ACFA and IPAC announce accelerator prizes

The Asian Committee for Future Accelerators (ACFA) and the fourth International Particle Accelerator Conference, IPAC’13, have awarded the ACFA/IPAC’13 Accelerator Prizes for outstanding and original contributions to the field. The awards, decided by the Prizes Selection Committee, chaired by Jia-er Chen of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, are to be presented at the conference in Shanghai on 13–17 May.

Shouxian Fang of the Institute for High-Energy Physics, Beijing, receives the prize with no age limit for outstanding work in the accelerator field. He led the team that constructed the Beijing Electron–Positron Collider (BEPC), China’s first high-energy accelerator, and has contributed to the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility, the China Spallation Neutron Source and the Chinese Accelerator-Driven Subcritical System for nuclear-waste transmutation, as well as to proton-therapy accelerators and to initiating the major upgrade of BEPC (BEPCII). He has also promoted accelerator-based science in China through extensive international collaboration and built up a solid bridge between China and other parts of the world in the accelerator field.

The prize for an individual with no age limit having made a recent significant, original contribution to the accelerator field, goes to Michael Borland of the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne, for his original contributions in creating the ELEGANT programme and its self-describing data-sets platform. These are widely applied in the design, simulation and analysis of circular accelerators, energy-recovery linacs and free-electron lasers. His algorithms, methods and software have been adopted at many accelerator facilities around the world, and for numerous developments in the field of beam dynamics and non-linear optimizations.

The third prize, for an individual in the early part of his or her career, having made a recent, significant and original contribution to the field, goes to Hiroshi Imao of RIKEN for his realization of the next-generation charge-state stripper using recirculating helium gas. This stripper makes it possible to increase the intensity of uranium-ion beams by an order of magnitude at RIKEN’s Radioactive Isotope Beam Factory and has had immense, worldwide impact on the field of heavy-ion accelerators. He also developed a compact and efficient positron accumulator that has led to the successful production of antihydrogen atoms in the ASACUSA experiment at CERN.


Dark matter on the menu in Münster

The first meeting dedicated exclusively to dark-matter theory and experiment in Germany was held earlier this year at the University of Münster. Made possible through the generous financial support of the Helmholtz Alliance for Astroparticle Physics (HAP), the conference – HAP Dark Matter 2013 – was co-organized by Michael Klasen of Münster and Klaus Eitel of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The 100 participants included senior German dark-matter scientists, many postdocs and students, as well as experts from neighbouring countries such as Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

The scientific programme aimed at a complete coverage of all aspects related to dark matter and ranged from astronomical observations through experimental searches to theoretical interpretations and tools. As the first speaker, Jürg Diemand of Zurich presented fascinating numerical simulations of galactic structures by the Via Lactea collaboration. Thomas Reiprich of Bonn and Justin Read of Surrey followed up with the prospects for galaxy-cluster cosmology using X-ray telescopes, with determinations of the local dark-matter density from stellar kinematics, while Eva Grebel of Heidelberg gave an overview of dark-matter-dominated dwarf galaxies.

Experimental results were reported from: direct searches, for example, with the XENON experiment, described by Christian Weinheimer of Münster; indirect searches with the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, by Johann Cohen-Tanugi of Montpellier; and the LHC experiments, by CERN’s David Berge, CERN. While none of these searches can yet conclusively provide positive evidence, some, as Thomas Schwetz-Mangold of Heidelberg explained, do leave room for speculation on relatively light dark-matter particles. Participants were also curious to see the preparations for the XENON1T experiment, visible during several laboratory tours offered by Ethan Brown of Münster.

With increasing experimental sensitivity and precision, the need for precise theoretical and numerical tools is now evident. This was addressed in talks by Manuel Drees of Bonn and Andrzej Hryczuk of Munich on the so-called Sommerfeld enhancement. Full next-to-leading order calculations, presented by Karol Kovarik of KIT, are integrated into programmes such as micrOMEGAs and DarkSUSY, described by Geneviève Belanger of Annecy and Torsten Bringmann of Hamburg, respectively. Whether dark matter is supersymmetric, as discussed by Laura Covi of Göttingen and Béranger Dumont of Grenoble, or not, as Steen Hannestad of Aarhus, Andreas Ringwald, DESY, and many others argued, still has to be decided. This might be possible at a second HAP Dark Matter meeting, which many of the participants eagerly demanded.

• For more about HAP Dark Matter 2013, see https://indico.desy.de/event/hap-DM. For more about the Helmholtz Alliance for Astroparticle Physics (HAP), see www.hap-astroparticle.org.