Editorial – The European Strategy for Nuclear Science: NuPECC gets help from the Nuclear Physics Division
The Nuclear Physics European Collaboration Committee [NuPECC] has just started the process for the preparation of a new Long Range Plan [LRP] for nuclear science in Europe. A new European strategy document is indeed needed since the last one dates from 2010 and because these documents are important references for research in the field over a period of 5-7 years.
In the USA, under the auspices of the Department of Energy and by the National Science Foundation, American colleagues with a few observers from Europe and Asia have just completed the “2015 Long range plan for Nuclear Science : Reaching for the Horizon”.
In Europe, this process will strongly engage researchers in nuclear science during 2016. This community is expected to issue recommendations and develop an action plan (roadmap) for building new large-scale research infrastructures, for upgrading existing nuclear physics facilities and to collaborate closely with smaller scale facilities.
As for the past editions of NuPECC long range plans, the Nuclear Physics Division of EPS will provide valuable help in this process. In particular, this time a divisional EPS conference will take place in October 2016 in Leuven (Belgium) to discuss one of the important topics that will appear in the strategy document. This conference, entitled “Towards EURISOL Distributed Facility”, will contribute to providing scientific and technical input to a proposal, currently under preparation, for a distributed facility, with expected major sites at LNL-INFN (Italy), SPIRAL2-GANIL (France), ISOLDE_CERN and ISOL@MYRRHA (Belgium) for research with Radioactive Beams. This research covers challenging aspects in nuclear structure, on the origin of elements and in applications. The final goal is to be able to make strong recommendations in the long range plan and to apply to ESFRI (the European Strategic Forum for Research Infrastructure) for entering in their facility list.
The future of facilities providing radioactive ion beams produced with the ISOL technique is not of course the only concern for the next long range plan but other very strong recommendations will be made. Indeed the report will also deal with the future of facilities using electromagnetic probes (the newest under construction being ELI-NP in Bucharest, Romania) to perform research on the structure of nuclei and of hadrons and with the future of the ALICE facility at LHC-CERN for research on the quark gluon-plasma.
Particularly high attention (and recommendation) will surely be given to the completion of the international facility FAIR (in Darmstadt, Germany) which is the largest and most important facility for the future with its very rich program spanning from the structure of the hadron, the properties of hot compressed nuclear matter, nuclear structure and astrophysics and to several applications.
Relevant sections of the report will focus on the role of theory, education and applications to other fields.
The town meeting to have the final public discussion on the long range plan will be hosted by the GSI-FAIR laboratory in Darmstadt in January 2017.
It is clear that 2016 will be very intense and demanding for researchers in nuclear science.
Chair of NuPECC
Member of the EPS executive committee
Professor at the Università degli Studi di Milano and INFN sez. Milano