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Building Partnerships at the TRIUMF-GSI/FAIR Workshop

19 June 2008

In April, physicists from the GSI (Gesellschaft fuer Schwerionenforschung) laboratory in Darmstadt, Germany, met with TRIUMF researchers at a three-day workshop to discuss nuclear structure, astrophysics, detector development, theory, and isotope production. Besides conversing about the latest experiments and studies, they also gathered to solidify existing partnerships between the Canadian and German research institutes and to forge new ones.

As many of the research goals at GSI and TRIUMF overlap, maintaining and building new partnerships between these two world-class facilities is an asset for both laboratories. “The conference was extraordinarily successful. Existing connections were strengthened and future ones began to take shape,” says Jens Dilling, leader of TRIUMF’s TITAN project and workshop chair. “The scientists from GSI were impressed with the breadth of research and experiments carried out at TRIUMF and expressed interest in building new partnerships involving our technical capabilities.”

When the new € 1 billion FAIR laboratory is complete, research conducted there will complement many of the research initiatives at TRIUMF. Like TRIUMF and GSI Darmstadt, FAIR will be dedicated to nuclear physics research and applications. Developing partnerships will enhance research and development for both labs; this conference worked on a funding proposal to NSERC’s CREATE (Collaborative Research and Training Experience) program for advancing student education and research opportunities that will involve both laboratories. For instance, Karlheinz Langanke, Scientific Director of GSI and leader of GSI’s theory group, is exploring options for opening the GSI undergraduate program to Canadians for the first time as it is presently limited to European students. TRIUMF is currently preparing a similar program. These proposals are currently underway and have the potential to provide new opportunities and avenues of funding for future conferences.

Results from the conference are already evident as a special invitation was recently extended to TRIUMF’s Igor Sekachev to visit GSI as an expert advisor in FAIR’s development. Opportunities such as this exemplify the importance of partnerships. Some of the current partnerships between TRIUMF and GSI are regarding atomic and nuclear physics using ion traps, theoretical and experimental nuclear structure and astrophysics, and most recently cryogenic engineering. TRIUMF hopes to continue building successful partnerships with GSI in the coming years.

This conference was funded in part by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and TRIUMF. For more information on the GSI/FAIR conference, please visit the GSI/FAIR conference website.

By Nicole Dublanko
TRIUMF's Communications Asssistant