Conference Report: C5.1/2004 International Symposium on Quantum Fluids and Solids QFS 2004
TYPE OF CONFERENCE AND SUMMARY OF MAIN TOPICS
The International Symposium on Quantum Fluids and Solids QFS2004 was held at the University of Trento, Italy, July 5 - 9, 2004. The meeting is the continuation of a series of symposia started in 1975 at Sanibel, Florida (a brief history of QFS is available at http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~qfs98/history.htm). The central topics of these symposia have been liquid and solid 3He, 4He and their mixtures. Over the years other lines of research have been included as a natural result of new developments. Liquid and solid hydrogen, spin polarized systems, and other systems exhibiting long-range order and quantum coherence became the subjects of talks and sessions at QFS symposia. In the last ten years a significant space have been given in the scientific program to the recentachievements in the field of ultracold Bose and Fermi gases.
The program of the QFS2004 symposium smoothly followed the format and the spirit of the previous successful editions. Particular emphasis was given to interdisciplinary topics. Whenever possible, sessions were arranged about physical problems (low dimensionality, superfluids under rotation, etc.) which are of common interest for people working with different systems (helium, cold gases, etc.). The increasing variety of systems for which the same physical arguments and concepts can be applied and viewed from different perspectives provides a fertile ground for new advances. A right perception of the many interconnections existing between subfields of research within the quantum fluids and solids community is essential to inspire an open-minded attitude to the youngest researchers. It also helps in stimulating and vitalizing the collaborations between experimentalists and theorists.
Very recent achievements in two different topics made them particularly hot in these last months. One is the quest for a supersolid phase in helium, a longstanding issue which is now revived by new experiments and many discussions. The other one is the rush toward the realization of a superfluid phase with cold fermions with tunable interactions, which can open interesting perspectives in the study of the BEC-BCS crossover. The QFS2004 program gave appropriate space to these themes, but also to several important advances in many other topics, reflecting the vitality of our community. This vitality was also testified by the large and constant number of attendants at all sessions, as well as by the many contributions (almost 200) presented in the poster sessions. About 150 manuscripts were submitted for publication in the proceedings. The proceedings will be printed in two special issues of the Journal of Low Temperature Physics (January and February 2005). All papers have been reviewed by two referees, assuring a level comparable with that of regular papers in the same journal.
The percentage of women in the research groups on quantum fluids and solids is traditionally rather small. The percentage of female participants at QFS2004 (about 12%) reflects this situation and does not differ significantly from that of previous editions of QFS, in spite of the efforts done to increase it. The organizers sent specific messages to the members of the Program Advisory Committee (PAC) in order to solicit the inclusion of women in the program. One of the members of PAC was a woman; she also encouraged her colleagues to invite female scientists. Finally, we had 5 women among the speakers. A few more women were invited but they were not in condition to come.
External organizing committee:
Robert Duncan, Robert Hallock, Hiroshi Fukuyama, Paul Leiderer, Horst Meyer, George Pickett (C5-IUPAP representative), William Zimmerman.
Program advisory committee:
Luciano Reatto (chair), Guenter Ahlers, Alex Babkin, Sebastien Balibar, Moses Chan, Eric Cornell, Vladimir Dmitriev, Georg Eska, Stefano Fantoni, Alexander Fetter, Hiroshi Fukuyama, Simo Jaakkola, Reyer Jochemsen, Matti Krusius, Michele Leduc, David M. Lee, Tony Leggett, Paul Leiderer, Takao Mizusaki, Douglas Osheroff, Richard Packard, Jeevak Parpia, Alexander Parshin, Lev Pitaevskii, John Saunders, Gora Shlyapnikov, Peter Taborek, Makoto Tsubota, Jook Walraven, Etienne Wolf, Adrian Wyatt.
Local organizing committee:
Franco Dalfovo (Symposium chair), Luciano Reatto (Program chair), Francesco Pederiva (Publication chair and Guest Editor), Lev Pitaevskii, Sandro Stringari, Stefano Vitale.
The registration fee was 240 EUR before 16 April and 280 EUR after 16 April 2004. The fee was significantly lower than the upper limit (400 USD) required by IUPAP. It included: access to conference sessions, lunches on-site, coffee-breaks, Sunday evening reception, one copy each of the Program/Abstracts book and the Journal of Low Temperature Physics volumes containing the Proceedings.
Using funds of the sponsoring organizations, the QFS2004 organizers waived the fee of 67 participants (students, young scientists, unsupported scientists from Russia, Ukraine, etc.). The registration form contained a specific field to ask for the (total or partial) reduction of the fee. All applications of this type were accepted.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT, SPONSORS
Several participants asked for a financial aid to assist with their travel and lodging costs. All applications were accepted. The QFS2004 organization directly paid the Hotel expenses of 57 participants and the travel expenses of 22 participants. The cost of these financial aids amounts to about 26000 EUR. The total costs of the conference (including financial aids) amount to about 63000 EUR. These costs were covered by conference fees (about 35000 EUR) and by the following funds coming from the sponsoring organizations.
FREE CIRCULATION OF SCIENTISTS
An announcement was sent by e-mail on 16 February, 5 months before the conference, including this information:
"To avoid any incidents of visas being refused or unduly delayed, we remind that visas should be applied for very early, at least three months before the conference! To secure IUPAP sponsorship, the organizers have provided assurance that QFS2004 will be conducted in accordance with IUPAP principles as stated in the ICSU-Document "Universality of Science" (sixth edition, 1989) regarding the free circulation of scientists for international purposes. In particular, no bona fide scientist will be excluded from participation on the grounds of national origin, nationality, or political considerations unrelated to science."
The same information was written in the web site of QFS2004, in the page http://bec.science.unitn.it/qfs2004/registration.html, which was the starting point for the web-based registration form.
Most of those who needed a visa to enter Italy, started their applications very early. There were 18 applications from Russia and 14 from Ukraine. The QFS2004 organizers sent a letter of invitation to each of the applicants. In some cases, the letters were faxed directly to the Visa Office of the Italian Embassy in Moscow and Kiev. Moreover, the Italian Embassy in Kiev was directly contacted by phone and e-mail, also with the help of the Italian Foreign Ministry in Rome, in order to inform the Consular Office about the conference and to allow all applicants to get appointments in due time. Finally all those who applied for visas in Moscow and Kiev got their visas in time. Conversely, two scientists from Russia and Georgia, who were already abroad (in UK) for long visits, started their visa applications at the Italian Consular Offices in UK too late and hence they were not in condition to come to Trento.
More information about the conference can be found at the web site http://bec.science.unitn.it/qfs2004/