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Physics - Applied & Technical Physics | The European Physical Journal Plus (EPJ Plus) (Societies)

The European Physical Journal Plus

The European Physical Journal Plus

Editor-in-Chief: Paolo Biscari

ISSN: 2190-5444 (electronic version)

Journal no. 13360

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Interview with Dr. Luisa Cifarelli

On behalf of International Women's Day 2014

What appealed to you in starting out in your field? 

I was born as a twin sister of a twin brother and in my family equal opportunities in education, in particular in scientific education, were established since the very beginning! I was therefore encouraged to follow my scientific penchant and choose a scientific curriculum as a high school student. Then, first at the University of Rome as an engineering student, then at the University of Bologna as a physics student, I developed my passion for physics.
I had the chance to be immediately "captured" for my thesis by Professor Antonino Zichichi, a renowned and outstanding experimental physicist who sent me (aged 21) to CERN, in Geneva, one of the world's top laboratories for research in high energy particle physics. I joined his group and had - since then - the fantastic opportunity to participate in forefront experiments at the utmost accelerators and colliders such as ISR, HERA, LEP, and now LHC. This is how I was launched in the fascinating field of subnuclear physics.

Can you recall any women colleagues, mentors or pioneers of your field you drew or continue to draw inspiration from? How might they have inspired change in your field? 

My career as a young researcher, then a young professor, one of the youngest female professors in Italy at the end of last century, was certainly favoured by the special environment of my research group at CERN, led by Nino Zichichi, from whom I drew and still draw scientific inspiration. In his group I was involved in the search for free quarks and for new heavy-flavoured states, in the study of multihadron physics, in the search for supersymmetric particles, etc. at the highest energies ever achieved. In his group I learnt and experienced how fair, respectful and trustful relations between colleagues could be, no matter their gender. I could even profit, when my daughter was born in the early eighties, of "privileges" such as the choice of the best day shifts (instead of the normally unavoidable night ones) for data taking and, moreover, such as the pioneering installation of a modem-connected computer terminal in my apartment in Geneva in order to easily work at home when my baby was sleeping nearby. Nino Zichichi was strongly supporting women physicists in particle physics research and in the world of academia, especially in Italy. The decisive steps of my career were also due to a lady professor, Ida (Ducci) Ortalli, whose energy, tenacity and enthusiasm have been and still are a model for me.

What can we look forward to this year in regards to your journal’s content or development? 

EPJ Plus is a newly born journal of the EPJ series, a continuation of Il Nuovo Cimento B formely published by the Italian Physical Society. It has been launched in 2011 as an electronic-only journal, with a new interdisciplinary approach in terms of topics and a wider portfolio of possible article formats. EPJ Plus is also meant as a "cascade" journal for the other EPJs. In the last two years, the number of articles published in EPJ Plus has significantly grown and its impact factor expectations are definitely promising. According to the recent editorial policy of the journal, invited contents, grouped in topical "Focus Points", will be boosted and contributions from new fields, such as accelerator physics or physics applied to cultural heritage or to energy, will be strongly encouraged. Being a journal inspired by learned societies, EPJ Plus is also interested in the publication of original articles derived from the best, rewarded PhD theses. After three years of adjustment, 2014 will be crucial for the future development of EPJ Plus. A timely Focus Point dedicated to today's research on crystallography with European synchrotrons is on the go, nicely dedicated to the International Year of Crystallography (IYCr2014). Stay tuned.

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    The aims of this peer-reviewed online journal are to distribute and archive all relevant material required to document, assess, validate and reconstruct in detail the body of knowledge in the physical and related sciences.

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