Application Form

To be filled in by prospective participants and invited speakers

  • Jan 03 2011

    Quantum Physics of Low-Dimensional Systems and Materials

    An International Workshop on Quantum Physics of Low-Dimensional Systems and Materials will take place from 3-7 January 2011 at the Wallenberg Research Center, Stellenbosch.

    Photo by Ralph Pina. The Wallenberg Research Center, where the Workshop will be held, is located just outside the frame, to the right.


    The Arnold Sommerfeld Center for Theoretical Physics LMU
    Centre for NanoScience LMU (CeNS)
    The German Research Foundation (DFG)
    Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM)
    The National Institute for Theoretical Physics (NITheP)


    3 to 7 January 2011


    Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS), Stellenbosch, South Africa, a beautiful new research & visitor center in the scenic university town of Stellenbosch. A brochure about the venue can be downloaded here

    Hosted by:

    The National Institute for Theoretical Physics (NITheP), South Africa.

    Organizing committee:

    Boris Altshuler (Columbia), Jan von Delft (Munich), Vladimir Falko (Lancaster), Yuval Gefen (Weizmann Institute), Florian Marquardt (Erlangen), Ulrich Schollwöck (Munich), Frederik Scholtz (NITheP), Izak Snyman (NITheP), Peter Zoller (Innsbruck).

    Scope and aims of the workshop:

    Recent years have seen rapid experimental progress on numerous fronts involving the quantum physics of low-dimensional systems and materials. A common theme is that increased control of system and material parameters have led to systems displaying a high degree of quantum coherence and numerous striking novel effects. The workshop aims to bring together leading experts in the fields of (i) qubits & nanomechanics, (ii) low-dimensional conductors, (iii) exciton/polariton condensates, (iv) new superconductors (pnictides, triplet superconductors) and (v) cold atoms and molecules, to offer an overview of the state of the art in these fields.


    Five-day workshop, 50-60 participants, about 30 invited speakers, one main topic per day, invited talks only, long (3-hour) lunch breaks, evenings free. To allow copious time for individual discussions, each day will contain at most six talks (30 + 5 minutes), preceded by one introductory tutorial lecture, aimed at non-experts, to set the scene for the day's main topic. To encourage stimulating interactions between various research subfields, and between international and local participants, our criteria for inviting speakers were that they should be world renowned experts in their fields and have a reputation for presenting excellent talks. All participants are strongly encouraged to attend for the full duration of the workshop.

    Topics and invited speakers (* = confirmed):

    Monday: Qubits & Nanomechanics
    0. Tutorial introduction: Florian Marquardt (Erlangen)*
    1. Andrew Cleland (Santa Barbara)*
    2. Mikhail Lukin (Harvard)*
    3. Lieven Vandersypen (Delft)*
    4. Andreas Wallraff (Zurich)*
    5. Yuri Pashkin (NEC)*

    Tuesday: Low-dimensional conductors
    (graphene, nanowires, topological insulators, quantum Hall effect . . .)
    0. Tutorial introduction: Vladimir Falko (Lancaster)*
    1. Igor Aleiner (Colombia)*
    2. Vikram Deshpande (Colombia)*
    3. Leonid Levitov (MIT)*
    4. Allan MacDonald (Austin)*
    5. Laurens Molenkamp (Wuerzburg)*

    Wednesday: Exciton/polariton condensates
    0. Tutorial introduction: David Snoke (Pittsburgh)*
    1. Jonathan Keeling (St Andrews)*

    Thursday: New superconductors (Pnictides, Triplet Superconductors)
    0. Tutorial introduction: Gilbert Lonzarich (Cavendish)*
    1. Andrey Chubukov (Madison)*
    2. Igor Mazin (Naval Research Lab)*
    3. Joerg Schmalian (Ames Lab)*
    4. Jochen Mannhart (Augsburg)*

    Friday: Cold atoms and Molecules
    0. Tutorial introduction: Peter Zoller (Innsbruck)*
    1. Immanuel Bloch (LMU Munich)*
    2. Nigel Cooper (Cavendish)*
    3. Eugene Demler (Harvard)*
    4. Georgy Shlyapnikov (Orsay)*


    For invited speakers, the National Institute for Theoretical Physics (NITheP) in South Africa will cover the following: 1) accommodation, for up to seven consecutive nights, i.e. January 1-7 or 2-8; 2) local transportation between the airport and the workshop venue, 3) breakfast and lunch during the workshop. (For dinner, participants are encouraged to explore local restaurants.) Based on our presently confirmed funding sources, we have to request that invited speakers plan on covering their own travel costs. However, if currently pending funding proposals are successful, we expect to be able to make a contribution of up to 500 Euro to travel costs of invited speakers.

