An Informal Meeting of Scientists
An Informal Meeting of Scientists
  • Reporter Lee Sang-min
  • 승인 2010.05.19 13:03
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Two-week conference on cosmology at APCTP

▲ Scientists introduced their research through hour long-lectures.
Many groups, such as athletes and students, hold camp meetings to achieve communication and rapid growth in a short period of time. Such are generally for young people, and as they get settled into their families and jobs, it becomes harder for a group of people to meet together. Moreover, it is not easy to imagine a camp of scientists. However, such a meeting occurred at POSTECH.

From May 5 to 16, the APCTP-IEU Focus Program, which dealt with cosmology and fundamental physics, was held at the Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics (APCTP). APCTP cooperated with the Institute of Early Universe (IEU) of Ewha Womans University, scheduled to host the IEU-APCTP Workshop right after the Focus Program. Twenty-eight scientists joined in the programs. The IEU is a part of the World Class University (WCU) project, and Professor George F. Smoot, 2006 Nobel Prize on Physics winner, serves as a director. The IEU set the objective to conduct and participate in major space projects.

The program was composed of a series of lectures and free discussions about dark matter, antimatter, string cosmology, and the high-energy universe. There were two lectures of an hour each day, and the remaining time was free for scientists. Scientists spent time in their temporary offices or the lounge discussing cosmology or having a talk with each other. They could interact with each other not only scientifically, but also personally, not readily achievable through seminars and symposiums.

What is cosmology? In the dictionary, it is referred to as the study of the Universe in its totality. It includes scientific, philosophic, and religious aspects. Among cosmologists, physicists propose that the history of the Universe follows physical law, from the Big Bang to diverse speculative ends. Cosmologists  seek the history of the Universe simultaneously studying unknown essentials of the present universe like dark matter and antimatter, as do other physicists.

Cosmology also collaborates with Particle Physics. The most important questions in cosmology are how the Universe started and how the materials were produced. Particle physicists already made their hypotheses and are waiting for verification. A very high energy state, which they need to confirm the particle theory, is similar to the initial state of the Universe from the view of cosmologists.

Accordingly, Prof. Changrim Ahn of Ewha Womans University said, “Nowadays, it is true to regard Cosmology as equivalent to Particle Physics, because they are seeking the same. The reason why people call experiments in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN ‘Big Bang experiments’ is that. The LHC makes the state of early universe right after the cosmic inflation. Similarly, if we observe the trace of that time in the sky, it reflects the birth of elementary particles that we are eager to see at the LHC.”

Recently, Cosmology has become popular. Prof. Ahn proceeded, “To build an accelerator to repeat such an energy state, a lot more money should be spent than to observe the trace in the Universe. Cosmology is cheaper. Moreover, the evolution of equipment in cosmology formed visible data, and it attracts the focus of people.” Also, Prof. Smoot won the Nobel Prize by his contribution to development of the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), satellite equipment for cosmology.

The next series of the program, IEU-APCTP workshop will consist of 15 plenary talks and 14 contributed talks. The Focus program displays well how the WCU projects works with ordinary institutes and how physicists work with each other.