C5. Commission on Low Temperature Physics

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October 6-7, 2000


1. LT Conference

The main event sponsored by IUPAP through Commission C5 on Low Temperature Physics is the triennial International Conference on Low Temperature Physics. Commission C5 finds the host for this prestigious meeting and supervises the conference arrangements.

Venue and program

The conference LT22 took place on August 4-11, 1999 in Helsinki. It was organized by the Low Temperature Laboratory of the Helsinki University of Technology, a leading institution in this field. A preliminary report was given to the IUPAP by the chair of C5 at the previous meeting (CERN, October 1-2/99). The conference program consisted of five parallel program lines:

           1) Quantum Gases, Fluids, and Solids
           2) Superconductivity
           3) Magnetism and Properties of Solids
           4) Quantum Electron Transport and Mesoscopic Physics
           5) Applications, Materials, and Techniques.

The scientific program included 238 oral and 1250 poster presentations.


During the 50-year history of LT conferences, the attendance to LT has steadily increased and the trend seems to continue. At LT22, the numbers of registered participants and accompanying persons were 1381 and 172, respectively.

           LT17            1984            Karlsruhe            1150
           LT18            1987            Kyoto                 1563*
           LT19            1990            Brighton              1212
           LT20            1993            Eugene                1229
           LT21            1996            Prague                1421
           LT22            1999            Helsinki               1381

* High attendance at LT18 was related to the discovery of high Tc            superconductors and the large number of domestic participants (60%).

The 387 Japanese participants constituted by far the largest delegation. In the 1990s, the participation of FSU (Former Soviet Union) scientists has grown significantly. Especially LT21 and LT22 have enjoyed from this increase which, due to hard economic conditions in the FSU countries, might not continue. Over 80% of the FSU participants to LT22 received financial aid.

Abstracts, manuscripts, and Proceedings

This was the first LT conference which tried to live up to the era of electronic communication, including submission, editorial processing, and dissemination of abstracts and manuscripts. Altogether 1550 abstracts were submitted to LT22 and published in the Abstract Book. They were followed by 1362 manuscripts, out of which 1353 were in proper electronic form and could be included in uncorrected and unrefereed form on a CD-ROM. This pre-conference CD-ROM was distributed to the participants in the registration package upon arrival at the conference site. Since then, all manuscripts have been carefully refereed, 10% rejected, and the remaining 1232 appeared in Physica B in April, 2000.

The printed version of the full Proceedings was ordered by 271 participants. The printed Proceedings is also available in libraries subscribing to regular issues of Physica B or by accessing the Physica B web site at the address Access to this web site is free to all those within a domain attached to a paid subscription.


Conference budget                                             1 003 527 CHF
Registration fee (1800 mk, about $315)                       484 CHF
Number of participants                                               1381
Accompanying persons                                                172
Companies at Exhibition                                                 15


The Organizing Committee of LT22 received about 500 support applications for nearly 600 000 CHF. Over 70% of the applications came from FSU countries. 263 participants, 116 of them from FSU, were supported from the LT22 budget with a total sum of 177 867 CHF. This sum includes the 6 000 CHF and 33 218 CHF donations from IUPAP and INTAS, respectively.

The support applications were evaluated by the Financial Support Committee. Most of the support was distributed in the form of partially or fully reduced registration fees (100 000 CHF). This was especially convenient for participants from FSU countries who, due to unreliable banking connections, could not transfer their registration fees. 65% of the support was given to 181 ordinary participants and the rest to 82 invited speakers.


The budget of LT22 was 1 003 527 CHF ($650 000). When compared to the budgets of LT20 ($575 000) and LT21 (560 000 CHF), one has to take into account that the LT22 figures include the waived registration fees (100 000 CHF) both as an income and as participant support in the expenditures. With this addition, the LT22 budget is very similar to the budget of LT20 but somewhat larger than the budget of LT21. LT21, organized in Prague, benefited greatly from the lower price level in Eastern Europe.

