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Physics and Mathematics

​Support to scientific and technological areas

The Physics and Mathematics area of excellence lends support to the rest of the strategic areas in that it complements the development of research in other areas. Scientific excellence of more than 200 UC researchers and the Physics Institute of Cantabria (mixed centre between the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the UC) is planned in collaboration with over 300 international universities and laboratories.

Besides, it also foresees immediate incorporation of two high-quality researchers, together with their teams, to open up new lines in research and development.

Cantabria International Campus will devote the resources it obtains in a competitive announcement in the Dept. of Science and Innovation towards the extension and renovation of Super-Computation equipment as part of the Altamira Node in Super-Computation (ICTS), creating a service which will lend support to the R+D+i capacities within the UC and the region.

The area of Physics and Mathematics in Cantabria International Campus will be dynamized thanks to the new location in Cantabria of the main office of the five Santander Bank Data-Processing Centres throughout the world.

Current situation of the Area of Physics and Mathematics

The RES Altamira Node, installed in the IFCA and financed with the Innocampus Programme as part of CCI objectives, was inaugurated in October 2012. Altamira is the second most powerful piece of equipment in Spain and is among the fastest 500 worldwide (358th position in the Top500 ranking), and is in 36th position in the Green500 rankings, which make classifications in terms of energy efficiency. Of note is the signing of an agreement between the UC and the private company, CIC Consulting Informático, to offer the services of Altamira to Spanish SMEs and improve their products and services through innovation. The infrastructure of Altamira is the node of the Spanish Supercomputing Network, to which it devotes 20% of its capacity and which represents 80% of the service available for the UC.

The excellence of research capabilities in this area of CIC is reflected in its participation in multiple European and International projects of great relevance, such as the Planck Mission, the CMS experiment in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in CERN, the QUIJOTE experiment, the EURET and Aida projects or the Grid EGI-Inspire infrastructure and middleware EMI projects.

Participation in the discovery of the Higgs Boson in the LHC of CERN stands out, as well as the appointment of Xavier Barcons as President of the European Organization Council for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, and Teresa Rodrigo as a member of the CERN Scientific Policy Committee.

The incorporation of Almudena Alonso, a researcher within the framework of the AGL Programme to Attract Talent also stands out. Since May 2012, she has led a team which is formed by a Post-Doctorate and a Pre-Doctorate researcher, as well as an International Centre of Mathematical Encounters (ICES), which promotes mathematical research of excellence.

The University of Cantabria is also developing research at the highest levels in the area of condensed matter physics and the physics of new materials with a focus on optical, magnetic, electrical and structural properties, in particular the study of materials subjected to extreme conditions of pressure, temperature, magnetic fields, etc. Other fields being researched are the domain of nanomaterials and their applications in optoelectronics, storage and energy production or biomedical applications, and so on. In these fields, in the last five years the UC has raised 2.5M€, published 213 articles, 122 of these in publications within the first quartile and one of these ranked as the 14th most cited article in all branches of Physics57. Researchers are currently working in 4 European projects (one of which coordinated by the UC); in a unit associated with the CSIC and have fulfilled the objective established by the CIC to increase scientific productivity and research funding.

In this Strategic Area, Mathematics has become a model of scientific research within the UC, both for basic and plied research (20-year contract with Nuclenor and coordination of the national i-Math Consolider project). In fact, in the last 5 years, mathematicians from the UC have published over 250 articles in journals within the scope of the ISI WOK, of which 140 are in the first quartile and 36 in the first decile.