS Technology and Innovation group and Michel Calame is chair of the European Physics Journal (EPJ) scientific Advisory Committee.

Hans Peter Beck is also liaison officer of SPS and SCNAT to IUPAP. The Swiss representations in the IUPAP commissions in the period 2021-2024 are:

C6 Biological Physics - Member - Suliana Manley (EPFL)

C9 Magnetism - Member - Oksana Zaharko (PSI)

C11 Particles and Fields - Chair - Florencia Canelli (U ZH)

C16 Plasma Physics - Member - Christian Theiler (EPFL)

Christophe Rossel is chair of the IUPAP working group WG16 "Physics and Industry". A separate annual report about the SPS – IUPAP collaborations will be submitted to the SCNAT.


The SPS Awards, dotted with CHF 5000.- each, are given every year to young physicists at an early stage of career (PhD student - early post-doc). The 2022 results are as follows:

• SPS Award in all physics domains (sponsored by ABB): Michael Denner, "Exceptional Topological Insulators".

• SPS Award in Condensed Matter Physics (sponsored by IBM): Nadine Leisgang, "Electrically tunable optical resonance in two-dimensional semiconductors".

• SPS Award in Applied Physics (sponsored by Oerlikon Surface Solutions AG): Markus Ritter, "Light-mediated strong coupling between a mechanical oscillator and atomic spins 1 meter apart".

• SPS Award related to Metrology (sponsored by METAS): Thomas Karg, "Pioneering work on coupling different physical (nano) systems with laser light". 

• SPS Award in Computational Physics (sponsored by COMSOL): Pauline Ollitrault, "Solving Quantum Chemistry Problems with First Generation Digital Quantum Computers". 

SPS also sponsor two prizes for Swiss Youth in Science (https://sjf.ch). The Swiss Physical Society is supporting young physicists via the Young Physicists Forum (YPF). YPF fosters links across all students’ associations at Swiss universities and is organizing a yearly event. In 2022, the topic chosen was ‘Green Energy Physics’. It took place on 8-10 April at the ETHZ. For a detailed program see https://www.youngphysicists.ch/forum-2022. 

Also, the International Physics Tournament (IPT), a competition for bachelor and master level students, is supported by SPS. In 2022, the Swiss team (from EPFL) won bronze medals. Finally, the SPS is supporting the International Young Physics Tournament (IYPT). In 2022, the Swiss team won gold medals for the first time.


As member society of SATW, the SPS supports SATW's main task of early identification of technologies, which may become important for Switzerland’s economy by creating high level jobs in the next three to five years. The results of the analyses are published every two years in a Technology Outlook Report (TOR), which we bring to the attention of our members.


In 2022, SPS initiated the writing of a code of conduct that will be finished and implemented in 2023.

Dialog mit der Gesellschaft

On the pre-university level, the SPS supports the Swiss Physics Olympiad, the Swiss and International Young Physics Tournament. The SPS subsidizes also an initiative for establishing a Physics Teachers education support. “Physik im Advent” (PiA) is an online physics Advent calendar, that presents 24 physics experiments or riddles to young pupils and anyone interested. The experiments can be repeated at home or in the classroom and the outcomes can be uploaded to the PiA homepage to enter a prize draw.

The SPS and SCNAT are promoting PiA in Switzerland in collaboration with the PiA creators in Germany. In 2022, more than 1500 participants from Switzerland have been counted, an increase of 30% compared to 2021.The SPS has distributed awards to 25 individual winners and 3 school classes, which have been drawn amongst the best participants from Switzerland. For the first time there was also a French translation.

The SPS Focus No. 2 (see above) does not only address physicists but also politicians, companies and other interested parties. Based on the SPS Focus, SCNAT has published a fact sheet summarizing its quintessence.