The LT22 budget ended with a surplus of about 4.5% of the total budget. Most of this, $25 000 (41 700 CHF), has been donated to the F. London Award (sponsored by C5-IUPAP) endowment at Duke University. The rest of the surplus, 5 368 CHF, has been used to purchase the Proceedings for libraries in developing countries selected by the Financial Support Committee.

IUPAP sponsored travel grants for 6000 CHF were attributed to 14 physicists of developing countries of Asia, Africa and South-America.


Award At the LT conferences the Fritz London Memorial Award, one of the 9 awards for scientific excellence sponsored by IUPAP, is given to recognize outstanding experimental and theoretical contributions in low temperature physics. In 1999 at LT22, the prize was received by D. Brewer, for his work on adsorbed helium films, by W. Ketterle for the development of thechniques which allowed the observation of Bose-Einstein condensation, and by M. Krusius for his work on superfluid 3He.

Nicholas KURTI

Nicholast Kurti died in Oxford on November 24, 1998. He was a pionneer in the world of ultra-low temperatures, where he introduced the method of nuclear demagnetization in 1956.

LT 23 Hiroshima

Commission C5 held a business meeting during LT22 in Helsinki and decided to accept the proposal from Japan to host the next conference, LT23 in August 20-27, 2002 in Hiroshima. The preparations for this meeting are in progress. The conference secretary, Kimitoshi Kono, has contacted C5 shortly after the LT22 meeting. IUPAP sponsorship will be examined during this meeting. Support from the Liaison Committee of the host country is granted: this conference is supported by the Science Council of Japan, which is the host organization of the Liaison Committee. The estimated total budget is $704,000. A registration fee of $304- (500CHF) is foreseen.

Interest is building up at several places to prepare for a bid to host LT24 in 2005. The decision about this conference will be formed by C5 at its coming meeting in Hiroshima in 2002.

2. Quantum Fluids Conference

The University of Minnesota hosted the International Symposium on Quantum Fluids and Solids 'QFS2000', June 6 - 11, 2000, on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The co-chairs were Charles E. Campbell and William Zimmermann, Jr. The attendance was slightly above 200 participants.

The central topics of this symposium have been liquid and solid helium three and helium four and their mixtures, liquid and solid hydrogen and the Bose-Einstein condensed phases of alkali atom and spin-aligned atomic hydrogen gases.

The Conference Proceedings will be published in December 2000 in the Journal of Low Temperature Physics, a well known regular scientific journal. The conference organizers have raised to the IUPAP Coucil the point that the cost of the 50 copies of the proceedings requested by IUPAP for the ICTP is comparable to the IUPAP grant. This issue is being examined by the Council. It appears that a smaller number of copies of the proceedings may be sufficient to cover the ICTP needs. C5 suggests that the number of copies may be reduced to a small number in the case of proceedings published in regular journals.

3. Onnes temperature: the superconducting transition temperature

Professors B. Goodman, N. Kurti, H.B.G. Casimir, J. de Nobel, R. de Bruyn Outboter, and J. Huiskamp have recommended that the (zero-magnetic-field) superconducting transition temperature be called the "Onnes Temperature", by analogy with the "Curie " and "Néel" temperatures. C5 is discussing the practical implementation of this recommendation, which is becoming more timely in view of the approaching centennial anniversary of Kamerlingh Onnes's two most outstanding accomplishments: the liquefaction of helium in 1908 and the discovery of superconductivity in 1911.

4. Associate Members

C5 will have the pleasure to receive new Associate Members

- C. Tsallis from C3
- M. Heiblum from C8
- K.A. McEwen from C9

- A. Ravex from Institut International du Froid / Air Liquide

In addition, C5 has been requested to nominate Associate Members:

- H. Ott in C8
- D. Vollhardt in C9
- H. Godfrin in C10

Henri Godfrin

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