Nov 2, 1999
A tribute to Bjørn Wiik
The International School of Subnuclear Physics at Erice, Sicily, which took place from 29 August to 7 September, included a special ceremony: "A tribute to Bjørn Wiik: the man, the physics, his projects".
In the presence of Mrs Margret Becher-Wiik and members of the Wiik family, the director of Erice's Ettore Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture, Antonino Zichichi, began by emphasizing Wiik's important role in establishing a successful collaboration between DESY and Italian industry, for superconducting magnet technology and fabrication of the proton ring of the HERA project.
A message from the Italian Minister for University and Scientific and Technological Research, Ortensio Zecchino, stressed his deep appreciation for Wiik's contribution to a vigorous and fruitful collaboration between the two countries. The minister expressed his strong support for the INFN strategic scientific programme and its concrete accomplishments the Gran Sasso Laboratory, the strong Italian involvement in LEP at CERN and in HERA at DESY, and the successful detector R&D work in the framework of the LAA Project, itself an important contribution for reseach at future proton machines.
Kjell Johnsen of CERN reviewed Wiik's life, his childhood in Norway, his time as a student in Darmstadt, and his research at SLAC and at DESY. As chairman of the HERA machine committee, Kjell Johnsen was well placed to highlight Wiik's achievements as an accelerator physicist, who was responsible for the construction of the HERA proton ring.
Günter Wolf of DESY reviewed Wiik's scientific work from his first photon physics experiment at Darmstadt to HERA physics, which included the 1979 discovery of gluon jets, for which he and his TASSO colleagues were awarded the 1995 European Physical Society High-Energy and Particle Physics prize.
Horst Wenninger of CERN described Wiik's ultimate superconducting vision the TESLA International Research Project at DESY, which is an electronpositron linear collider with an integrated X-ray laser. He showed Wiik's original 1992 proposal to construct and test prototype superconducting radiofrequency structures for linear colliders and then reported on the excellent progress of the TESLA collaboration in achieving accelerating fields of up to 35 MV/m. The TESLA Test Facility at DESY begins operation this year in its first step towards self-amplified spontaneous emission (SASE) X-ray free-electron lasers. This is preparing the ground for the construction of a 500 GeV superconducting linear collider.