Mad about physics in Antananarivo

22 March 2002

The Malagasy capital of Antananarivo welcomed HEP-MAD ’01, Madagascar’s first conference on high-energy physics, at the end of September last year. The conference was organized by the Montpellier branch of France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the town’s Malagasy Cultural Association, along with the University of Antananarivo and Madagascar’s National Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology.

Topics covered included introductory reviews of astrophysics, the status of electroweak theories, Higgs searches and precision tests of the Standard Model. Results on CP violation from CERN’s NA48 experiment were discussed, along with the most recent results from the BaBar and Belle experiments at the B-factories at SLAC in the US and KEK in Japan. These were followed by theoretical talks on heavy-quark decays and non-perturbative quantum chromodynamics (QCD). There were also discussions of QCD results from CERN’s LEP and DESY’s HERA colliders. Pre-conference presentations covered applications of the field in the environmental and medical domains.

The aim of the HEP-MAD conference was to stimulate the creation of a high-energy physics institute in Antananarivo, which was successfully achieved. HEP-MAD will now become a biannual event that will next be held in September 2003. The proceedings of the conference will be published by World Scientific.

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