IUPAP working group organizes two-day international symposium on plans for worldwide nuclear physics

24 August 2010

A two-day Symposium on Nuclear Physics and Nuclear Physics Facilities, held at TRIUMF on 2–3 July, provided the opportunity for proponents of nuclear science across the world to learn about and discuss present and future plans for research in nuclear physics, as well as the upgraded and new research facilities that will be required to realize these plans.

The Working Group on International Cooperation in Nuclear Physics (WG.9) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) organized the symposium. It was held as a response to the mandate given to the group by the OECD Global Science Forum in a missive from its chair, Hermann-Friedrich Wagner, following the recent report of the OECD Global Science Forum Working Group on Nuclear Physics. Three half-day presentations were arranged by the US Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC), by the Nuclear Physics European Collaboration Committee (NuPECC) and by the Asian Nuclear Physics Association (ANPhA), which was formed about two years ago on the urging of IUPAP WG.9.

The presentations at the symposium focused on five main themes of nuclear physics today: “Can the structure and interactions of hadrons be understood in terms of QCD?”, “What is the structure of nuclear matter?”, “What are the phases of nuclear matter?”, “What is the role of nuclei in shaping the evolution of the universe, with the known forms of matter comprising only a meagre 5%?” and “What is the physics beyond the Standard Model?”

The presentations led to extensive discussions among the various representatives. On the final half day, after a synopsis of the presentations and discussions by Robert Tribble of Texas A&M University, a panel discussion took place between the three nuclear-physics groupings of NSAC, NuPECC and ANPhA. This was followed by a series of statements by science administrators from the US Department of Energy, the Office of Science Nuclear Physics, the National Science Foundation Nuclear Physics, the INFN Third Commission, the French research bodies IN2P3/CNRS and the CEA/Service de Physique Nucleaire, the Japan Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, the Korea Research Council and the China Institute of Atomic Energy.

For the first time, the symposium brought together nuclear-physics researchers, laboratory directors and nuclear-science administrators in an international setting. It showed a vigorous field of nuclear physics with demanding forefront challenges and large nuclear physics facilities being upgraded or coming on line presently or in the near future: CEBAF 12 GeV at Jefferson Laboratory, FRIB at Michigan State University, SPIRAL2 at GANIL, ISAC at TRIUMF, RIBF at RIKEN Nishina Center, J-PARC, FAIR at GSI, the upgraded RHIC at Brookhaven and in the more distant future EIC at Brookhaven or Jefferson Lab, ENC at FAIR, EURISOL (Europe charts future for radioactive beams) and LHeC at CERN. There are also several nuclear-physics facilities planned for China and Korea.

IUPAP WG.9 has given great encouragement to efforts aimed at strengthening co-operation in regional and international nuclear physics. At the symposium the nuclear-physics community was informed of the formation of a Latin America Nuclear Physics Association (ALAFNA) to strengthen nuclear physics in Latin America. Similar attempts may be undertaken in Africa.

• For further details about the working group, see the WG.9 website at

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