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Reported by Harvey NewmanThe FIP Contributed Session at the April meeting attracted an interesting, diverse series of talks.
The session featured a series of three talks on the subject of nuclear non-proliferation. Shen (MIT), Classen and Keefer (Livermore and Sandia) presented an IAEA project underway to monitor nuclear reactors with a nearby detector using the same inverse beta decay reaction Reines used to discover the (anti-)neutrino. The idea is that the different fissile reactor isotopes have different antineutrino spectra, so that if some plutonium is diverted when the reactor fuel is renewed, or during fuel storage or reprocessing, the change in the rate of inverse beta decays might be detected. Current active deployments are now on-going in: U.S., France, Japan, Canada, Brazil, and Taiwan. There is also strong overlap between the development of detectors for this project and for the next generation of neutrino oscillation, double beta decay and dark matter experiments.
Christine Darve presented the groundbreaking "Rainbow School of Fundamental Physics and its Applications". As illustrated below, the first school ASP2010 was held in Stellenbosch, South Africa. It accepted 65 students, including 50 from 17 African countries who received full financial support. The school‟s three week curriculum included theoretical and experimental subatomic physics, accelerators and applications, and information technology and the grid as used by high energy and nuclear physicists, with both lectures and hands-on demonstrations and labs. There was a video connection to the CERN Central Control Room, and an Outreach/Forum Day with lectures and student posters at which the South African government was represented. Overall, the response of the students was highly enthusiastic. Following the success of the first school, the next school is now being planned to take place in Ghana in the summer of 2012.
[Also see the article by Darve in the March 2011 issue of the FIP Newsletter.]
Jessica Hirschfelder presented the work of the all volunteer South Asian Physics Foundation, that supports international collaboration in physics in Afghanistan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and India, by supporting student paper presentations at conferences, a science book drive. The SAPF is seeking to expand to support longer term exchanges, research collaborations and joint events.