The 2005 Particle Accelerator Conference, PAC05, took place on May
16-20 at the Knoxville Convention Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. The
conference was jointly hosted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Spallation Neutron Source (SNS)—the largest accelerator construction
project in the United States—and Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator
Facility (JLab), Newport News, Virginia. The conference was held under
the auspices of the Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society of the Institute
of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Physical Society
Division of Physics of Beams (DPB). The Program Committee was chaired
by Swapan Chattopadhyay (JLab) and was cochaired by Gerry Dugan ( Cornell
University), who also served as the DPB representative. The Local Organizing
Committee was chaired by Stuart Henderson (SNS), with Kathy Rosenbalm
(SNS) serving as conference coordinator. As usual, the conference covered
new developments in all aspects of the science, technology, and use
of particle accelerators. Unique to PAC05, however, was the special
conference theme of the World Year of Physics. The United Nations declared
2005 the World Year of Physics in honor of the 100th anniversary of
Albert Einstein’s “miraculous year,” when he published
his three papers on light quanta, Brownian motion, and the special
theory of relativity—discoveries that had, and continue to have,
a remarkable impact on science.
With its exciting program, the conference attracted more than 1,400
accelerator specialists, making the event the second largest PAC ever.
Geographically, 59% of the attendees were from the United States, 25%
from Europe, 15% from Asia, and 1% from the Middle East, South America,
and as far away as Australia. More than 1,400 papers where processed
during the conference and are published on the Joint Accelerator Conferences
Web Site (www.JACoW.org).
Accelerators Present and Future
Phil Bredesen, governor of the state of Tennessee, was first to welcome
delegates to the conference. A physicist with some background in accelerators
from his student years before going on to pursue other interests, the
governor talked about the importance of science as a driver of economy
and wealth, as well as the importance of continuously supporting education.
His address to PAC05 can be found at www.sns.gov/pac05/bredesen.shtml.
The governor was followed by Cecilia Jarlskog from Lund, whose colorful
presentation included information about Einstein, the Nobel Prize,
and accelerators. Barry Barish, chair of the International Technology
Recommendation Panel for the proposed International Linear Collider
(ILC), then explained the technology choice made last year for the
machine (CERN Courier, October 2004, p. 5) and explained his
role as the new director of the ILC Global Design Effort to design
the accelerator while involving all regions of the world.
The Monday morning plenary session also included highlights from
other accelerators, such as the luminosity records of the Tevatron
at Fermilab, achieving more than 1 x 1032 cm-2 sec-1; the outstanding
performance of Brookhaven National Laboratory’s (BNL’s)
Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, with its polarized beams; and the
race between the B-Factories [KEKB in Japan and PEP II at Stanford
Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in the United States]. The closing
plenary session on Friday afternoon included talks on nuclear physics
topics such as the Rare Isotope Accelerator proposed in the United
States and the Facility of Antiproton and Ion Research project at GSI,
as well as accelerator-based materials science research and neutrino
and high-energy physics. The talks focused on projects that have paved
the way to future accelerators that need to be built to address today’s
pressing questions in all areas of science, and they demonstrated yet
again how accelerators have become crucial research tools during the
past 50 years.
Synchrotron light sources of all sizes and flavors once again dominated
the papers presented, demonstrating the high pace at which this field
is still growing, especially in the area of energy recovery linacs
and short-pulse coherent light sources—that is, X-ray free-electron
lasers (FELs)—including the use of self-amplification of spontaneous
emission (SASE). Sixteen oral presentations and more than 100 papers
were presented on these facilities alone. Vibrant research and planning
for new projects are ongoing, with the Linac Coherent Light Source
under construction at SLAC and the Euro FEL moving from planning to
construction at DESY, as well as the Spring-8 Compact SASE Source in
World Year of Physics
Einstein was ever present throughout PAC05, as the conference celebrated
the World Year of Physics, first with the conference web site, which
incorporated an Einstein quotation on every page, and also with several
special activities during the week. These events began with a violin
and piano concert by Jack Liebeck and Inon Barnatan on Tuesday evening.
Introduced by Brian Foster ( University of Oxford), the evening was
a tribute to Einstein’s love of the violin (CERN Courier, January/February
2005, p. 41). On Wednesday afternoon, the U.S., Asian, and European
Particle Accelerator Conference series joined forces in offering a
special session, Einstein and the World Year of Physics, organized
by Swapan Chattopadhyay (JLab). The session was chaired by Bill Madia
(Battelle) and included four presentations relating present-day research
to Einstein’s legacy. Presentations were made by Michael Turner
from the National Science Foundation, Makoto Kobayashi of KEK, Yoichiro
Suzuki of Tokyo, and Carlo Rubbia from CERN.
To draw the public’s attention to the World Year of Physics,
an Einstein in the City festival followed that evening. Organized together
with the City of Knoxville, the festival drew conference participants
and several hundred additional people to the World’s Fair Park,
outside the convention center. Part of the festival was a science fair
for local high school students, with cash prizes between $200 and $5000
awarded to projects judged to be the best by a select team of conference
participants. A special panel of four physicists, moderated by Bill
Madia, answered science-related questions from the public for about
an hour. Questions covered everything from “Why is science useful?” to “How
many stars are in the universe?” to “What does an accelerator
do?”. Other activities included an appearance by “Einstein
the Bird,” a talking parrot from the local zoo, bluegrass music
from a local band, as well as plenty of good food and drink.
Another highlight of the conference was the prize session, which
has become customary for PAC, where winners of several accelerator
prizes are recognized and have the opportunity to report on their research.
The session chair, Nan Phinney (SLAC), congratulated recipients individually
and presented some of the awards. Among them was Keith Symon ( University
of Wisconsin), winner of the American Physical Society’s prestigious
Robert R. Wilson Prize “for fundamental contributions to accelerator
science including the FFAG concept and the invention of the RF phase
manipulation technique that was essential to the success of the ISR
and all subsequent hadron colliders.” The other American Physical
Society prize was for an outstanding doctoral thesis for Eduard Pozdeyev
from JLab, who performed his doctoral work at Michigan State University.
Ron Davidson ( Princeton University) and Tom Roser (BNL) were awarded
the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Nuclear and Plasma
Sciences Society Particle Accelerator Science and Technology Award
(CERN Courier, June 2005, p. 39). Wim Leemans (Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory) and Anton Piwinski (DESY) were presented with
the U.S. Particle Accelerator School Prize for Achievement in Accelerator
Physics and Technology.
Although PAC05 ended officially on Friday afternoon, about 400 participants
extended their stay by one more day to visit the SNS site in Oak Ridge.
SNS is in its last year before the first beam is scheduled to hit the
mercury target and the first neutrons will be channeled to instruments.
So far, beam has been commissioned to the end of the normal conducting
linac, up to 157 MeV, and soon the superconducting linac will be turned
on to boost the energy to 1 GeV. Later this year the compressor ring
will be commissioned in preparation for user operation, to begin next
summer. Tour participants were therefore among the last people to get
a glimpse of what has been going on at the site over the past five
years before much of the facility will be closed to visitors.
Norbert Holtkamp, PAC05 Chair