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Report on the 37th Video Council Meeting of AAPPS
Jun'ichi Yokoyama
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Report on the 37th Video
Council Meeting of AAPPS


Based on the agreement at the 36th Extended Council Meeting in Kuala Lumpur in December 2017, the first video council meeting of the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS) was held on March 15, 2018 using the web conference system of APCTP (Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics). It was attended by Gui-Lu Long (president), Fu-Jen Kao (vice-president), Jun'ichi Yokoyama (secretary), Hyoung Joon Choi (treasurer), Seunghwan Kim (special advisor), and council members Cathay Foley (Australian Institute of Physics), Kuijuan Jin (Chinese Physical Society), Xing Zhu (Chinese Physical Society), Sang Pyo Kim (Korean Physical Society), Nguyen Quang Liem (Vietnam Physical Society), Minn-Tsong Lin (PS located in Taipei), Kurunathan Ratnavelu (Malaysian Institute of Physics), Rajdeep Singh Rawat (Singapore Institute of Physics), and Ruiqin Zhang (Physical Society of Hong Kong). The meeting was observed by Mitsuru Kikuchi (AAPPS-DPP chair) and Woo-Sung Jung (executive director of APCTP).

(1) The president opened the meeting, welcomed all the participants, and thanked APCTP for the arrangement of the system. The secretary reported that the date of this meeting was fixed based on the results of the survey regarding the convenience of each member. Since many council members did not respond to this survey, the president was afraid that a majority of members would not attend the meeting. Fortunately, however, it was attended by 14 out of the 16 members, so the quorum was met.

(2) The agenda was adopted as prepared by the secretary.

(3) Vice President Kao reported progress in division formation. He reviewed the subjects discussed in APPC12 (12th Asia Pacific Physics Conference) in Makuhari and discussed the relevance to promising fields about division formation, namely, Quantum Information Science and Technology, Biomedical Physics, High Energy Physics, Condensed Matter Physics I, Neutron Scattering (Phonons), Optics & Photonics, Computational Physics, and Physics Education.

He also explained that on the occasion of the annual meeting of physical society located in Taipei held in January 2018, a list of more than one thousand physicists with their e-mail addresses was collected, which can be used in order to publicize the forthcoming APPC. He stressed that the selection of plenary speakers and key speakers should be done at least one year before the conference. We should also provide additional services to encourage young people to join APPC, such as a reduced fees and discounted airfare. President Long mentioned that in order to avoid too much complication, division formation and APPC should be considered separately. On the other hand, it is also true that the preparations for APPC provide a rich environment for division formation.

(4) Yokoyama reported on the JPS (Physical Society of Japan) - JSAP (Japan Society of Applied Physics) joint AAPPS committee meeting held on March 2, 2018, which was a dedicated meeting to discuss division formation. JPS has 19 divisions and JSAP has 10, and they conducted a survey to find which of their divisions are keen to form divisions in AAPPS. The Fullerenes, Nanotubes and Graphene Research Society has been organizing a Japan-China-Korea symposium. Since the next nanotube conference will be held at Peking University on July 15-20, 2018, it would be wonderful if a step forward to division formation would be made in cooperation with local organizers and the above society. The Strong Magnetic Forum in Japan is also keen to promote cooperation in the Asia Pacific region. Other divisions that show interest in division formation include Division 3 (magnetism, magnetic resonance); Division 4 (semiconductors mesoscopic system, and quantum transportation); Division 6 (low temperature physics, liquid, quasi-crystal); Division 13 (physics education), which is already part of ASPEN (Asia Pacific Education Network); and high energy physics experiments. As for activities related to JSAP in the Asia Pacific region, international conferences have been regularly organized on nano interface controlled electronic devices, nanoimprint technology, and junction technology. These are appropriate fields for division formation. Council members who know appropriate persons in each region who may help in the formation of divisions on the above mentioned fields are encouraged to contact Japanese council members in order to receive contact information on each of these fields in Japan, so that they can start working together collaboratively.

(5) Special Advisor Kim reported on the progress regarding issues associated with the AAPPS Fellows. He explained that each year fellows are nominated initially by AAPPS divisions and member societies. President Long has invited Professor C.N. Yang, the founding president and a Nobel laureate, to be an honorary fellow and he has accepted. Invitation letters have also been sent to other Nobel laureates. S. Kim proposed to set the deadline for the nomination of fellows to the end of August so that the council can discuss the selection process in the forthcoming months, with the final decision to be made at the council meeting in November. Yokoyama expressed concern that we had only a handful of candidates for honorary fellows because now it is assigned to Nobel laureates and past presidents, and some of those individuals may not like the idea. For example, he met Professor Konuma, who was the second president of AAPPS, and learned that he would not want to be an honorary fellow since he believes that past presidents should not impose further influence on the future of AAPPS. It was agreed that we would proceed with care. Kikuchi mentioned that it was not a good idea for a Nobel laureate to participate in the forthcoming APPC solely to become an honorary fellow but that awardees should also take part in the scientific portion as well.

