Director's Corner

3 November 2005


Barry Barish
Cape Town
Last week, I visited Cape Town, South Africa with Jonathan Dorfan, a native of Cape Town, and Shin-ichi Kurokawa. For different reasons, each of us participated in the 25th General Assembly of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) on 25-28 October 2005. Just to remind you of the relevance of IUPAP to the ILC and GDE, the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) is a working group of IUPAP and it was ICFA and its subcommittee (ILCSC) that conceived of and formed the GDE, as well as appointed me as Director. In a real sense they are my bosses, and the GDE is accountable to and reports to the ILCSC and ICFA.

IUPAP is the highest level international body made up of physicists representing the different countries and it seems evident that the role of IUPAP will become more and more important as physics of all types becomes more international. High Energy Physics has led the way toward internationalizing, but now it is becoming the case for many other subfields of physics. One of the main roles of IUPAP is to sponsor international conferences and they set guidelines to make certain that the mix of speakers and participants represent the world community. In particle physics, IUPAP sponsors both the Lepton-Photon Conference (held in Uppsala last summer) and the International Conference on High Energy Physics (to be held in Moscow next summer). Another role of IUPAP is to facilitate and coordinate international cooperation and collaboration in physics, and it is through ICFA that this role is being filled for the ILC.

As the chair of ICFA, Jonathan Dorfan came to the IUPAP General Assembly to give a report on the activities of ICFA. Shin-ichi Kurokawa came to Cape Town as the Japanese representative to the Commission of Physics for Development (C13), and I came as chair of the US delegation to the General Assembly. I was also invited by the President of IUPAP to give a talk to the General Assembly on the ILC, since it represents the largest international project being developed. Jonathan's ICFA talk and my ILC talk were back-to-back and both were very well received by this truly global forum of physicists.

Highlights of the IUPAP General Assembly included a very informative presentation on the visa situation, especially for the U.S, by Vera Luth of C-11 (commission on particle and fields). An important outcome for us at this General Assembly is that they voted to renew ICFA for another three years, meaning that we haven't lost our parent body. Finally, a high energy physicist, Alan Asbury of Canada has become the new President of IUPAP for the next three years.

Zeblon Vilakazi
Zeblon Vilakazi
Jonathan, Shin-ichi and I took a very interesting and potentially important side trip to visit iThemba Laboratories. IThemba is a sizeable laboratory near Cape Town that is devoted to Accelerator Based Sciences. We were hosted by Dr. Zeblon Vilakazi, who arranged for us to give a well attended special seminar and discussion on the ILC on very short notice. In that presentation, I discussed the science motivation and the technology for the ILC. Jonathan outlined ICFA's role, and Shin-ichi talked about the organization and opportunities for collaboration. This led to a lively discussion, before breaking to have local South African wine and refreshments.

Individually, the scientists at iThemba demonstrated considerable interest in becoming involved in the ILC, and we anticipate that the next step will be a visit to the U.S. by Zeblon.

--Barry Barish