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AAPPS Bulletin AAPPS Bulletin (2023) 33:13 AAPPS Bulletin https://doi.org/10.1007/s43673-023-00084-5 Open Access NE W S AND VIE W S 50th Anniversary of IFM; A Panel Discussion at IUPAP100; Relaunch of Asian Network 1* AAPPS Bulletin of Raffles College in Singapore . Eventually, Raffles 1 Institut Fizik Malaysia: the first fifty years College was merged with the King Edward VII Col- by Bernardine R. Wong and Meng‑Hock Koh lege of Medicine (established in 1905) in 1949 to form, 1.1 Introduction in Singapore, the University of Malaya. Subsequently, This year, 2023, marks a significant milestone in the his - its Singapore campus became the National Univer- tory of physics in Malaysia. The Malaysian Institute of sity of Singapore (NUS) while the Kuala Lumpur cam- Physics (Institut Fizik Malaysia, IFM) was formed on Jan- pus is Universiti Malaya (UM). Physics was offered as a uary 29, 1973, and celebrates its golden jubilee this year. degree programme in UM from 1961. Shortly thereafter, This article briefly traces the formation of IFM against degree programs in physics began to be offered in Insti - the backdrop of physics in Malaysia, highlights some of tut Teknologi MARA (ITM, established in 1967), Univer- the achievements and sketches possible future directions siti Sains Malaysia (USM, 1969), Universiti Kebangsaan of IFM. Malaysia (UKM, 1970), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM, 1971) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM, 1972). 1.2 Brief back ground of physics in Malaysia A recent article  highlighted that the first X-ray photo - 1.3 Formation of IFM graph taken in present day Malaysia was made in 1897. If As the number of physicists in Malaysia grew steadily in we consider that X-rays were discovered by Rontgen only the early 1960s, a desire arose for a body to represent the 2 years earlier in 1895, it might suggest that the standard physics community. Although some physicists in local of physics teaching and research in British Malaya at that universities were members of the Institute of Physics time was comparable to that of Europe. However, this (United Kingdom), many physicists, teachers and those would be misleading as the first X-ray apparatus installed in the research and service sectors were not. This short - at the Taiping Hospital (in present day Perak in Malaysia) coming began to be rectified when the first interim com - on February 3, 1897, was presented in conjunction with mittee met in Kuala Lumpur in 1971 with the objective the Diamond Jubilee celebration of Queen Victoria. At of setting up IFM. The institute’s constitution was drafted the time, this was the only hospital in the Far East to pos- and approved by the Registrar of Societies, which ena- sess such an advanced diagnostic tool . This prompted bled the process to proceed. delivery of other X-ray devices for medical use in British Written documentation preceding the formation of Malaya over the following decades and specific train - IFM is scarce; however, the IFM Constitution indicates ing was given to technicians to handle the equipment the priorities that the framers had. These are (1) to pro - . However, a general post-secondary physics program mote physics and elevate the profession of physicists, (2) only began to be offered in 1928, with the establishment to educate and train those who wish to practice as physi- cists, and those who are interested in physics, (3) to hold *Correspondence: meetings/conferences, workshops and to deliver lectures, AAPPS Bulletin firstname.lastname@example.org and (4) to organize activities of interest to IFM members Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies, Pohang, South Korea related to research, education, and outreach programs. © The Author(s) 2023. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http:// creat iveco mmons. org/ licen ses/ by/4. 0/. AAPPS Bulletin AAPPS Bulletin (2023) 33:13 Page 2 of 7 The inaugural general meeting of the IFM was held on some form of hybrid conference, workshop and meeting January 29, 1973, at UM with 34 members. Apart from may become a new norm in the future. representation from Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Periodically, international events such as the Inter- Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia national Conference on Frontiers in Quantum Phys- (UKM), Agricultural College Serdang (now Universiti ics (1997) , the International Meeting on Frontiers in Putra Malaysia, UPM), Tunku Abdul Rahman College Physics (IMFP 1998, 2005, 2009, 2013, 2017) [6, 7], and (TARC, now Tunku Abdul Rahman University of Man- the Asia–Pacific Physics Conference (APPC, 1992 and agement and Technology, TAR UMT) and Mara Institute 2019) [8, 9] have been held in Malaysia. In conjunction of Technology (ITM, now Universiti Institut Teknologi with APPC 2019, IFM also organised the Asia-Oceania Mara UITM), there was representation from the Mete- Forum on Synchrotron Radiation Research, where repre- orological Department, Defence Research Centre, Radio- sentatives from synchrotron facilities in Australia, China, isotope Unit of Universiti Hospital (now University of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Singapore Malaya Medical centre, PPUM), National Institute for shared the latest advances on the usage, research activi- Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR), and Cochrane ties, and new instrumentation of synchrotrons. Recently, Road School. It is noteworthy that the diversity of the IFM collaborated with UCSI University to organize the meeting attendees reflected the breadth of the impact 1st International Conference on Computational Science of physics in the academic realm as well as in industrial and Data Analytics (COMDATA 2021, 21–24 November, research. 