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CAMD instrumental in bringing international conference to Louisiana

Frequently a destination for the party seeking, historic New Orleans recently saw some of the greatest scientific minds of the generation descend upon the French Quarter — and not just for a stroll down Bourbon Street.

LSU student and New Orleans native Sarah Lisotta's design was chosen for the IPAC '12 conference. The artwork is intended to emphasize the art and culture of New Orleans.

The International Particle Accelerator Conference, or IPAC '12, was held at the Morial Convention Center in downtown New Orleans from May 20 – 25.

Originally, particle accelerator conferences were held across the globe, providing an opportunity for physicists to network and collaborate. In 2010, the first international particle accelerator conference was held in Japan, combining the previous regional accelerator conferences held in North America, Europe and Asia. IPAC '12 was the first conference held in the Americas.

"Undoubtedly IPAC '12 was an enormously successful conference, smoothly and efficiently organized and providing really excellent facilities for the delegates to present their work and hear the work of others," said Vic Suller, associate director of CAMD, LSU's Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices.

CAMD worked to secure the conference for New Orleans, and served as the primary group in organizing IPAC '12. 

"All previous accelerator conferences in the USA have been organized by major national labs with very large resources, it is a great feather in the cap of LSU that IPAC '12 was done so well by such a small facility as CAMD," said Suller.

The conference provided an opportunity for accelerator scientists, engineers, students and industrial vendors to meet and interact in a social environment, encouraging an exchange of information and ideas across the broad spectrum of accelerator science and technology.

There were many scientific efforts reported at IPAC '12, from dramatic performance figures at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, incredible short pulse X-ray laser outputs from Linac Coherent Light Source at Stanford and successful efforts in Japan to repair accelerators damaged by the powerful earthquake.

Director General of CERN, Rolf-Dieter Heuer gave the closing invited oral presentation on physics results at the Large Hadron Collider.

An estimated 1,160 participants attended the conference, with the majority coming from the United States, Germany and Switzerland.

Poster presentations are ever present at scientific conferences. They serve as a common method for communicating data and concepts using visuals and text. These presentations are an opportunity for researchers to present their work to an audience and networking similar projects. But organizers at CAMD wanted to introduce something new to the traditional conference.

A novel concept that was introduced at IPAC '12 is the Electronic Poster, or ePoster. An ePoster utilizes a large monitor and computer to display multimedia versions of a traditional poster. It gives an opportunity for a computer savvy presenter in the poster session to more effectively convey information that would not necessarily be possible with a traditional printed poster. It also enhances visualization to attract interest of attendees.

"I hope that the scientific community will remember IPAC '12 for its broad coverage of the vibrant activity throughout the accelerator world," said Suller.

IPAC'12 was sponsored by IEEE, or Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society, and the American Physical Society and was hosted by LSU through its synchrotron light facility CAMD.