A Message from the President
The year 2001 was a busy one, as will be the current year that includes the triennial General Assembly. The 2001 meeting of the Executive Council and Commission Chairs was held in Mexico City. This allowed the attendees to learn more about the situation of physics in Mexico and Latin America as well as to carry out the normal Council business. As with most areas of the world, budgetary worries were high on the agenda of the Latin American scientists. Many thanks to Professor Lopez-Moran, the University of Mexico, and the Mexican Physical Society for their hospitality. In February of 2001, the International Council for Science (ICSU), of which IUPAP is a member, held a meeting to bring together the presidents of all of the member scientific unions that include the physical sciences, the biological sciences, and the social sciences. The focus of the meeting was on how ICSU could better bring to bear the talents of the scientific unions on ICSU’s global multidisciplinary programs. The most pressing international issue seemed to be environmental. Physics has an important potential role to play in such areas as the science of climate change, energy, materials, etc. The World Summit on Sustainable Development will take place in South Africa this year. This will be ten years after the Rio conference that brought climate change to center stage and from this meeting it is hoped that the political leaders of the world will come up with a new agenda towards sustainability. ICSU is taking the lead in the science area, and IUPAP is drafting a possible statement on the role of nuclear energy. Bernard Frois, Chair of C-12, is chairing the group preparing this statement. The Conference on Women in Physics is soon to take place in Paris and is further discussed in this newsletter. We expect to have more than 300 participants from 65 different nations and plan to come up with an agenda for action. The results of the Conference will be a major focus of the General Assembly. It is the first time that delegates from many different societies worldwide will come together to discuss the issue of the underrepresentation of women in physics. One important item for the General Assembly is further actions IUPAP might take. I strongly encourage all Liaison Committees to include women in their delegations. Continued on page 2 www.iupap.org Announcements: The 24th General Assembly of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics will be held in downtown Berlin, Germany from 9-12 October 2002. The meeting is being orgnized by the German Physical Society under the direction of Dr. Jürgen Sahm of the Technische Universität Berlin. Approximately 120 participants, consisting of IUPAP Council members, Commission Chairs, delegates and observers, are expected to attend. Additional information can be obtained on the website at http://www.ibe.tu-berlin.de/~iupap.
Nominations for IUPAP Commission Members and the IUPAP Council can now be submitted electronically from the IUPAP website (www.iupap.org). To access the form you must use the password that has been sent to you previously. Nominations form Liaison Committees must be received by IUPAP Headquarters no later than June1, 2002. Nominations from Commissions may be submitted as late as September 1, 2002. If you cannot remember the password please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The IUPAP Working Group on Communications has been focusing on the archiving problem in the digital age. How will the scientific literature be preserved as storage media and computer operating systems evolve? Who will be responsible for maintaining availability and how will it be financed? The Working Group held a conference in Lyon last year bringing together the not-for-profit and commercial publishers to discuss the issue. A report can be found at http://pub lish.aps.org/IUPAP/.
Officers of IUPAP
The International Committee on Future Accelerators (ICFA), a subcommittee of IUPAP’s C-11, has been studying how a worldwide very large-scale accelerator project might be built, operated and managed. Among the interesting ideas under study is whether it has become practical to operate such a facility with operations crews located in Europe, Asia and North America with only a relatively small staff on site. This would be international cooperation on a new level. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has become interested in this issue as well. The OECD’s Global Science Forum has set up a working group involving medium-level government officials as well as members of the scientific community to look at this problem from the perspective of science ministers. Reports from both studies should be available in the next few months. IUPAP’s next General Assembly will take place in Berlin in early October of this year. It should be an interesting one with an agenda including a comprehensive revision to IUPAP’s Statutes and By-Laws; a report from the Conference on Women in Physics and a discussion of their recommendations, particularly as they apply to IUPAP itself; a report from the Working Group on Communications and discussion of the next steps; as well as the normal business of elections and other topics that may be brought up. I look forward to seeing the representatives of the Liaison Committees and of the Commissions in Berlin in October. Burton Richter
Working Groups Update
Working Group on Communication in Physics
On November 5-6, 2001 an IUPAP- sponsored conference was held in Lyon, France on Long Term Archiving of Digital Documents in Physics. A full report on the conference can be found at http://publish.aps.org/IUPAP/ltaddp_report.html. The conference was an outcome of the work of the IUPAP Working Group on Communication in Physics, which had recommended that IUPAP convene a meeting of society publishers, selected commercial publishers, librarians and scientists to discuss issues related to the long-term archiving of electronic publications.