2021). The inaugural IFM Council comprised Prof. Thong Saw IFM has also published the Jurnal Fizik Malaysia Pak (president, TARC), Prof. Chatar Singh (vice-presi- (JFM) since 1984, succeeding the Bulletin of the Insti- dent, USM), Dr. Neo Yee Pan (hon. secretary, UM), Dr. tute of Physics, Malaysia, which was launched in 1980. Tan Hong Siang (hon. treasurer, UM), with the follow- Up until 2020, it appeared in print form but is now pub- ing council members: Dr. Khalijah Mohd. Salleh (UKM), lished solely online. Jurnal Fizik Malaysia is now indexed Prof. Khaik Leang Lim (UM), Dr. Teh Hock Heng (UM), by Clarivate Analytics Emerging Sources Citation Index Dr. R. Ratnalingam (USM) and Dr. Lee Sing (UM). Alto- (ESCI). Information regarding submissions to JFM can be gether, there have been seven presidents: Prof. Thong found at https:// ifm. org. my/ jurnal. Saw Pak (TARC, 1973–1975), Prof. Chatar Singh (1976– IFM has also supported the training of Malaysian high 1977), Prof. Mohd. Zawawi Ismail (UKM, 1978), Prof. school students for the Asian and International Phys- Tan Beng Cheok (UM, 1979–1990), Prof. Chia Swee Ping ics Olympiads (APhO and IPhO, respectively) since the (UM, 1991–2010), Prof. Kurunathan Ratnavelu (UM, 33rd IPhO in 2002 held in Bali, Indonesia. This has ena - 2011–2020) and Prof. Tou Teck Yong (MMU, 2021–pre- bled our top physics students to compete with the best in sent). (Note: Prof. Lee Sing served as the acting president the world. Following a preliminary test, selected students for some months in 1990.) attend several intensive camps conducted by the trainers Since its inception, IFM has operated from the Depart- of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and by members of ment of Physics, UM. Starting with an initial 34 members the IFM Education Subgroup. Five students are short- in 1973, growth was slow but began to accelerate in the listed to represent the country. Throughout the years of 1980s. To date, IFM has approximately 1530 members, of participation, Malaysian students have received honor- which 550 are active. IFM has nine Honorary Fellows and able mention, bronze, silver, and gold medals. The stu - 54 Fellows. The IFM webpage is https:// ifm. org. my/. dents have benefited greatly from the exposure gained from the competition. Many have continued to pur- sue physics degrees and other science and engineering majors, and some have become prominent scientists and 1.4 S ome IFM initiatives researchers in their own fields. IFM has co-organised a physics conference or sympo- IFM has supported the training of young physicists in sium annually since 1975. It was initially known as the international schools via recommendations and partial National Physics Symposium (NAPS) and is now more financial assistance. Locally, IFM has initiated workshops widely known as Persidangan Fizik Kebangsaan (PER- and schools to train local and international physicists. FIK). Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the most recent Among the earliest training provided was a Workshop conferences, i.e., PERFIK 2021 and PERFIK 2022, were on Microcomputers and Applications (1981), in addition conducted online. It has been a valuable experience to to other activities organised by IFM divisions and sub- have to rely solely on internet technologies. While it has groups. IFM has two main divisions, i.e., Plasma Phys- been advantageous in widening participation, a purely ics and Medical Physics. In addition to organising the online conference has come at a cost of a reduction in Tropical College on Applied Physics (1983, 1986, 1988, face-to-face interaction. Nevertheless, it is likely that AAPPS Bulletin AAPPS Bulletin (2023) 33:13 Page 3 of 7 1992) [10–13], the plasma division has been active in hope that IFM will be a point of reference for any govern- initiating and strengthening plasma physics research in mental policies involving physics. developing countries . Recent activities include the Second, IFM needs to better engage with the public to Numerical Experiments Workshop on Plasma Focus increase awareness of physics. Moving beyond how phys- (NEWPF2022), held over 7 weeks from 21 March–6 May ics has traditionally been presented in a classroom set- 2022 by the plasma division, in collaboration with the ting, we need to use technology creatively to bring out Asian African Association for Plasma Training (AAAPT). the beauty of physics and the excitement of discovery The Medical Physics Division aims to promote medical that lies at its heart. physics . Activities such as the Association of South- Third, there has been the perception that a physics east Asian Nations (ASEAN) College of Medical Physics degree does not appear to have a well-defined career path (ACOMP) Courses 2021: Radiobiology in the era of pre- as opposed to, say, an engineering degree. In reality, a cision medicine (9, 16, and 23 April 2021), International physics graduate is equipped with critical thinking skills Medical Physics Week (9–13 May 2022), and the Inter- and versatility so as to adapt to different career paths, national Day of Medical Physics (November 7, 2022) whether in industry or the service sectors. IFM needs to involved online webinars that were very well received by initiate frequent engagement with industrial partners as the medical physics community. In addition, IFM has the well as more effectively organize outreach programs to following subgroups: Optics & Photonics, Theoretical & schools. Computational Physics, Astronomy & Astrophysics, and Finally, researchers and students interested in excit- the most recent subgroup is Industrial Physics, which ing topics in fundamental physics, for example in parti- was formed in 2021 to cater to the growing interest in the cle physics, black holes, and search for dark matter, have application of physics in industry. The Industrial Physics difficulty securing positions in Malaysian universities, Subgroup has thus far organized two online seminars: resulting in the brain drain of these talented researchers The Application of Plasma Physics in Biomass Technolo - to other countries. It remains a challenge to build up a gies, and What You Need to Know About Patents. critical mass of physicists, and IFM has a role to play to IFM is affiliated to the following organisations, as (1) a address this issue. founding member of the Association of Asia Pacific Phys - In conclusion, the first 50 years of IFM have been ical Societies (AAPPS), (2) a founding member of the eventful both for the physics community as well as for our Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics (APCTP), (3) nation. Given the increased pace of change and advances an associate council member of the Asia Oceania Forum in technology, we can expect IFM to rise to these chal- for Synchrotron Radiation Research (AOFSRR), and (4) lenges and continue to support the physics community in as a founding member of the Confederation of Scientific the years ahead. (Fig. 1). and Technological Associations in Malaysia (COSTAM). Acknowledgements In addition, IFM cooperates with most other physics We would like to express our thanks and appreciation institutes/organizations of other countries. to Prof. Tan Beng Cheok, Prof. Dato’ Roslan Abd. Shukor and Prof. Tou Teck Yong for their respective ideas and 1.5 Looking forward input in the preparation of this manuscript. In its first 50 years, IFM established itself as a body sup - Statements and declarations porting the interests of the local physics community The authors declare that they have no competing through training, conferences, and the establishment of interests. networks with the international physics communities. These can, and should, be continued. However, much 2 Panel on “Asia & Pacific: achievements remains to be done. in the region and expectations from IUPAP” First, the physics community in Malaysia remains by Kuijuan Jin, Mihoko Nojiri, Sunil Gupta, rather scattered with researchers typically working inde- and Leong Chuan Kwek pendently in their respective fields with minimal col - In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the Interna- laboration between them. Working in isolation robs tional Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP), mem- researchers of the rewards of synergy that would then bers of Asia Pacific region organized a successful panel enable more impactful work to be attempted, such as discussion at the main celebration event in Trieste on those outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals July 12, 2022. The panelists were William J. Munro (NTT, (SDGs) of the United Nations . IFM has a role to play Japan), Xiaoyen Shen, Venu Gopal Achanta (Tata Insti- to foster collaboration and, in so doing, to advance the tute of Fundamental Research), Junichi Yokoyama (Presi- status of physicists in the country. In the long run, we dent, AAPPS and University of Tokyo). Below are some AAPPS Bulletin AAPPS Bulletin (2023) 33:13 Page 4 of 7 Fig. 1 Participants of the 14th Asia–Pacific Physics Conference (APPC14) held in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, from November 17–22, 2019. (Photograph courtesy of Prof. Kurunathan Ratnavelu.) of the key points that emerged from the Panel discussion the Panel discussion in Trieste. We believe that the in Trieste. (Fig. 2). IUPAP100 has definitely made a big impact in the The discussion is restricted to just four topics which physics community in the AP region which needs reflected major priority areas of Asia–Pacific region. But to be sustained and harnessed through continued certainly the list was clearly not exhaustive by any means. engagement and interaction through conferences/ To address that the following