(6) Secretary Yokoyama reported on the international cooperation meeting organized by the European Physical Society held at the Max Planck Institut für Physik (Werner Heisenberg Institut), Munich, on February 9, 2018 as a part of an executive committee meeting of EPS to which President Long was invited but could not attend himself. Yokoyama attended a round table discussion session for international cooperation on his behalf, which was also attended by officers of the Institute of Physics (IoP) and the American Physical Society as well as a representative of ICTP (Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics). Most of their concern was on educational programs for underdeveloped regions, such as for areas in Africa. APS spends about 70,000 dollars annually and the IoP spends approximately a quarter of a million pounds for these programs. He raised three issues between AAPPS and EPS, namely, a) mutual cooperation, which had been suspended since the last ASEPS (Asia Europe Physics Summit) held in 2013 on occasion of APPC12; b) the borders, if any, between the regions covered by EPS and AAPPS; and c) educational programs and the possibility for cooperation. As for a), in a document signed in Chiba, Japan, by the presidents of the two parties in 2013, it was stated that ASEPS should be continuously held within an interval no longer than two years alternately, but there has been no activity in Europe since the last ASEPS. In fact, this statement was not properly remembered at EPS. Although they showed intentions to resume this activity, they said they were unable to organize another summit in 2018 because it is the 50th anniversary year of EPS and they have to organize a series of events. They mentioned it might be possible to host a summit in 2019; however, 2019 is not convenient for AAPPS, since we must organize APPC in Kuching. As a compromise, the two parties have agreed to hold ASEPS together with APPC in Kuching in a similar fashion as in Makuhari. Professor Minh Quang Tran, who is a member of the executive committee of the EPS and is the president of the Swiss Physical Society, was appointed as a representative from EPS to handle this issue together with Yokoyama.

As for the border issue, recently the Kazakhstan Physical Society expressed their wish to join AAPPS. On the other hand, in the aforementioned Chiba statement it is mentioned that former Soviet Union countries belong to Europe, although geographically Kazakhstan is clearly in Asia. After some discussion, it was agreed that membership of EPS and AAPPS need not be exclusive; that is, societies in border regions may belong to both parties if they wish.

(7) Xing Zhu reported on the progress in preparation of APPC14 to be held in Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo island, Malaysia from November 17 to 23, 2019. It will be hosted by the Malaysian Institute of Physics (IFM) and sponsored by Kuching prefecture as well as the Malaysian government. The international advisory committee will be chaired by Gui-Lu Long with an honorary chair, Chen Ning Yang. Vice chairs are Shoji Nagamiya and Seunghwan Kim, former presidents of AAPPS. The international organizing committee will be chaired by Xing Zhu, and co-chaired by Kurunathan Ratnavel, Jun'ichi Yokoyama, and Woo-sung Jung. Other council members will also be members of the international organizing committee. Zhu explained that the subjects of the conference include:

1. Condensed Matter (Solid-State Quantum Physics and Devices, Carbon-Based Materials, Low-Dimensional and Nanostructured Materials, Spintronics, Magnetism, and Topological Insulators, Electron Correlation and Superconductivity, Quantum Information and Statistical Physics, Soft-matter and Biophysics)
2. Applied Physics
3. Optics and Photonics
4. Particle Physics and Field Theory
5. Astrophysics, Cosmology, and Gravitation
6. Nuclear Physics
7. Atomic and Molecular Physics
8. Plasma Science and Accelerator Physics
9. Synchrotron Radiation, Neutron Scattering
10. Statistical Physics and Computational Physics
11. Physics Education
12. Women in Physics
13. Interdisciplinary Physics.

Kikuchi recalled that former president Kim mentioned that the next APPC should be driven by divisions, while what was reported by Zhu appeared different. Zhu replied that since AAPPS had only a few divisions not covering all fields of physics, AAPPS should take responsibility in the areas not covered by divisions. Kikuchi mentioned that DPP has not cooperated with the accelerator physicists and so subject 8 should be revised. He also mentioned the numbers of plenary and invited talks being planned now, 10-12, and 55-65, respectively, were too small for a sensible conference, since they fell below the "critical mass."

Ratnavelu mentioned that when the local organizers applied for funding to the Sarawak government they expected 500 participants, and they wish to have this or more number of participants with close cooperation of divisions. The local organizers and international committee members will continue conversations toward proper organization. Yokoyama suggested to include all the division chairs to the international organizing committee, which was agreed. Ratnavelu also mentioned that he and Yokoyama were trying to organize a Nobel forum in association with APPC to encourage local students. Extra funding is being sought for this purpose. Long suggested to apply a reduced registration fee only for students and postdocs, but not to invited speakers who usually have sufficient funds.

(8) Woo-sung Jung, executive director of APCTP, provided an update regarding the cooperation between AAPPS and APCTP. APCTP is continuing financial support for division activities, to the amount of 30000 USD every year. The editorial board of the AAPPS Bulletin has decided to launch a new section, where all the scientific articles would be gathered in that section. The editorial board and APCTP will establish an ad-hoc committee to nominate editors for the section, and some Bulletin editors have already shown their intention to serve as editors for this section. Finally, the selection process for the C.N. Yang Award, which will be a joint annual award between AAPPS and APCTP, is still under discussion between Jung and Yokoyama.

(9) Finally, returning to the issues regarding APPC, Ratnavelu showed a presentation file of the status of the local organization of AAPPS. He explained that depending on the number of participants, the venue will be between either the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, the Pullman Hotel, or the Hilton Hotel. The convention center can accommodate many people with good conference facilities, while hotels can host a conference of up to 300 participants. The only drawback of the convention center is that it is 10km away from the city center where most participants are expected to stay. The local organizers have the necessary support to invite two or three Nobel laureates. President Long mentioned that support from IUPAP may be obtained with the help of Kuijuan Jin, who is a vice chair of C13 of IUPAP. Rajadeep mentioned that newly established ASEAN Federation of Physics may help, and IAS is also ready to support ASEAN countries in joining IUPAP. Foley will contact Park and discuss with her to enrich women in physics sessions. President Long mentioned that the venue of APPC in 2022 will be discussed in the next council meeting and the proposals should be made by then.

(10) President Long closed the video meeting saying that it was a great success with many fruitful discussions.

Note added. Several weeks after this meeting, it turned out that Xin Zhu could not continue to serve as the chair of the international organizing committee of the next APPC due to private matters. President Long has decided to appoint former President S. Kim to take over the position, and Prof. Swan Kim has accepted the appointment.