Physics training in Senegal

The third biennial African School of Fundamental Physics and its Applications (ASP) took place in Dakar, Senegal, on 3-23 August. The students participating came from the highest number of African countries to date with nearly half of them women.


The aim of the ASP is to build capacity for harvesting and interpreting the results of current and future physics experiments using particle accelerators and to increase proficiency in related applications, such as medicine and information technology. Organised in a Sub-Saharan African country every two years, it is based on the close relationship between theoretical, experimental and applied physics and computing.

This year, ASP2014 attracted 328 applicants, and due to budgetary and logistical considerations, 69 were selected and 56 ultimately attended. The students selected came from 21 African countries – the highest number so far – in addition to one student from Iran and another from the US. 32% of the students were female, which is a significant increase compared to the previous two schools.

ASP2014 also saw broader sponsorship, with an increasing role played by the United Nations, which funded, via the International Telecommunication Union, scholarships for ten students from the least developed countries, including five female students. The EU-funded Cryogenics, Accelerators and Targets at HIE-ISOLDE (CATHI) Marie Curie Initial Training Network, hosted at CERN, also funded nine scholarships and the participation of two lecturers. The school received financial support from 42 institutions in total, in Africa, Europe, Asia and the US, including the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), INFN, CERN and other major particle physics laboratories, as well as governmental institutions in Africa, Europe and the US - all of whom share the goals of the school.

For more about the school, visit

by Christine Sutton