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A Possible Proposal for the Future of APCTP
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A Possible Proposal for the Future of APCTP


When we started to discuss the idea of a theoretical physics center in the early 90's, we had great expectations and hopes for the future development of physics research and education in the Asia Pacific region. We sought to realize these hopes through the establishment of the Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics (APCTP).

In the 20 years following the founding of APCTP there have been difficult times. However, after undergoing some inevitable growing pains, APCTP has entered into a stage of sound development with in-house research activities and knowledge exchange functions through conferences and workshops. Of particular note, the Junior Research Groups (JRG) system, which was introduced by former President Peter Fulde, has been working well.

One of the most prominent characteristics of APCTP is that it is accepted as a center for theoretical physics in Asia-Pacific region by 15 member countries. This is one of APCTP's great achievements, for which former President Swan Kim made substantial efforts. APCTP's international character is quite unique; none of the other excellent institutes in Korea and in neighboring countries can claim this honor. This international character of the center should be more highly appreciated and utilized to encourage further unique developments at APCTP.

In the early stages of the establishment discussions of APCTP, some of us posited that the creation of original scientific ideas is fundamentally influenced by the cultural background of the scientists. We dreamed of a situation where the genuine and innovative ideas of pioneering works could arise from collaborations within the Asia Pacific region in the future, and we hoped that such works could arise from APCTP. In the Asia Pacific region there is an immense reservoirs of sleeping brains, waiting to be cultivated, and thus this region has tremendous potential ability for scientific advancements in the future. We believe that APCTP should function as center for higher education in physics for the Asia Pacific region, in conjunction with its role as a center of excellence. I believe that we should strengthen this educational aspect of APCTP much more systematically.

In order to create a stable educational system that could provide excellent instruction it is obvious that we would need, at minimum, top-grade permanent faculty members of APCTP in each field in physics. This problem is, however, very difficult to resolve solely through the host country's efforts in a short time frame. As a longer term solution we may develop possible discussions for a cooperative scheme to solve this problem concretely among member countries.

I believe that, with concentrated research efforts, strikingly original pioneering works will arise from the unique system and comfortable intellectual environment of APCTP.


Noboru Kawamoto received his PhD at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1976. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at DESY (Hamburg), the University of Amsterdam, and the Niels Bohr Institute. He was a professor of the Department of Physics, Kyoto University; the Institute of Nuclear Study, the University of Tokyo; and Hokkaido University. He has been a professor emeritus at Hokkaido University since 2012. His research interests include lattice gauge theory, lattice gravity, topological field theories and lattice supersymmetry.

AAPPS Bulletin        ISSN: 2309-4710
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