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Mapping the future of UK nuclear physics research

28 November 2017

Nuclear physicists from across Europe, including the UK, have today gathered in Brussels to hear the announcement of an updated strategy which will guide the community’s research priorities in the coming years.

The European Science Foundation’s (ESF) Nuclear Physics European Collaboration Committee (NuPECC) has announced its fifth Long Range Plan this week, which sets out the goals of nuclear physicists in Europe.

Professor John Simpson, head of STFC’s nuclear physics division, sat on one of the working groups which contributed to the plan. The working groups were asked to set out the most promising physics in their subfields, to highlight recent achievements, and to discuss future perspectives.

He said: “This report defines and will potentially drive the future of the UK physics research landscape throughout the next decade.”

The plan features recommendations from NuPECC and the nuclear physics community for the development of nuclear physics research in Europe followed by a comprehensive chapter on large and smaller facilities, existing, under construction or planned.

Recommendations include urgently completing the construction of FAIR (the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research), supporting ALICE and the heavy-ion programme at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN with the planned experimental upgrades and continuing to pursue new applications for nuclear physics such as adapted techniques for cancer treatment.

Professor Angela Bracco, Chair of NuPECC, said: “It is strongly hoped that this plan will be well exploited by the European funding agencies to seek avenues for accomplishing the objectives outlined in the recommendations, in particular also those that go beyond the capabilities of an individual country.”

The Long Range Plan is available to view online on the NUPECC website.

Note for Editors

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) pays the UK’s annual contribution to NUPECC’s operational costs. The UK is represented on the NuPECC Committee by Professor Rodi Herzberg from the University of Liverpool and Professor Alex Murphy from the University of Edinburgh.

NuPECC has previously produced four long-range plans in November 1991, December 1997, April 2004 and December 2010.

Research in nuclear physics in the UK encompasses a range of activities from fundamental theory through to studies directly relevant to the production of nuclear power. The UK research councils fund these activities through the RCUK Energy Programme, STFC Nuclear Physics Programme and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Research Base Funding.

The Nuclear Physics European Collaboration Committee (NuPECC) is hosted and administered by the European Science Foundation (ESF). NuPECC’s aim is to promote collaborative ventures between nuclear physicists within Europe and particularly from countries linked to ESF.

The European Science Foundation (ESF) is based in Strasbourg, France, and it was established in 1974 as an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organisation to provide a common platform for its Member Organisations to collaborate internationally on research programmes through its networking, funding and coordination activities.

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000