Recent years have seen dramatic discoveries in astrophysics and cosmology that have since revolutionized our worldview. These discoveries have in turn triggered even deeper and more fundamental questions that still wait for answers. Issues such as the origin and the evolution of the universe, its composition, in particular the nature of dark energy and dark matter, etc., are all tantalizing. No single institution is capable of covering such a vast and rapidly growing field, and institutional collaborations are essential for its progress.
Given the common and complementary background, LeCosPA and several similar institutions around the world decide to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of Collaboration in the field of particle astrophysics and cosmology to strengthen their ties through a broad range of collaboration and exchange programs. To date (August 2009), LeCosPA has established such “sister institution” connections with KIPAC of Stanford University and IPMU of the University of Tokyo. Additional MOUs between LeCosPA and other institutions are currently under development.
Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), Stanford University
KIPAC is an Independent Laboratory of Stanford University, initiated by a generous grant from Fred Kavli & the Kavli Foundation, housed at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and on Stanford campus in the Varian Physics building and Physics Astrophysics building. Funded in part by Stanford University and the United States Department of Energy.
Institute for Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU), Tokyo University
IPMU will address the most basic and profound mysteries of the universe. What is the universe made of? How did it begin? What is its fate? What fundamental laws govern it? And Why do we exist at all? The aim of IPMU is to address these fundamental questions using the power of forefront science.
International Center for Relativistic Astrophysics Network(ICRANet)
ICRANet is an international organization promoting research activities with members in four countries at three Universities and Research Centers. The member are in the Republic of Armenia, the Federal Republic of Brazil, the Republic of Italy, the Vatican State, the University of Tucson (USA), the University of Stanford (USA) and ICRA. The coordinating Centre is located in Pescara, Italy. The main activities of ICRANet are the promotion of the international scientific cooperation. Particularly noteworthy is its International Doctorate Program, IRAP PhD.
International Zetta Exawatt Science and Techonology (IZEST)
Fundamental High Energy Physics has been mainly driven by the high energy fermionic colliding beam paradigm. Today the possibility to amplify laser to extreme energy and peak power offers, in addition to possibly more compact and cheaper ways to help HEP, a suit of complementary new alternatives underpinned by single shot, large field laser pulse, that together we could call Laser-based High Field Fundamental Physics. The main mission of the International center on Zetta-Exawatt Science and Technology (IZEST) is to muster the scientific community behind this new concept.
As an example, we project to use the laser field to probe the nonlinearity of vacuum due to nonlineairities and light-mass weak coupling fields such as Heisenberg-Euler QED, dark matter and dark energy. We envision that seeking the non-collider paradigm without large luminosity substantially shorten our time-line; we further accelerate the latter by adopting the existing large energy laser LIL. The accelerated research on the non-collider paradigm in TeV and beyond could, however stimulate innovation in collider thinking such as lower luminosity paths, novel radiation cooling, and gamma-gamma colliders. The advancement of intense short-pulsed laser energy by 2-3 orders of magnitude empowers us a tremendous potential of unprecedented discoveries. These include: TeV physics, physics beyond TeV, new light-mass weak-coupling field discovery potential, nonlinear QED and QCD fields, radiation physics in the vicinity of the Schwinger field, and zeptosecond dynamical spectroscopy of vacuum. In addition, we want to take advantage of the ultrashort particle or radiation pulses produced in the femto, atto, and zeptosecond timescale to perform a new type of particle/radiation precision metrology that would help to remove the uncertainty around the neutrino speed. Finally, the TeV particles that can be produced on demand could offer a new tool to TeV Astrophysics.
Today, a number of exawatt class facilities in Europe and in the world are already in the planning stage, like the ELI-Fourth Pillar and the Russian Mega Science Laser as well as a possible Japanese Exawatt Laser. IZEST should serve as a common platform opened to the international scientific community with a passion for this emerging opportunies and the desire to participate. IZEST headquarter will be located at the Ecole Polytechnique, the center of this facility. The experimental program will be performed at the beginning on the most powerful European laser, the LIL laser at the CEA-CESTA in Bordeaux and on the Russian Exawatt once completed. It is expected that a large part of the work will also be carried out in the IZEST-associated laboratories around the world.