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Recent Activities of the Division of Astrophysics, Cosmology and Gravitation (DACG)
Misao Sasaki
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Recent Activities of the Division of Astrophysics,
Cosmology and Gravitation (DACG)

Misao Sasaki

The purpose of the Division of Astrophysics, Cosmology and Gravitation (DACG) is to promote scientific activities in the areas of astrophysics, cosmology and gravitation in the Asia Pacific region. In particular, CosPA (International Symposium on Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics), which is a series of conferences that are organized by the Asia-Pacific Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics (APCosPA) committee, is one of the major scientific activities that we endorse. The first CosPA was held in Taiwan in 2003.

This year, Prof. Jun'ichi Yokoyama, who was the secretary of our executive committee (EXCO), was elected as the president of the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS). Consequently, Prof. Yokoyama had to step down from the EXCO. Prof. Kunihito Ioka has subsequently accepted the position of secretary of DACG.

As for scientific activities, we endorsed four conferences, workshops and schools, about which we report below.

2019 Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy Workshop (GWPAW 2019):

The Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy Workshop (GWPAW) is a series of annual conferences which was initiated in 1990's. In 2018, GWPAW was hosted by the University of Maryland in College Park, USA. The most recent GWPAW (GWPAW 2019) was held at the University of Tokyo, Japan, from October 14 - 17, 2019. The scientific talks and posters covered the physics and astronomy of gravitational waves, techniques for their detection, and interpretation of data and results. Due to a typhoon hitting Japan just before the conference, a number of international flights were canceled, which unfortunately prevented some of the foreign participants from physically attending. Many of those participants presented remote talks instead. The conference banquet was held at Gajoen, a 90-year-old traditional Japanese restaurant, where a kagura (which translates to "the entertainment for gods") dance performance was presented by Hachiraku-kai members. The local organizers generously applied a reduced registration fee for DACG members and for those who wished to join DACG. As a result, a number of new researchers from relevant fields joined the workshop. More information regarding GWPAW 2019 can be found at the workshop website: http://www.resceu.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp/symposium/GWPAW2019/.


A group photo of participants at GWPAW 2019.


A kagura (神楽) performance at the conference banquet of GWPAW 2019.

14th Asia-Pacific Physics Conference (APPC 2019)/CosPA 2019:

The 14th Asia-Pacific Physics Conference (APPC 2019) was held at the Borneo Convention Centre, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia from November 17 - 22, 2019. The APPCs are a series of conferences organized by AAPPS every three years. APPC 2019 was particularly special for us because, for the first time, the conference was jointly organized by DACG, the Division of Plasma Physics (DPP), and the Division of Nuclear Physics (DNP). In addition, DACG decided to organize sessions together with APCosPA (Asia-Pacific Organization of Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics). Namely, we organized the DACG sessions as CosPA 2019, which is DACG's main annual conference. Although it is hard to estimate an accurate number of participants, since APPC 2019 was attended by about 500 people in total, probably about 100 to 150 people attended the DACG sessions/CosPA 2019, for which we had 63 oral talks and nine poster presentations. In addition, there were talks and posters closely related to DACG in the other sessions, particularly those organized by DPP and DNP. In each session, there were many interesting presentations that were often followed by fruitful discussions. As for DACG-related plenary talks, we had exciting, inspiring presentations on magnetized plasma in the Universe by Prof. Kazunari Shibata and on the black hole shadow obtained by the Event Horizon Telescope by Dr. Yosuke Mizuno. For more information, please visit the conference website: http://appc2019.ifm.org.my.


A group photo of participants at APPC 2019.

International KEK-Cosmo (and APCosPA) Winter School 2020:

The KEK-Cosmo and APCosPA Winter School: Cosmological Structures in the Era of Large Survey (KEK-Cosmo 2020), was held from January 21 - 23, 2020, at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), Tsukuba, Japan. The large-scale structure of the Universe is one of the most powerful probes to unveil the nature of the Universe itself. In the coming 2020s, ambitiously large surveys such as PSF, LSST, SKA, Euclid, WFIRST are underway, aimed at revealing wide and deep structures in the Universe. The cosmological information obtained from these kinds of surveys will reach an unprecedented level with high statistical significance. Building a consistent picture of the Universe requires a theoretical understanding of the physics of a variety of cosmological structures. This school was geared toward graduate students and young postdocs to cover multiple areas of structure formation. Lectures were delivered by four experts in the field; Masahiro Takada, Masumue Oguri, Tomo Takahashi, and Takahiro Nishimichi. There were about 50 participants, and about 15 of those participants were from abroad, mainly from China and Korea. The school was highly successful; there were many interactions between lecturers and participants, and the participants gave a great deal of positive feedback. More information regarding KEK-Cosmo 2020 can be found at the following website: https://www-conf.kek.jp/KEKCosmo2020/.


A group photo of participants at KEK-Cosmo 2020

2020 Asia-Pacific (AP) School and Workshop on Gravitation and Cosmology:

The Asia-Pacific (AP) School and Workshop on Gravitation and Cosmology is another annual event that DACG endorses. This year it was held from February 9 - 14, 2020 at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) in Daejeon, Korea. The topics primarily covered by the school/workshop were gravitational waves, numerical relativity, black hole physics, cosmic microwave background, the early Universe, dark matter, dark energy, and quantum gravity. For the school, five invited lecturers delivered a series of lectures with levels of complexity that ranged from an introductory level to a research level, which helped students and junior researchers to grasp the essence of cutting-edge developments. The lecturers were: Jan Hamann (cosmic microwave background), Konstantinos Kokkotas (numerical studies of neutron star and black hole dynamics), Seung Joo Lee (quantum gravity constraints and their stringy realization), Alex Nielsen (gravitational waves), and Sudipta Sarkar (black hole thermodynamics: general relativity & beyond). At the workshop, we had 16 oral presentations on recent developments in gravitation and cosmology, and five young researchers gave poster presentations. There were intensive discussions among participants. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many individuals couldn't attend. Nevertheless, we had about 70 participants, and the event was broadcast live through Youtube. The slides and links to the videos may be found at the event website: https://indico.ibs.re.kr/event/327/.


A poster session at the 2020 AP School/Workshop on Gravitation and Cosmology.


AAPPS Bulletin        ISSN: 2309-4710
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