On our collaborative relationship with ICFA

On our collaborative relationship with ICFA (Previous Chairman)

Edited: 2009/03/02

I succeeded Gerard Mourou, the previous chairman of International Committee for Ultra Intense Lasers (ICUIL), since its November 2008 General Assembly. First, I would like to sincerely thank his tireless and singularly visionary leadership that has made ICUIL vibrant and visible in the world.

If I as a new chair can hear from you, it would be so much better for us to incorporate your inputs to further promote ICUIL from what he built.

For such is in mind, it may be good to communicate using various channels with you, including this forum on the ICUIL home page. Thus here is the first Letter from the Chairman to you.

In this inaugural letter, I address the charge bequeathed to me by the previous chair. That is, to build a working relationship with our elder sister organization under IUPAP, ICFA (International Committee for Future Accelerators). Gerard Mourou requested of me to promote the relationship between ICUIL and ICFA, as laser acceleration is emerging as one of focal issues encompassing both ICUIL and ICFA communities. I take his charge seriously. Since ICUIL's inception, the ultra intense laser community has witnessed a substantial growth of its number of laboratories in the world that now possess (and plan to do) ultra intense lasers as well as the strengthening of their intensity and quality and associated science. One of most prominent and immediate applications of these facilities has been laser acceleration, as evidenced by many excellent achievements reported around the world at a dazing rapid pace in recent years. On the other hand, the high energy accelerator community, it seems to me, is increasingly more conscious of and interested in this progress. For example, KEK Director General Atsuto Suzuki called for its members to radically and creatively think to increase its technology by 1000 folds in as many as four fundamental elements such as accelerating gradients, brightness, shortness of pulses, etc.

To meet such challenges, perhaps the emerging laser acceleration might contribute to pitch in. Thus, Gerard Mourou's charge is timely and a globally important task to pursue. Furthermore, in solving today's tough and challenging problems such as the one posed by Professor Suzuki, it is not sufficient to successfully tackle within one community alone. Though the missions of ICUIL and ICFA are distinct and their respective histories and constituents are unique, the collaboration by these two disparate communities might bring out research fruits that otherwise may never be borne out. I am hereby hoping to serve to add value to ICUL by fostering this collaboration. In the below I report some of the initial activities taken since last November.

First we sounded on the incoming as well as outgoing Chairs of ICFA, Professor Suzuki and Professor Albrecht Wagner (DESY) on their interest about ICUIL's willingness to collaborate on the above issue and further to consider action items such as to set up some joint standing committee like a working group on laser usage in future accelerators and their specifications. (We understand that under ICFA there is already an Advanced Accelerator Subpanel). Both gentlemen warmly received this initiative by ICUIL and suggested the Chair of ICUIL to be present at the next ICFA Assembly (Feb.12-13, 2009, at Tsukuba). We in turn accepted this offer and we prepare a presentation of ICUIL ideas and what ICUIL can offer at the ICFA meeting.

When the new ICUIL members were selected in November 2008, we specifically appointed Dr. Wim Leemans of LBNL (who has been active in advanced accelerator research through ICFA) as ICUIL Committee Member (one of Members representing 'external communities', in this case the accelerator physics community). We have been communicating with him so that his advice and contact with ICFA members can be garnered in advance of the February ICFA meeting, as well as to lay groundwork for some joint standing committee activities.

We have also communicated this policy with IUPAP President S. Ushioda (NIMS) and obtained enthusiastic support for this direction and his advice to circulate our activities to IUPAP vice presidents and secretary general, which we followed.

Now I am happy to report that our proposal to ICFA was warmed passed in the ICFA General Assembly today (Feb.13, 2009). We need to form a subpanel that corresponds to the subpanel of advanced and novel accelerators in ICFA and talk to them.

Toshi Tajima
Chairman of ICUI