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Posts Tagged ‘international research’

Cette histoire, à cheval entre le LAL (Laboratoire de l’accélérateur linéaire) et l’IPNO (Institut de physique nucléaire d’Orsay), nous retrace le parcours admirable de cette physicienne qui œuvra avec force pour promouvoir les relations entre la France et le Japon.

En 1939, partir travailler à l’étranger était loin d’être évident pour un scientifique Japonais, d’autant plus si ce scientifique était une femme.         C’est pourtant ce que fit Toshiko Yuasa, que l’on connaît aussi comme la première physicienne Japonaise. C’est en France, au collège de France, sous la direction du professeur Frédéric Joliot-Curie, qu’elle commença ses recherches. Avec l’arrivée de la guerre, la physicienne dut quitter à regret la France, mais non sans se faire confier du matériel par ses collègues français, ce qui lui permit de poursuivre ses travaux. Une fois la guerre passée, c’est avec une certaine hâte qu’elle retourna en France, au CNRS, à l’IPNO, pour y mener 30 ans de carrière. Durant cette carrière et cette vie, elle œuvra remarquablement pour promouvoir les échanges culturels et scientifiques entre la France et le Japon.

Toshiko Yuasa sur le toit du Collège de France - 1941 - © Institut for Gender Studies, Ochanomizu University

Toshiko Yuasa sur le toit du Collège de France - 1941 - © Institut for Gender Studies, Ochanomizu University

Cette figure de l’IPNO a marqué les esprits, par son caractère et en tant que symbole d’une coopération entre la France et le Japon. En 2008, à l’occasion des 150 ans des relations France-Japon, l’IN2P3 a organisé, une cérémonie en sa mémoire, au siège du CNRS. La même année, son nom été attribué au LIA (Laboratoire international associé) Franco-Japonais FJ-PPL. Et enfin, au Japon, à l’université Ochanomizu dont elle était issue, une cérémonie équivalente eut lieu et 2 timbres furent édités en son honneur.

En 2008 la post-doctorante japonaise qui avait organisé les 2 cérémonies, et qui provient de la même université japonaise que Toshiko Yuasa, s’est vue attribuer un poste CNRS au LAL, bouclant ainsi la boucle d’une jolie histoire entre la France et le Japon.

Pour en savoir plus sur cette histoire une biographie de Toshiko Yuasa est disponible ici.

– anecdote fournie par le Laboratoire de l’Accélérateur Linéaire (LAL), unité mixte de recherche du CNRS/IN2P3 et de l’Université Paris Sud, dans le cadre des 40 ans de l’IN2P3.

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The number of Latin Americans working on the MINERvA experiment is unusual for a high-energy physics experiment. Among our Latin American collaborators, you’ll find professors, postdocs, graduate students and undergraduate students from countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Chile.

Cristian Pena in front of the MINERvA detector. Credit: Fermilab/Reidar Hahn

Being part of MINERvA offers many opportunities. For example, graduate students can complete their Ph.D. theses using MINERvA data, and many also have the opportunity to work at Fermilab, where they share ideas and knowledge with other students, postdocs, and professors from around the world. Working on MINERvA provides Latin American scientists the opportunity to perform research at the frontiers of experimental high-energy physics. The projects and studies on which we work are crucial for the experiment and for the neutrino physics program worldwide.

In my particular case, I am from Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María in Valparaíso, Chile. I recently had the opportunity and honor to be at Fermilab for five months working on two different projects. This experience was really exciting and challenging. I really learned a lot of physics and programming, understood more deeply how the experiment works, improved my English, and had the opportunity to meet and work directly with many experienced people in the field.

In terms of my personal life, it was a bit difficult to get accustomed to all the changes, such as language, food and geographical distances (my commute in Chile is just a five-minute walk). And once I got used to these, it started snowing. When I was first told about the weather at Fermilab, I said, “Oh come on. You must be exaggerating”, but clearly I was wrong. I really enjoyed meeting all the people in the collaboration and was interested to find out that Spanish from other Latin American countries is quite different – most people were not able to understand me when I used my spoken Chilean-Spanish. But now all those difficulties are just memories, thanks to the help Guiliano (my Chilean partner and roommate) and I received from the other Latin American folks at Fermilab.

MINERvA detector construction. Credit: Fermilab

When I returned to Chile a month ago, I realized that it would have been much more difficult to have this opportunity 10 years ago. I am really thankful for the efforts of Fermilab and the MINERvA experiment to make this possible, as well as the joint efforts that the Latin American Universities and their governments have made.

The fact that the number of Latin Americans in the MINERvA experiment is large is evidence of the science development which has started in our region. It also reinforces the importance of the efforts that institutions and governments are making to achieve the altruistic goal of developing science in their countries.

I would like to thank Jorge Morfin, who is working really hard to make collaborations like this possible; William Brooks, who is the leader of the experimental high-energy group of Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María and who keeps working to maintain and give the same opportunity to other Latin American students; and Deborah Harris and Kevin McFarland, the spokespersons of the experiment. I also want to thank the whole MINERvA collaboration who is doing a really nice job and pushing really hard to obtain the results the physics community is waiting for.

– Cristian Peña

Related information:
*Read about Cristian earning the Fulbright award

*From Peru to MINERvA

*Fermilab helps increase Mexican high-energy physics research

*Fermilab helps increase Brazilian high-energy physics research

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