Geometric Foundations of Gravity 2023


Scientific program

The scientific program will consist of invited and contributed talks, as well as discussions. See the final detailed schedule. In addition, you can find the schedule in iCalendar format, to import online or offline in any calendar which supports this format. All scientific sessions will take place at the University of Tartu Institute of Physics building (Physicum), W. Ostwaldi 1, Tartu. Online links for hybrid attendance will be shared with the conference participants only.

Public Lecture

A public lecture will be given on Tuesday 20 June evening at 18:15 at the historic Tartu Old Observatory. Prof. Mairi Sakellariadou (King´s College London, President-Elect of the European Physical Society) will speak on the topic “Early Universe Cosmology: a primer”. The talk is open for public and entrance is free. Before the talk, interested participants can take a tour in the observatory museum. To speed up the process of buying the museum tickets, ticket money 4 euros per person will be collected beforehand in cash.

Social Program

The social program includes the welcoming reception, and a sightseeing trip outside of Tartu ending with the conference dinner.

The conference reception will take place on Monday 19 June evening starting at 18:30 in the old University Cafe (Ülikooli 20, Tartu). The menu will include different non-vegetarian and vegetarian snacks along with wine and soft drinks. As at the previous Tartu conferences a part of the reception will be a GravQuiz on science/history related facts and fun, please bring your web accessing smart device to participate.

The conference trip will be an excursion on Wednesday 21 June afternoon:

  • Around 15:00 a bus will pick up participants at the Institute of Physics where the conference takes place.
  • After a 45 minutes drive we will reach the parking place at Alatskivi manor. Then there will be two options. Those wanting to strech their limbs a bit can take a 4.5 km walk around the local lake following the designated walking trail, and getting nice views to the manor and surrounding park, as well as seeing the Oak of Loyalty, Sheep Bridge, and Bed of Kalevipoeg (the Estonian epic hero) on the path. Others can enjoy a leisurely stroll in the manor garden and park and check out the local handicraft shop, wine cellar and tavern.
  • By 17:00 we should gather at the manor main building entrance to begin a guided tour in the Alatskivi castle museum and riding horses stables.
  • At 18:30 the conference dinner will be served at the restaurant in the dining halls of the manor. There are two menu options three courses in each: vegan option 1. Onion soup with crispy cheese toast, 2. Truffle polenta with warm bell pepper salad, 3. Warm crumble cake with seasonal berries and vanilla sauce; non-vegan option: 1. Smoked beam salad, 2. Perch pike fillet fried in butter with warm salad or Slow cooked beef au gratin, 3. White chocolate cheesecake. A glass of wine and a cup of coffee is included. You can choose your dish preference at the conference registration. It is also possible to order from the restaurant´s a la carte menu, but they will start preparing these orders only after serving the fixed dishes to everybody else.
  • The bus will take us back to Tartu at about 20:30, reaching the city latest at 21:30.

Please note that Alatskivi castle has stairs and we cannot guarantee full access to the castle and the hiking trip for participants with disabilities.

After the conference

The eve of 23 June to the night of 24 June (jaaniöö) is of special significance in Estonian culture. People celebrate Midsummer when the dawn meets dusk by lighting big bonfires and enjoy merrymaking through the short night. The two days are national holidays, and those who can, try to go out to villages and countryside breaking the city routine. As many conference participants have expressed interest in joining the extra day activity, we can offer the following plan:

  • At 14:00 on Friday 23 June a bus will pick us up from a city center parking place at Ülikooli Street down from the Vanemuine theatre and next to Uueturu plats park area.
  • We will drive out to Vooremaa landscape reserve, a lovely region of elongated drumlins (hills) and many lakes. Our first stop will be at Raigastvere observation tower, that offers a splendid view over the surrounding area.
  • The bus will then head to the the parking place at Lake Saare. Our main base and picnic spot will be at Papi campfire site under the pine tree forest at the lake side, at about 500 m walking distance from the parking. At the campfire place it is possible to go swimming in the lake (no guarantee that the water will be considered warm by everybody), or just sit and relax. Unfortunately it is currently prohibited to make any fire in the forest due to the dangerously dry conditions (barbeque is prohibited).
  • Those who would like to have a walk, can venture on a hike around the lake, following the marked study trail. Some stretches of the trail consist of a narrow forest path or boardwalk made of wooden planks across a swampy surface (not wheelchair accessible). When hiking, it is better to keep following the trail, since in some areas of high leafy grass there can be ticks (tiny blood sucking insects), that may carry unpleasant infectious diseases.
  • For the picnic we will provide a pot of hot mulgipuder (traditional Estonian farm dish) and vegan rice dish, as well as homemade bread, cottage cheese cake, water, kvass, beer, tea and coffee. You can bring your own favorite drink, if you want.
  • We have to board our bus at about 18:30 and drive back to Tartu, since many people have booked an early next day flight at Tallinn airport, and need to catch a late transport from Tartu, e.g. a bus from Tartu coach station at 20:00 or 21:00.
  • If there are still over 15 people eager for a real jaaniöö celebration, our bus will then drive out of Tartu to Luunja, where the village celebrates the night with a big bonfire party. There will be games and competitions, live music and dancing. The place is in a park next to the river and boat harbor. Although the village party will go on until after midnight, our bus will start a way back to Tartu at 23:00. The village is not far from Tartu, and there may be other options to get back to the city (like the bike share or taxi), if somebody wants to stay longer into the night.
  • If the number of people on board for the evening is less than 15 and the general intent is for a less noisy celebration, then instead of the Luunja party we can drive to a private farm 25 km from Tartu, and have a bonfire there together with local family hosts. Those who want can go to sauna.
  • In any case, the bus will be back in Tartu before midnight.
  • NB! The midsummer trip is an extra activity which is not part of the official conference program. The expenses consist of renting the bus and the driver, plus food and drink for the picnic. The estimated cost of 40 euros must be paid in cash at the beginning of the conference.