News, 03 December 2013

The 1st International African Symposium on Exotic Nuclei (IASEN-2013) is being held on 2-6 December 2013 in Cape Town (the Republic of South Africa). The Symposium was jointly organized by the National Research Fund (NRF), the National cyclotron laboratory iThemba LABS and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research. The Symposium is devoted to the investigation of nuclei in extreme states; the following topics will be discussed: exotic nuclei and their properties, rare processes and decays, nuclear astrophysics, applications of exotic beams in materials research and others. A large delegation of JINR scientists headed by JINR Director Academician V.A. Matveev participates in the symposium.

The issue of studying exotic nuclei properties is a fundamental task in nuclear physics. Studying nuclear matter under extreme conditions : enriched with neutrons or protons, strongly deformed, with extremely high temperature and angular momentum, high density, etc.physicists come closer to the insight of processes not only in the microcosm, but also in the macrocosm – the Galaxy, the Universe, space. Creation of radioactive nuclei beam factory accelerator complexes in many centers around the world became an important step in advancing in this area of nuclear physics. This is FAIR in Germany, SPIRAL2 in France, RIB at RIKEN in Japan, RIB-factories in MSU U.S., DRIBs in Dubna and others. Conducting methodologically compound, sensitive experiments requires large financial and intellectual investments. Therefore, only joint efforts of large collaborations can achieve unique results and, ultimately, understanding of the world around us. A good example of such collaborations is CERN in Geneva and JINR in Dubna.

Since 1991, the JINR Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions has been organizing international symposia on Exotic nuclei in Russia, where recent results on properties of exotic nuclei produced in collaborations of various research centers have been discussed. Joint results obtained in only two laboratories – in Dubna and GANIL (France) were discussed at the first symposium in Foros in 1991. After that, interest in these forums has grown so much that in 2012 JINR (Dubna), GANIL (Caen), RIKEN (Wako-shi), GSI (Darmstadt), and NSCL (Michigan) became co-founders of the 6th Symposium on Exotic Nuclei (EXON 2012) which was held in Vladivostok. Scientists from institutions in South Africa attended the symposium for the first time. Then director of the National cyclotron laboratory iThemba LABS of Professor Zabulon Vilakazi had an idea to organize a similar conference in South Africa. This idea was supported during a roundtable discussion by almost all leading participants of the symposium.

Professor Vilakazi invited everyone to a conference in 2013 and promised a high level of organization. Professors Z.Velokazi (iThemba LABS) and Yu.E. Penionzhkevich (JINR) were co-chairmen of the Symposium in South Africa. The first South African Symposium was attended by 140 scientists from 18 countries, including leaders of major research centers where radioactive nuclei beam factories are functioning, from Germany, France, Japan, and the USA. A good tradition of changeover in organization of such events was established in the physics world, and the status and importance of international contacts are analogous of the Olympic Games. As a continuation of this changeover, Professor Yu.E. Penionzhkevich announced that the next Symposium on Exotic Nuclei will be held in the city of Kaliningrad in Russia from 8 to 13 September 2014 and invited everyone to participate in it.