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30 November 2020
Xth Tastes Of Nuclear Physics 2020: The Sights Of Science (And Fun Of Physics)
For years Tastes of Nuclear Physics has encouraged students and experts from around the world to share knowledge, socialise and sample what the field has to offer. And now the celebration is going virtual - allowing anyone anywhere to share the fun.

Pack too much matter into the heart of a star, and what happens? You get a supernova that shines more brightly than a hundred stars. That’s Tastes of Nuclear Physics 10 in a nutshell, packing in science stars for an explosion of nuclear knowledge. And now the celebration has gone virtual - allowing anyone anywhere to share the fun.

“When we started this, 10 years ago, we didn't know how much it would grow - and how much of an impact it would have in our nuclear physics community in South Africa,” said UWC’s Professor Nico Orce, who has championed Tastes of Nuclear Physics since 2011. “But every year brings new students, and exciting new physics to share from all over the world! And this year, we’re bigger than ever - and bringing the joy and hope of science worldwide in these troubled times.” 

The conference, running virtually from 30 November 2020 to 4 December 2020, features interactive talks by leading national and international speakers. Students are encouraged to discuss Physics and engage with the experts at any time throughout the Tastes, especially during the coffee breaks. 

Standard Tastes “Terms & Conditions” apply:
  • All are welcome, students and staff - and nuclear physics enthusiasts - from any institutions
  • No fees (registration or otherwise) required
  • As tradition requires, there’s plenty of time to relax and party, in suitable scientific style

The Tastes virtual meeting is important because it allows scientists from many parts of the world to give a flavour of the exciting developments in the field of nuclear physics to the younger audience,” said University of Liverpool Professor Peter Butler, who will talk about the latest results from CERN on the very rare (and radioactive) atomic nuclei that have the shape of a pear. “I encourage all aspiring nuclear physicists to attend, and to listen to as many talks as they can, and ask as many questions as they can - don’t be shy!”

To help those aspiring nuclear physicists attain their full potential, UWC established the MANUS/MATSCi programme in 2004 as a human capital development programme to promote scarce skills in physics. The Material Science degree (MatSci) and the Accelerator and Nuclear Science degree (MaNus) courses, offered in collaboration with iThemba LABS and the University of Zululand, have greatly increased the number of black students studying in the nuclear sciences field in South Africa.

“As a research-led institution, we are committed to contributing to the field of nuclear physics,” said Prof Tyrone Pretorius, UWC’s Rector and Vice-Chancellor. “And we are especially committed to the successful training of our students, who, in turn, will contribute to our society. Our nuclear students not only feed the diamond and nuclear industry in South Africa, but also add to the high-skilled computerisation of the country, and to the academic life of our institutions. I have no doubt they will bring new scientific breakthroughs in the years to come.”

Nuclear Physics: The Keys To The Kingdom

Prof Orce has seen firsthand the impact nuclear physics can have on connecting students to the wider world. He has seen the MaNUS/MATSCI programme produce several success stories: students who publish groundbreaking papers, become international nuclear research consultants, or become the science teachers South Africa so badly needs.

He has also led students and conducted research all over the world - and helped run UWC’s leading experiment at CERN, using some of the most powerful scientific equipment in existence to examine sub-atomic matter and reflect on what happens when stars explode, and accelerating for the first time a particularly exotic isotope of Germanium. 

One of those students, Kenzo Abrahams, will be presenting his final PhD work at Tastes X, based on the Coulomb excitation of 66Ge performed at CERN.
“Tastes brings together nuclear physicists from all over the world to learn and share ideas - and that in itself makes it exciting,” said Abrahams. “It’s not every day that we get to rub shoulders with the world's finest nuclear scientists - and we as the younger generation must appreciate this opportunity.”
And students (and others) who can’t take time out to attend the lectures needn’t worry: The TASTES Lectures, relevant papers and documentation, software, videos of the lectures and photos will be posted at

“Along with the keys to the most famous scientific laboratory in the world, we’re providing our students with the necessary technical and theoretical skills to achieve excellence in whatever they want to do in life,” said Prof Orce. “We’re broadening their horizons - while at the same time helping us all see deeper into the cosmos. Come share the view!” 

Tastes of Nuclear Physics X #TNP2020 takes place virtually from 30 November to 4 December 2020. For a full list of world class speakers, the programme, a Book of Abstracts and much more

content about the upcoming event, visit the Tastes of Nuclear Physics website at: