Mikhail Shifman and Andrei Slavnov receive the Pomeranchuck Prize

Mikhail Shifman of the Theoretical Physics Institute, University of Minnesota and Andrei Slavnov of the Steklov Institute, Moscow, received the Pomeranchuk Prize 2013 in a ceremony that was held at the Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics (ITEP) on 19 September. The prize – established by ITEP in 1998 in memory of Isaak Pomeranchuk – is annually awarded to one foreign and one Russian theoretician for outstanding achievements in the field.

Shifman has been honoured for outstanding results in nonperturbative quantum field theory, including sum rules in quantum chromodynamics (QCD) and exact results in supersymmetric gauge theories. The Shifman–Vainshtein–Zakharov (SVZ) sum rules provide a powerful tool for the calculation of QCD and the Novikov–Shifman–Vainshtein–Zakharov β function plays an extremely important role in supersymmetric gauge theory. The exact calculation of the gluino condensate was one of the first applications of the idea that there are topological sectors in non-topological theory.

Slavnov received the award for his contribution to the investigation of non-Abelian gauge theories, including the formulation and proof of renormalizability. Widely employed since the early 1970s, it inspired further important developments, such as the Slavnov–Taylor identities that are now described in textbooks on quantum field theory.

Polish institute makes Guido Altarelli honorary professor

In a ceremony on 16 September, the Henryk Niewodniczański Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFJ PAN) conferred the title of Honorary Professor of the Institute of Nuclear Physics on Guido Altarelli, of the University of Roma Tre.

Altarelli joined CERN’s Theory Division in 1987, where he held the position of head in the years 2000–2004, and is still at CERN as an honorary member. He has had a role on advisory boards for many leading laboratories and has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at IFJ PAN since 2004.

Altarelli received the honour "in recognition of his outstanding contribution to theoretical particle physics, in particular in verifying the Standard Model of fundamental interactions and ideas in physics beyond the Standard Model, and for his enduring support of the collaboration between CERN and IFJ PAN". The author and co-author of more than 200 scientific papers, Altarelli’s research achievements cover a range of problems in the phenomenology of particle interactions within and beyond the Standard Model, in close connection with experiment.

Fabiola Gianotti selected for UN’s Scientific Advisory Board

CERN physicist Fabiola Gianotti is among the 26 scientists who have been appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board of the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon.

The Scientific Advisory Board consists of experts in a variety of fields, from technology and engineering to medicine and agricultural science. They will provide advice on science, technology and innovation for sustainable development to the UN’s executive heads and secretary-general. UNESCO will host the board’s secretariat. The first meeting of the board will take place at the start of 2014.

Besides Gianotti, four other physicists have been appointed to the board: Susan Avery, president and director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Vladimir Fortov, president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and nuclear physicist Dong-Pil Min of Seoul National University. The appointments are for two years with the possibility of renewal. The positions are unpaid and the members are expected to "act in their personal capacity and will provide advice on a strictly independent basis".

Last December, the United Nations General Assembly granted CERN observer status (CERN Courier January/February 2013 p5), which allows CERN the right to participate in the work of the General Assembly and to attend its sessions as an observer.

First foreign-born IBS institute director

Se-Jung Oh (right), the president of the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) in Korea, and Yannis Semertzidis, after signing the first contract between IBS and a foreign-born IBS institute director. On 15 October, Semertzidis became the director of the Center for Axion and Precision Physics Research, which will be located at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon. The plan is to launch a competitive Axion Dark Matter Experiment in Korea, participate in state-of-the-art axion experiments around the world, play a leading role in the proposed proton electric-dipole-moment (EDM) experiment and take a significant role in storage-ring precision physics involving EDM and muon g-2 experiments.

An umbrella symposium for the physics of multiparticle dynamics

Record rainfall in Chicago failed to dampen the enthusiasm for multiparticle physics of those attending the XLIII International Symposium on Multiparticle Dynamics, when it took place on 15–20 September at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). While some jokingly credited the umbrellas that were provided to participants for the meeting’s success, everyone was excited to attend the first in the series to be held in the US for seven years. With more than 100 participants from nearly 20 countries, ISMD 2013 was organized jointly by the High Energy Physics Division of Argonne National Laboratory and IIT to review progress and discuss upcoming issues in the fields of high-energy physics, nuclear physics and astrophysics.

The ISMD series started more than 40 years ago in Paris, with the goal of establishing a dedicated international conference to discuss multihadron production in quantum chromodynamics (QCD). Early on, the symposium alternated its location between countries in Eastern and Western Europe, which were divided at that time by the Iron Curtain. From the beginning, the goal was to bring experimentalists and theorists together to discuss all aspects of multiparticle dynamics, from new analysis techniques to the latest discoveries.

The tradition continued in September, with plenary discussions of new results from the LHC experiments at CERN as well as from Fermilab’s Tevatron, the HERA collider at DESY, Jefferson Lab, the Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider at Brookhaven and the BaBar experiment at SLAC. In addition, several talks covered recent progress in theoretical QCD calculations, attempts to model and control the underlying event, searches for exotic processes using boosted jet techniques, multiparticle correlations, diffractive physics and searches beyond the Standard Model using multi-object final states.

A primary theme this year was the striking similarity between proton–proton collisions and heavy-ion collisions. This similarity, which exhibits itself in the high detector occupancy of proton–proton collision events, presents significant challenges for future high-precision physics. A critical question for the next decade will be how to maintain energy resolution and reconstruction with a large contribution from multiple proton–proton interactions (pile-up). Many participants expressed their concern that continued access to low-pT jet physics is essential for the future of the field.

The symposium concluded with two views of the future of multiparticle dynamics. Chip Brock of Michigan State University discussed the conclusions of the Snowmass series of planning meetings that took place in the US throughout 2012–2013. James Bjorken of SLAC concluded with a historic perspective on QCD. He considered the connections between outstanding issues that span nuclear physics, high-energy physics and cosmology, and encouraged a broad examination across the subdisciplines for answers.

ISMD 2013 was supported by the US Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, CERN and DESY, a Research Centre of the Helmholtz Association. The XLIV International Symposium on Multiparticle Dynamics will be held in Bologna in 2014.

• For more information about the presentations and proceedings of ISMD 2013, see http://atlaswww.hep.anl.gov/ismd13/.

European XFEL electron-injector installation

The installation of the electron injector for the European XFEL has begun at the project’s Bahrenfeld site. Scientists and engineers are currently putting together the different systems of the injector, many of which are tailored to produce 27,000 X-ray flashes per second, a far higher rate than other free-electron laser facilities. The injector will fire electron bunches – needed to produce the X-ray beam – into the accelerating section of the free-electron laser. Here workers guide the injector klystron into place using a crane in the injector hall. DESY is building the injector as part of the German contribution to the European XFEL.