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Inauguration of the First Center for Nuclear Astrophysics (CNA) in China

Release date:2013-06-27 Page views:1180

Nuclear astrophysics is an important interdisciplinary field of basic science that is undergoing rapid development. Its major goal is to explain the complex phenomena occurring in the universe and various astrophysical environments in terms of the properties and interactions of elementary particles and nuclei of which matter is composed. Its research areas are connected to nuclear physics, particle physics, astrophysics, cosmology, and large-scale computer simulations, as well as closely related to astronomical observations. In order to better carry out research in nuclear astrophysics, promote international collaboration and academic exchanges in this field, and provide leadership in its development in China, the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Shanghai Jiao Tong University established the country's first Center for Nuclear Astrophysics (CNA) on May 29, 2013. An Inauguration Symposium and Workshop was successfully held from May 29 to June 1, 2013. Professor Jie Zhang, President of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Professor Xiangdong Ji, Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, attended the opening ceremony at the Inauguration Symposium and delivered congratulatory speeches in strong support of establishing the CNA.

The establishment of the CNA was also enthusiastically received by colleagues in China and abroad. Seven top experts joined its International Advisory Committee. They are Professor Wick Haxton (Member of the US National Academy of Sciences and Winner of the Bethe Prize of the American Physical Society) from the University of California, Berkeley, Professor George Fuller (Winner of the Bethe Prize) from the University of California, San Diego, Professor Michael Wiescher (Winner of the Bethe Prize) from the University of Notre Dame, Professor Baha Balantekin from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Professor Tan Lu (Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences) from Purple Mountain Observatory, Professor Guoqing Xiao, Director of the Institute of Modern Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Professor Weiping Liu, Associate Director of the China Institute of Atomic Energy. During the Inauguration Symposium and Workshop, members of the CNA and affiliated colleagues sought broad input from the international and domestic communities regarding its future development and operation. In the next five years, the CNA will expand its faculty and research staff, strengthen collaboration with similar institutions and major laboratories in China and abroad, promote international visits of faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, organize national summer schools and other special topical programs, and engage in general science education of college freshmen and high school students.

The CNA is an important part of the Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics, Astronomy and Cosmology of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Professor Yong-Zhong Qian of the University of Minnesota and Professor Yang Sun of Shanghai Jiao Tong University serve as its Co-Directors.

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