    Other participants will be charged a conference fee of 1750 South African Rand (approx. 175 Euro at the current exchange rate), that includes lunch and refreshments. We offer to assist with the booking of accommodation but, apart from invited speakers, participants are responsible for their own hotel bills. For six nights of accommodation, participants should budget approx. 450 Euro per person.

    Financial support:

    The organizers can offer limited travel support to up to eight postdocs (400 Euro per person). Applications for such support should be made via the online registration form.

    Accommodation during workshop:

    Invited speakers and participants who request that the local organizers arrange their accomodation will be housed in three star guest houses (small hotels) that are located close to the workshop venue. Information about a representative example of this type of accomodation can be found at


    To register for this workshop, please complete the on-line registration form on this page. For any additional questions that you may have, please do not hesitate to contact Izak Snyman at The closing date for registration is 30 November. Participants who would like the local organizers to assist with the reservation of accommodation are however requested to REGISTER BEFORE 15 NOVEMBER.

    Weekend excursions:

    The conference organizers will contract tour operators to provide excursions on the weekend after the meeting (weather permitting). There are two options. The first excursion is a sight-seeing tour around the Cape Peninsula. Things to look forward to include spectacular views of Table Mountain and the cliffs that drop into the sea on both the Atlantic and Indian ocean sides of the peninsula; the Cape Point Nature Reserve; and the penguin colony at Simons Town. The second excursion is a wine tour with wine tastings at several of the prominent wine farms in the Stellenbosch area. The itinerary also includes a visit to Franschhoek, where visitors can have lunch at one of the restaurants that the town is renowned for. We will try to arrange matters such that participants who want to go on both tours can do so, but the precise arrangements will depend on demand, as indicated by participants at the time of registration. The cost of the excursions is not included in the conference fee. Participants should budget roughly 50 Euro per excursion (excluding lunch).

    Contact Information:

    For further information, you are welcome to contact Izak Snyman (Stellenbosch),, tel: 27-21-808-3864, or Jan von Delft (Munich),, tel: 49-89-2180-4527.

    Information for Travelers

    Getting there:

    The workshop is held during peak tourist season, and participants are therefore advised to book their flights at the earliest possible date. Stellenbosch is located 55km to the east of Cape Town and 20km inland from the Atlantic coast of False Bay. Cape Town International Airport is half an hour's drive away. The workshop venue is close to the center of town, and both the venue and the town center are within easy walking distance of participants' accommodation. Since public transport infrastructure is rather limited, travelers are advised to make use of metered taxis or to hire a car for longer distance travel.


    The weather during first days of January is typically warm and sunny with low humidity. Day time temperatures peak in the high 20's (°C, i.e. low eighties in °F) although heat waves with higher temperatures can occur. Night time temperatures are typically in the mid to high teens (°C, i.e. sixties in °F). January is one of the driest months of the year with an average precipitation of 15mm (0.59 inches).

    Accommodation before/after the workshop:

    In case you need some advice on arranging your own accommodation before or after the workshop, here are the contact details of a reliable local travel agent that we at NITheP frequently use:

    Magrieta Du Toit (pronounced "De Toy"),
    Tel: 27 21 880 0025 at Maties Travel.

    She will be happy to provide you with information on hotels, and also to arrange your accommodation for you. Local travel agents frequently offer you a lower rate for the same room than that which a hotel quotes if contacted directly.

    In case you plan to spend some time in Cape Town, we can recommend the Breakwater Lodge It is part of a reliable local chain (Protea Hotels) that offer quality budget accommodation. It is centrally located at the Cape Town Waterfront, close to both the ocean and the city center. It also has a pleasant setting, with views of Table Mountain and the harbor.

