The 2018 Hillas Symposium will be held in Heidelberg, Germany, from 10 to 12 December.
Attendance is limited to about 80 people. If you would like to come, please indicate your wish to attend by Nov. 9th (click here).
For further information please contact hillas2018@mpi-hd.mpg.de

Michael Hillas was an outstanding physicist who made major contributions to many fields but particularly to the studies of Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays and TeV gamma ray astronomy. He loved Physics and his researches were made for his own pleasure rather than to gain personal recognition. Several of his seminal ideas were only ever described in conference proceedings. Often he wrote down and discussed these ideas just before a conference. He was a consummate calculator but always knew what to expect before he ran any code as a result of careful thought beforehand. He was a man of great modesty and would probably be shocked that a meeting is being held to honour him.

At this meeting, held to remember him, and to reflect on his legacy, there will be talks from friends and colleagues who had the rare privilege of knowing someone with an outstanding mind and also talks by people who may never have met Michael but who are working in frontier areas of Astroparticle Physics thanks to his exceptional vision.


  • F. Aharonian (DIAS / MPIK)
  • A. Bell (Oxford / RAL)
  • L. Drury (DIAS)
  • R. Engel (KIT)
  • D. Fegan (UCD)
  • G. Fontaine (LLR)
  • T. Gaisser (Bartol)
  • P. Ghia (IPN Orsay)
  • W. Hofmann (MPIK)
  • P. Huentermeyer (Michigan Tech)
  • J. Knapp (DESY)
  • M. Lemoine (IAP)
  • J. Matthews (Oxford)
  • R. Mirzoyan (MPIP)
  • S. A. Mueller (ETH Zurich)
  • R. Muhkerjee (Columbia)
  • E. Resconi (TUM)
  • S. Sarkar (Oxford)
  • G. Sigl (DESY)
  • N. Smith (SNOLAB)
  • A. Taylor (DESY)
  • J. Vink (GRAPPA)
  • A. Watson (Leeds)
  • R. Zanin (MPIK)
  • E. Zas (USC)


The symposium will begin at 13:30 Monday 10 December and conclude by 13:30 on Wednesday 12 December.

PDF version of the programme Download Slides (671 MB)

Monday 10th
Watson13:30 - 14:15Michael Hillas - The early days to 1969
Fegan14:15 - 15:00Michael Hillas and the Whipple TeV gamma-ray collaboration
Gaisser15:00 - 15:45Michael Hillas - Particle physics and cosmic rays
Knapp16:15 - 16:45The legacy of Michael Hillas in air-shower simulation
Fontaine16:45 - 17:15The early days of ground-based gamma-ray astronomy in France
Taylor17:15 - 17:45Search for the Origin of UHECR with Michael Hillas
Tributes from the floor
Tuesday 11th
Aharonian09:00 - 09:30The Hillas Plot: trivial and non-trivial implications
Engel09:30 - 10:00UHECR flux and mass composition
Ghia10:00 - 10:30UHECR anisotropies: the experimental present, with a glance to the past and a look at the future
Sigl11:00 - 11:30Origin of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays: Some Perspectives of a theorist
Matthews11:30 - 12:00Ultra-high energy cosmic rays from radio galaxies
Lemoine12:00 - 12:30The challenge of accelerating particles to 10²⁰ eV
Resconi14:00 - 14:30Neutrino astronomy at very high energies
Drury14:30 - 15:00Michael Hillas and the Knee in the Galactic cosmic rays
Vink15:00 - 15:30Are supernova remnants the dominant sources of cosmic rays
Bell16:00 - 16:30Supernova remnants as cosmic ray laboratories
Zas16:30 - 17:00Coherent radio pulses from high energy showers: A blooming field
Sarkar17:00 - 17:30Testing cosmic-ray acceleration in the laboratory
Smith17:30 - 18:00Michael's contributions to Antarctic Science
Dinner at 19:30
Wednesday 12th
Huentemeyer09:00 - 09:30VHE gamma-ray astronomy via particle detection at ground level
Mukherjee09:30 - 10:00The current generation of imaging atmospheric telescope arrays
Hofmann10:00 - 10:30Ground-based gamma-ray astronomy - Quo vadis?
Mueller10:30 - 11:00A one GeV, one second gamma-ray timing explorer
Mirzoyan11:30 - 12:00Different aspects of air Cherenkov technique and Michael Hillas
Zanin12:00 - 12:30The Crab Nebula
Watson12:30 - 12:45Closing Remarks

Social Dinner

Dinner will take place at Gasthaus Backmulde (https://www.gasthaus-backmulde.de/) on Tuesday the 11th of December at 7:30 pm. The cost for dinner, including all drinks is 60 Euro (payable in advance by bank transfer, for details please see details).


The workshop will take place down town in the Heidelberg Altstadt at the Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften (Academy of Sciences and Humanities), Karlstraße 4, 69117, Heidelberg, Germany.

Travel & Accomodation

Heidelberg is located in central Germany, approximately 80km south of Frankfurt and is easily accessible by plane, train, or car.


