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Interactions News Wire #104-06
20 December 2006
Source: LRPC
Content: Press Release
Date Issued: 20 December 2006
Professor Kenneth J. Ragan: Chair, Subatomic Physics LRPC, +1
514-398-6518, E-mail : ragan@physics.mcgill.ca

Professor William Trischuk: Director, Canadian Institute of Particle
Physics, +1 416-919-7694, E-Mail : william@physics.utoronto.ca, Web : www.ipp.ca

Community releases report highlighting Canada's ascendancy in subatomic physics

(Ottawa, Ontario) – At a brief ceremony held in Ottawa Monday, Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), officially received a report on the future of subatomic physics in Canada from the Subatomic Physics Long-Range Planning Committee (LRPC) Chair Professor Kenneth Ragan of McGill University.

"Perspectives on Subatomic Physics in Canada 2006-2016 " is the product of a year's consultation by a group of distinguished scientists from across the country. The report highlights the fact that substantial investments and renewal of researchers at universities and laboratories over the past decade have resulted in Canadians making a major impact globally in the field of subatomic physics. The report documents the steady increase in the number of Canadian subatomic physics graduate students over the past five years, and the impact these graduates have made in technology and industry in Canada.

"The subatomic physics community in Canada is very strong and has an excellent record of international achievement" said Professor Ragan. "However, there are major challenges facing us over the next decade and the report clearly lays out the additional research funding we need to face them."

Subatomic physics is the study of the most fundamental constituents of matter – everything we see around us. The curiosity that drives this field of research is the same as that felt by any schoolchild with a magnifying glass: What are things made of? How do they work? and Where do they come from?

"NSERC is the single largest supporter of university-based research in subatomic physics in Canada. We are very proud of the community’s accomplishments to date," added Dr. Fortier. "I am pleased that the report shares my personal enthusiasm for encouraging Canadians to become discoverers and innovators."

The field has evolved into a global scientific endeavour. The large capital investments for the accelerators and detectors necessary to make progress in the field require international partnerships in which Canada is a major player. From the TRIUMF laboratory in Vancouver to the SNO-Laboratory in Sudbury, Canada provides world-leading facilities that attract large contingents of foreign researchers. At the same time, Canadian researchers are sought after international partners in projects such as the Large Hadron Collider currently nearing completion at CERN outside Geneva, Switzerland.

"Our goal is for Canada to maintain its well-earned position as a favoured international partner in subatomic physics," said Professor William Trischuk, Director of the Canadian Institute of Particle Physics. "We must secure additional funding to operate the facilities that have been built and ensure that Canada will reap the science rewards that are just around the corner."

The LRPC was made up of experts representing the main areas of subatomic physics research supported by NSERC, including nuclear, high-energy, neutrino, and theoretical physics, and particle astrophysics. The community comprises approximately 100 professors, 100 post-doctoral researchers and 300 graduate students across Canada.

For an electronic version of the report and for more information on subatomic physics visit: http://www.subatomicphysics.ca

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