Topics that the Working Group proposed for discussion by this group were the following: 1) Commitments by publishers to maintain the readability of their electronic archives, and the future viability of reference links. 2) Establishment of backup relations with institutions, which would commit to updating the archives and conserving them in the long-term. Other significant issues to be discussed were the economic aspects of archiving, the changed roles of libraries and publishers, the special problems of non-text material, and the longevity of electronic formats.
Aside from IUPAP and ICSU press, the conference attracted sponsorship from the French Ministere de la Recherche (CCSD and CNRS), the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Physics, EDP Sciences, Elsevier, Highwire Press, the International Center for Theoretical Physics, the (Japanese) Institute for Pure and Applied Physics, the Japan Society of Applied Physics, and the Physical Society of Japan. The Lyon conference was well attended, with vigorous discussion among the physicists, librarians, and publishers present. From the discussion and summary in the final session, two draft recommendations for IUPAP were presented and generally agreed upon.
These recommendations were as follows:
What about non-peer reviewed material? Preservation of the gray literature, including preprints, technical reports, experimental documentation, and even email communications, is an important issue. Historians are very interested in preservation of this material, but physicists are often not. Authors may even not want this sort of thing archived, if asked. There was almost uniform consensus that we want all peer-reviewed material to be archived permanently. Who decides on whether we preserve the rest?
What are the needs of developing nations? The lack of reliability of electronic infrastructure is as much a problem as actual access. Innovations such as the new ICTP email program for providing access to journal content may help resolve some of these problems. Journals from developing countries will be more accessible to the rest of the world now, in digital form, but long-term preservation is not an issue viewed as important at this time by the editors and publishers of these journals.
Should it be publishers, or libraries doing the archiving?
National libraries have a role to play as a last resort in preservation,
through depository laws or publisher agreements. In
many countries the law and procedures need to be enhanced
to cover deposit of electronic content, including published
databases. Two approaches that are being developed are targeted deposit of specific electronic content (journals etc.),
and the harvesting of large portions of the web.
Working Group on Women in Physics
On March 7-9, more than 300 physicists from 65 countries will assemble in Paris for the IUPAP-sponsored International Conference on Women in Physics. For the complete program, see http://www.if.ufrgs.br/~barbosa/conference.html. There will be plenary talks from physicists from Brazil, China, Japan, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Russia, United States, and Wales. Discussion topics will include:
Participants will receive a collection of 2-page reports on
women in physics in the participating countries and a copy
of a new international statistical benchmarking survey.
Major sponsors for the conference are the European Union,
ICSU, IUPAP, and in the United States, the National Science
Foundation, the Department of Energy, NASA, and the
National Academy of Sciences. A complete list of the sponsors
can be found on the website.
Report of the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA)
ICFA set up an International Linear Collider Technical Review Committee, led by G. Loew (SLAC), to assess the various technical approaches towards a 500 GeV linear collider, extendible to 1 TeV. The final report is expected in October 2002, with a first draft available four months earlier. Almost two years ago, ICFA set up a task force to study the proposal for a Global Accelerator Network (GAN). This is a global collaboration to construct, commission and operate a large new accelerator facility, with the multiple tasks involved being carried out at the home institutions of the collaboration members. The task force presented its report in 2001. An overall conclusion is that a GAN can be a feasible, though challenging, way to build and operate such a facility, although many details still need to be clarified.
The Global Science Forum, an organization under OECD, has formed a Collaborative Group on High Energy Physics that will report to the Global Science Forum (and thus to OECD governments) in June 2002 offering a consensus view of the next approximately 20 years of particle physics. It will include an outline of the physics program; the tools likely to be required; possible costs and timescales; and possible decision points. ICFA sends a representative to Collaborative Group meetings, and a joint ICFA–Collaborative Group meeting will be held in February 2002.
Every three years ICFA organizes a Seminar on Future Perspectives in High Energy Physics. Review talks are given on the state of accelerators and particle physics around the world, with an invited audience of 100-150 that includes science officials from governments. The seventh in this series will be held at CERN in October 2002. Roy Rubinstein, ICFA Secretary Particle and Nuclear Astrophysics and Gravitational International Committee (PANAGIC)
The Committee met four times, in Atlanta in the US and in
Paris in 1999, in Sudbury in Canada in 2001 and at Gran Sasso
Laboratory in Italy in 2002. Two panels are active under the
Panagic umbrella, GWIC for Gravitational Waves and HENAP
for High Energy Neutrino Astronomy.
