This Pan-American Advanced Studies Institutes (PASI) award, jointly supported by the NSF and the Department of Energy (DOE), will take place during October 8-19, 2012 in Ushuaia, Argentina. Organized by Dr. Ricardo S. Decca of the Department of Physics at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, the institute will focus on the science of fluctuation-induced interactions, also known as Casimir Physics. The science of Casimir interactions is a fast evolving interdisciplinary field of research with topics ranging from quantum physics, condensed-matter, and nanotechnology, all the way to chemistry and biology. Casimir interactions arise from the molding that material boundaries impose on quantum or classical fluctuations of the intervening media. The latest advances and innovations in analytical techniques, numerical algorithms, and experimental measurement techniques will be discussed at the PASI. Topics will include Casimir theory and experiments, quantum friction, quantum plasmonics, and atom-surface Casimir interactions.

The long-term objectives of this PASI are to a) foster collaboration between institutions and researchers in the Americas, b) facilitate student mobility between participating institutions, and c) promote cross-fertilization between disciplines represented at the Institute. In addition to the series of lectures, the institute will include a poster session for the presentation of research results from junior participants, in order to foster content-specific interactions. This exchange will include senior scientists and junior researchers from the entire continent, and should plant the seed for future collaborative research for the next generation. The PASI will develop a webpage that will advertise the meeting and feature recruitment and selection procedures, meeting objectives and topics, and links to related activities, which will be posted prior to the meeting. After the conclusion of the PASI, the webpage will serve as a repository of links to lecture and talk notes, publications, seminars, and collaborative research arising from the PASI.

Project Report

The Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute was held in Ushuaia, Argentina, from October 6 to October 17, 2011. It consisted on a School, with lectures given by experts in the topic. Each lecturer presented three one hour long talks. The talks were interactive and students were encouraged to ask questions. The twelve lecturers were separated into two groups of six. Each group presented their lectures over a three day span. In the middle of the lectures a workshop (with talks by researchers, a poster session by participants and social activities (banquet, excursions) was held. All the activities and all participants/lecturers/presenters were at the same venue, which greatly increased the interactions. Many new scientific collaborations where started at the PASI. A special session of the March Meeting of the American Physical Society was organized during the Institute. The complete program, with a copy of the slides in the presentations and copies of the posters can be found at"frontiers-casimir-physics". Participants included young investigators from the US, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. Other participants from Europe and Israel were accepted (and supported by funds from the European Science Foundation and other non-NSF funds). Lecturers and workshop presenters also showed a large geographical spread, with speakers from the Americas, Europe and Asia.

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Indiana University
United States
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