    You may however prefer something less generic than a room in a large hotel that is part of a large chain of similar hotels. In the following parts of the city, you are more than likely to find decent accommodation in pretty surroundings: The City Center, Gardens, Tamboerskloof, Oranjezicht, the Waterfront, Green Point and Sea Point. All of the above are around the center of Cape Town, and there is a range of accommodation options available. More expensive, slightly further from the center, but spectacularly beautiful areas in which you will find luxury hotels are Camps Bay, and Clifton on the seaward side of Table Mountain, or Rondebosch and Claremont on the landward side of the mountain.

    Tourist Attractions

    South Africa is a popular tourist destination, and receives over two and a half million international visitors per year. Information about tourist attractions is available at and similar websites. A number of good travel guide books are also available.

    Attractions near Stellenbosch:

    The town of Stellenbosch is situated in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Tourist information for the region is available at Local attractions include

    The Cape Floral Region, a UNESCO World Heritige site, with its unique and diverse flora. (While comprising less than 0.5% of Africa's surface area, it contains 20% of its plant species, many of which are found nowhere else.) A good place to experience the region's natural beauty is the Cape Point Nature Reserve Apart from National Parks, the there are also several Provincial Parks in the area. Information about these can be found at The site also includes an activity guide with information about hiking trails, bird watching, canoeing, horse trails, fishing, etc.

    The town of Stellenbosch is flanked by mountains on the South and East that afford excellent hiking opportunities. Information about other attractions in the immediate vicinity can be found at

    The farmlands surrounding Stellenbosch form part of the Cape Winelands, South Africa's premier wine-growing region. It is well worth visiting some of the area's wine estates to sample the local wines. Information about wine estates around Stellenbosch can be found at, and for the neighboring towns of Paarl at and Franschhoek at A guide to some of the best restaurants in the area can be found here.

    There are many excellent beaches within a 50 km radius of Stellenbosch, with facilities that meet stringent international standards. The closest is Bikini beach, while one of the most spectacular is Clifton's 4'th beach


    A complete list of National Parks can be found at

    Aquila Private Game Reserve:
    This small reserve is located within an hour and a half's drive from Stellenbosch and is the best option if you want to see the big five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhinoceros) and only have a day or two free. They offer guided game drives for day visitors. There are also several accommodation options should you want to stay the night.

    Addo Elephant Park:
    Its 164 000 ha, located near the town of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, host over 450 elephants, Cape buffalo, black rhino, a variety of antelope species. It can be reached from Stellenbosch in about 7 hours by car along the famously scenic "Garden Route". Visitors to workshops in Stellenbosch in the past have driven there by rental car on a Friday afternoon, returning Sunday night. Regular flights from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth are also available.

    Kruger National Park:
    Highly recommended if you have at least three days (preferably more) at your disposal. At 20 000 square km (the same size as Slovenia or Israel), all of it pristine, it is South Africa's flagship national park. The southern part is particularly good for viewing game. To get there from Cape Town, fly to Johannesburg (there are many flights every day), rent a car there and drive the rest of the way (+-350 km) or fly to the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (one flight a day), rent a car there, and drive the rest of the way (35 km or 70 km to the closest park gates). There are many accommodation options in the park, ranging from hotel-type to self-catering chalets. These are situated in so-called rest camps. A highly recommended rest camp is Onder-Sabie. It offers picturesque accommodation next to the Sabie river, and is an excellent base for game viewing.

    When planning your trip, note that there is a night curfew in the park, which means that if you arrive at the park too late in the day, you will not be allowed to enter. Note also that the Kruger Park is situated in a malaria region. It is a good idea to consult your doctor about the correct preventative measures to take before and during your trip.

    The Kruger Park offers organized game viewing activities, including guided game drives and hikes. However, most visitors explore the park by themselves, in their own cars. The majority of roads in the park are accessible for ordinary vehicles and it is not necessary to drive an SUV in order to view game. An SUV does however have the following advantage over a sedan: During summer the vegetation in many regions of the park grows quite tall and dense. In an SUV one sits a little higher from the ground than in a sedan, and this allows one to see somewhat further through the vegetation.

    If you decide to visit the Kruger park it is worth the effort to do some internet research beforehand. (For a start, try googling "Game viewing tips Kruger park".) One's chances of seeing rare sights are greatly enhanced with a little preparation or advice from an expert.