The Committee has worked with the organisers of the TAUP
series to transform it gradually in the general conference for
particle and nuclear astrophysics. The first (biennial) issue
has been TAUP 2001, held at Gran Sasso Laboratory on Sept.
8-12 2001. The Conference received the support of IUPAP
through C4. The WEB site has been created in the site of the
Gran Sasso Laboratory at http://www.lngs.infn.it/site/exppro/
panagic/. It is, in particular, meant to contain a set of data
describing the field for reference both of scientific and of
policy makers and to increase the public awareness on the
The IUPAP 21st International Conference on Statistical Physics, STATPHYS 21, was held in Cancun, Yucatan, Mexico, from July 15 to July 20, 2001. The site of the conference was the Cancun Convention Center. In the Statphys Conferences we have the largest general meetings in statistical physics and the presentation of both the latest advances of this science in its traditional domain, and new developing trends in other fields of the subject. The Proceedings of the conference, containing contributions from the Boltzmann Award Medallists, plenary and invited speakers will be published as a special issue of Physica A.
The number of participants in STATPHYS 21 was 803 and the
program consisted of 2 Boltzmann Award lectures, 5 plenary talks
- it is worth a very specific mention that one of these talks was
given by Wofgang Ketterle who was awarded this year’s Nobel
Prize in Physics - 58 invited talks, 200 oral contributions and 650
poster presentations. They were spread over the following
topics: rigorous results and exact solutions; general aspects of
statistical physics; phase transitions, and critical phenomena,
renormalization group; Non-equilibrium processes; pattern
formation in systems far from equilibrium; dynamical systems
and turbulence; liquid matter; soft condensed matter; interfaces;
wetting; confined systems; quantum-mechanical problems;
disordered systems; biologically motivated problems; and other
applications of statistical physics.
The International Nuclear Physics Conference for 2001 (INPC2001) was held on the campus of the University of California Berkeley, from July 30-August 3, 2001. Over five hundred participants from 33 countries attended the meeting. The proceedings of INPC2001 is in preparation by the AIP and is expected to be distributed in the next few months. Lee S. Schroeder, Director Nuclear Science Division Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory The University of the Philippines National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (UP NISMED), in cooperation with the Philippine Physics Society, Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas, and Philippine Association of Physics Instructors organized an International Conference of Computer and Information Technology in Physics Education last December 4-6, 2001 at UP NISMED, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines. The conference was sponsored by the International Commission in Physics Education of the International Union of Applied Physics.
The use and integration of computer and information technology
in physics education was the theme of the conference. The
activities included plenary sessions, parallel/workshops sessions,
public lecture and video-conferencing. Two hundred fifteen
participants attended the conference. Several speakers from
different countries such as Netherlands, USA, Australia, Korea,
Japan, Thailand and England presented papers in the plenary
and parallel sessions or conducted workshops. Multimedia software
and computer-based experiments competition highlighted
The 2002 International Quantum Electronics Conference (IQEC 2002), sponsored by IUPAP, collocated with the Conference on Lasers, Applications, and Technologies (LAT 2002) will be held in Moscow, Russia, on June 22–28, 2002 (for details, look at http://www.ilc.msu.su/iqec/).
The IQEC/LAT 2002 will feature plenary session (talks by Zhores
Alferov, Toshi Tajima, and Anton Zoller), tutorials (Martial Ducloy,
Tito Arecchi, Vladimir Braginski, Pierre Meystre, Vladilen
Letokhov, Gustav Gerber, M. J. Soileau, and Pierre Agostini),
special symposia, invited papers and selected contributed oral,
poster, and post-deadline papers. IQEC 2002 will emphasize
basic research in laser physics, quantum electronics, nonlinear
optics, and their fundamental applications, while LAT 2002 will
emphasize applied physics, engineering, and applications of
lasers and photonics. In addition, IQEC/LAT 2002 will host the
exhibit of laser and electro-optics equipment, systems, and
services. Engineers and scientists will have an opportunity to
gain hands-on knowledge of the wide and innovative applications
this industry has to offer.
Contact information for the IUPAP Secretariat: