Hélio da Motta

Brazilian Center for Physics Research, Brazil

Candidate for Member-at-Large

Short biography

Helio DaMottaHélio da Motta was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 9 1955. He was admitted to the Rio de Janeiro State University in February 1974, and received an engineering degree in electronics and telecommunications in December 1978. In 1982 da Motta got his Masters degree in engineering from the Military Institute of Engineering in Rio de Janeiro. He received a Bachelor degree in Physics from the Rio de Janeiro Federal University in 1986, and a Doctor degree in Physics from the Brazilian Center for Physics Research (CBPF) in 1993. He has been a professor at the School of Engineering of the Rio de Janeiro University since 1980 and a researcher at the Brazilian Center for Physics Research since 1989. During his career he has lectured at several institutions of higher education, covering subjects such as computer programming, electric circuits, quantum electronics, systems analysis, mathematical methods at the undergraduate level, and  mechanics and the physics of particle detectors at the graduate level. He was head of the CBPF department of experimental high energy physics (LAFEX) from  2001 to 2005, and has served at several CBPF internal committees. He worked on the FERMILAB E769 experiment where he completed his doctoral thesis on the production of D- mesons in K-nucleon interactions. He was a CNPq postdoctoral fellow working in the D0 collaboration where he was one of the developers of the Forward Proton Detector (FPD). He is  currently a member of the MINERvA neutrino experiment where he has served on the speakers committee, the executive committee and the Institutional Board. He has completed the supervision of five undergraduate projects, eight graduate students and one postdoc. At the moment he has four graduate students working on the MINERvA experiment. He has been the recipient of several grants and scholarships. He is one of the leaders of the proposed CONNIE experiment that uses CCD detectors and anti-neutrinos from a reactor to observe coherent neutrino-nucleus interactions. Hélio da Motta is a member of the Brazilian Physical Society (SBF) and the American Physical Society (APS).

Candidate Statement

I would not be an active experimental high energy physicist were it not for the international and collaborative nature of this field. More than physics, I learned that only a truly open and democratic exchange of ideas could lead us to success in our field. This is a principle that we should take from  physics and bring to all aspects of life. As scientists we cannot, and should not, forgo our responsibilities to society, and we should use our skills to promote development, as well as the integration and cooperation among all nations and peoples. It should be our goal to integrate physics into society, use it to improve life, and make physics a valuable asset to all. Regardless of our cultural background, national origins, stage of development or economic differences, we are able to collaborate towards a common goal. Rather than a weakness our differences are our strength.

APS has become more and more an international society, and FIP's goal of integrating and fostering cooperation among physicists of all countries makes it the ideal place for the establishment of cooperation and exchange of ideas. Brazil has been experiencing considerable economic growth that is reflected in the support the country is giving to science. New programs are increasing the participation of Brazilian students and researchers in international ventures. More and more foreign students, mainly from developing countries, are coming to study in Brazil.

I am honored to be nominated to this forum, where I believe I can contribute by helping to strengthen the relationships between FIP (and consequently APS) and the physics community in Brazil as well as other Latin American countries. If elected I will take the opportunity to help to define and implement common initiatives such as grants and joint conferences that could benefit our colleagues and, especially, the students that are the base of the future of physics.