steps are token and below meetings. are some of the observations and recommendations, • Given the reality of huge diversity in the level of physics education and research in this region, the • Mihoko had organized a virtual pre-Panel discussion support of the IUPAP EC would be absolutely criti- lasting 90 min to give representation to the physical cal in maintaining the momentum generated during societies/regions that could not be accommodated in IUPAP100. Fig. 2 Hybrid session on 100th anniversary of the establishment of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics AAPPS Bulletin AAPPS Bulletin (2023) 33:13 Page 5 of 7 • It has been observed that in several instances what February, the Network is funded and relaunched to run the less developed regions lack in terms of physics for the 3-year period 2023–2026. infrastructure they make it up through strong com- This theoretical physics Network is supported by fund - mitment and drive. And therefore, a little help from ing from the International Center for Theoretical Phys - the IUPAP would go a long way in sustaining and ics (ICTP), the Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics growing the physics infrastructure in those regions. (APCTP), the Institute for Basic Science Center for Theo - • There is also a varying degree of realization in many retical Physics of Complex Systems (PCS-IBS) and five of the countries/regions that R&D and education in participating Southeast Asian nodes in Vietnam, Thai - physics could be a major catalyst in the growth of land, Philippines, Indonesia, and Cambodia. Only the their economies. first three nodes were included in the first iteration of the • Unfortunately, due to historical and geopolitical rea- Network and the Indonesian and Cambodian nodes were sons the exchange of physicists or any collaboration welcomed in the second expanded iteration of our Net- among physicists in the AP region has been woefully work. The ICTP and APCTP funding is provided through short of what is required. their various external activity programs. In principle, the ICTP funding can be extended for three more years but, Therefore, the immediate recommendations are as ultimately, it is hoped that the Network will become self- follows: sustaining with funding just from within Asia. Notionally, a scientific Network consists of a number of Institutes and research groups in an entire region, • Utilize the momentum generated by IUPAP100 to pursuing a common scientific project over an extended develop an IUPAP (Asia–Pacific) website which is period. The network program represents an efficient linked to the main IUPAP website. The current status approach to overcoming the problem of isolation of sci- is that the vendor for the development of IUPAP-AP entists and stimulates interaction and collaboration. The site has been identified and approval of EC obtained Network contributes to regional efforts to advance scien - for awarding contract. The partial payment to the tific expertise in the developing world, providing young web development company is being processed. Once scientists in Southeast Asia with the further training and that happens we would proceed with this activity. skills they need to enjoy productive careers. In effect, the • Foster close links with AAPS to better network phys- combined expertise from ICTP, APCTP, and PCS-IBS is ics community in AP region. projected into Southeast Asia. • Use the IUPAP-AP site to enable physicists in this The activities of the Network include (i) scientist region to organize virtual conferences with IUPAP exchanges, (ii) an annual November School rotating sponsorship which obviate the need for travel which between Hanoi, Nakhon Ratchasima and Manila, (iii) is very difficult for geopolitical and financial reasons. two annual workshops held at APCTP and PCS-IBS, • Encourage use of Indico to facilitate the hosting of and (iv) a Mini-School/Workshop to be held in Jakarta these virtual conferences with emphasis on gender and Phnom Penh in 2024 and 2025 respectively. From and geographical balance. 2017 through to 2019, the Network supported 12 scien- • Seek out the participation of eminent physicists from tist exchanges. Typically, a scientist visits more than one across the world by leveraging IUPAP sponsorship. Institute in each supported itinerary of up to 4 weeks • Given the massive population and demographics the duration. It is expected that a similar number of scientist growth of physics in the AP region would be very exchange visits will be supported between 2023 and 2026. important for the global development of physics. Over 150 scientists and many more graduate students are participating in our Network which benefits from the guidance and input from four distinguished International Scientific Advisers: 3 Relaunch of Asian Network on Condensed Matter, Complex Systems and Statistical Physics • Boris Altshuler, Columbia University, New York, 2023–2026 by Paul A. Pearce and Sergej Flach USA The Asian Network on Condensed Matter, Complex • Peter Fulde, Max Planck Institute, Dresden, Ger- Systems and Statistical Physics (https:// pcs. ibs. re. kr/ many ICTP_ Asian_ Netwo rk/ ICTP_ Asian_ Netwo rk. html) was • Giuseppe Mussardo, SISSA, Trieste, Italy initially launched in 2017 and ran for the 3-year period 2017–2019. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Net- • Naoto Nagaosa, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan work underwent a hiatus for 3 years from 2020 to 2022. We are now pleased to announce that, starting from 3 AAPPS Bulletin AAPPS Bulletin (2023) 33:13 Page 6 of 7 In addition, valuable expertise is gained from the par- works, optical microcavities, Fano resonances, spin ticipation of leading ICTP scientists including glasses, topology, frustration, disorder, many body localization, artificial gauge fields, dissipative quan - • Marcello Dalmonte, CMSP Section tum chaos, open quantum systems, quantum many- • Mikhail Kiselev, CMSP Section body interactions, nonlinear dynamics, disordered • Antonello Scardicchio, CMSP Section systems, mesoscopic electron transport, nano-elec- • Matteo Marsili, QLS Section tromechanical systems. • Light-matter interaction in nanostructures Semiconductor microcavities, exciton polaritons, The scientific program of this Network encompasses quantum transport, open quantum systems, quan- three disciplines with a focus on Condensed Matter tum coherence, dissipative solitons, quantum dots, Physics. Our aims are to cross-fertilize research on exci- spins in mesostructures, polariton devices (signal ton–polariton condensates, superconducting networks, routers, THz sources and detectors, lasers). quantum dot networks, ultracold atomic gases, opti- • Strongly correlated electronic systems cal waveguide networks, topology, frustration, flatband Development of numerical algorithms to study physics, Fano resonant nanoscale devices, artificial gauge correlated electronic systems, correlation effects in fields, dissipative quantum chaos, many body locali - materials with strong spin–orbit coupling, computa- zation, quantum thermalization, quantum stochastic tional study of spectral properties in strongly corre- dynamics, targeted energy transfer, transport in nano lated systems, quantum embedding theories, dynam- structures, nonlinear nanophotonics, topological insula- ical mean field theory and impurity solvers. tors, and more. In particular, within Condensed Matter • Theoretical photonics: nonlinear optics, topo - Physics, we will focus on the following core topics of our logical phases, non-Hermitian systems, disorder and research during the following years: Anderson localization, flat bands, scattering, Floquet systems, photonic lattices, solitons, and quantum • Complex condensed matter systems optics. • Nonequilibrium quantum thermodynamics Nonequilibrium many-body dynamics, mac- Dissipative quantum systems, quantum and clas- roscopic degeneracies, flat bands, non-Hermitian sical thermodynamics, quantum thermodynamic physics, optical cavities, and machine learning, with machines, nonlinear dynamics and thermodynamic subtopics including exciton-polariton condensates, phase transitions, heat transport in molecular junc- ultracold atomic gases, photonic waveguide net- Fig. 3 Group photo of our Network School held at NIP UP-Diliman, Manila, Philippines, 4–8 November 2019 AAPPS Bulletin AAPPS Bulletin (2023) 33:13 Page 7 of 7 Declarations tions, open Floquet systems, symmetries and meta- stability in open systems, and Landau-Zener open Competing interests systems. The authors declare that they have no competing interests. • Quantum chaos in many-body systems Late-time quantum chaos and BGS conjecture, early-time quantum chaos and operator growth, quantum batteries, many-body localization, and quantum many-body scars. • Topological and correlated quantum matter References Topological and unconventional superconduc- 1. C.A.L. Lee, Physics Today 76(2), 32 (2023). https:// doi. org/ 10. 1063/ PT.3. tivity with strong spin–orbit coupling, Moire mate- 2. History of Taiping Hospital, https:// www. wikiw and. com/ en/ Taipi ng_ rials and twistronics, bosonic topological phases in Hospi tal# Histo ry . Accessed February 14, 2023 spin systems, nano-device applications of topological 3. A.A. Tajuddin, D.A. Bradley DA (eds.) Centennial of the X-ray. 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Wong, Physics Today 59, 5, 31 (2006); https:// doi. org/ 10. tions. 1063/1. 22169 59 Although financial support from Network funds 15. Jeannie Hsiu Ding Wong, Kwan Hoong Ng, Sivananthan Sarasanandara- jah, Physica Medica 66, 21-28 (2019). https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/j. ejmp. 2019. is limited to the members of the Network, all activi- 09. 079 ties of the Network are open to participants from all 16. Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, ICTP supported (OEA) countries and all APCTP https:// sdgs. un. org/ 2030a genda . Accessed 16 Feb 2023 Member Countries. Lecturers that can support their own participation are particularly welcome at our Publisher’s Note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in pub- Schools. (Fig. 3). lished maps and institutional affiliations. Authors’ contributions The author(s) read and approved the final manuscript.
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