  • Frankfurt International Airport (FRA)

    The closest international airport (80 km, 1 hour by car) is Frankfurt am Main Airport (Flughafen Frankfurt / FRA) with a wide selection of national and international connections. There are two terminals at the airport, with Terminal 1 occupied by Lufthansa and its partners and Terminal 2 for all other airlines.

    Transportation between the airport and Heidelberg is available by a regular train service . Frankfurt Airport is directly connected to the German long-distance rail system, with most connections to Heidelberg's main train station (Hauptbahnhof) involving a change to a regional train (S-Bahn) in Mannheim. One way price: ICE 25.- EUR , journey time: 51min.

    Additional modes of transportation to Heidelberg include a dedicated Lufthansa Airport Bus Service. The departure: Terminal 1, "THE SQUAIRE WEST", Level 3 (When landing at Terminal 1, follow the directions to DB long distance trains and subsequently to "THE SQUAIRE". A signposting "Lufthansa Express Bus" on your left-hand side leads you to the bus stop outside the building. When landing at Terminal 2 you will have to take the "Skyline" or the Terminal bus first to get to Terminal 1). You should drop off at Crown Plaza near the city centre of Heidelberg. The journey time is approximately 75 minutes. One-way ticket is 25 Euro.

    The TLS Shuttle service runs door-to-door between Frankfurt Airport and your destination in Heidelberg. The shuttle service costs 38 EUR and can be reserved two days prior to the travel online or at the following number 0049 6221 770077.

  • Stuttgart Airport (STR)
  • Stuttgart Airport is located approximately 125 km (1.5 hours by car) from Heidelberg and has regular European connections including several low-cost airlines. It does not have direct access to the long-distance rail network, but is connected by local transport to Stuttgart Main Station (Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof) with regular train service to Heidelberg (takes around 1.5 hours). Alternatively flixbus offers a direct connection from the airport to Heidelberg for 8-15 € although it takes 1:55/2:45 hours.

  • Other Airports
  • Many low-cost flights are available to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (which is not actually in Frankfurt). The distance to Heidelberg is approximately 150 km. There is no train connection but a dedicated bus service (8 times per day, 2h10min). One-way costs 20 € and can be purchased via flixbus

    Several low-cost connections are as well available to the Airport Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden which is about 90 km (1 hour by car) south of Heidelberg. There is a dedicated bus service to Heidelberg available.


Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof (main train station) is located close to the city centre. There are express services to all countries in Europe as well as regional trains. Schedule information is available on the homepage of Deutsche Bahn .

Local Transport

Local transports such as buses, trams and regional trains are operated by Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH ( rnv ). Tickets can be purchased from the driver (cash only), from the authomatic machines at the stops, in sales point like journal shops or online (see section "tickets" here for complete informations). A 90 minutes urban ticket (tariff zone "preisstufe" 2) costs 2.60 €. It may be convenient to buy a 3-days ticket (3-Tages-Karte), that costs 16.20 € and is valid for unlimited journeys within the city of Heidelberg until 3:00 AM of the fourth day.

To reach the conference venue you can take bus 33 from the central station (Hauptbahnhof Ost, see the bus stops scheme ) or from Bismarkplatz, the main bus hub, towards Zigelhausen Köpfel , or from S-Bahnhof Altstadt direction Emmertsgrund and get off at Rathaus/Bergbahn. Buses 31, 32 and 35 stop at Neckarmünzplatz that is at walking distance from the venue.

If you are lodging in the city center (Altstadt) or close to Bismarkplatz you might also walk to the conference site, it will take 10-20 minutes.

Useful links:


There are many hotels in the vicinity of the meeting, the following have been block-booked until 29 October (Code: Hillas Symposium (MPIK))

Weisser Bock
  • www.weisserbock.de
  • info@weisserbock.de
  • Close to the venue
  • 1 Deluxe single room: 90,00 €
  • 1 Deluxe double room for single use 115,00 €
  • Breakfast buffet: additional 12 €
  • Block-booking: 5 double rooms for single use 110,00 €

Panorama Heidelberg - booking prolonged until 9 Nov

Hotel Goldene Rose

The following hotels are block until 10th/12th November (Code: Hillas Symposium (MPIK)):

Hotel Am Kornmarkt
  • www.hotelamkornmarkt.de
  • hotelamkornmarkt@web.de
  • Next to the venue - but 2 star only, with no elevator
  • standard double room: 90€, for single use: 78 € classic double room: 110€, for single use: 95€
  • comfort double room: 130€ (no single use)
  • Breakfast: 10€/person
  • please notify arrival after 10pm
  • Block-booking: 6 rooms held until 10th November

Hotel Am Schloss

Guesthouse HD (hotel)

Cancellation without costs until Friday 7th December for all the rooms.


Local Organising Committee

  • Ruth Crespo
  • Jim Hinton
  • Dan Parsons
  • Giada Peron
  • Richard White
  • Roberta Zanin

Scientific Organising Committee

  • Felix Aharonian
  • Tony Bell
  • David Fegan
  • Tom Gaisser
  • Jim Hinton
  • Alan Watson