Taipei City: Global experts gather in Taiwan for physics and computing forum

The International Conference on Computing in High Energy and Nuclear Physics (CHEP) opened in Taiwan today, the first time the meeting has been convened in the country since first held in 1985.

Some 500 physicists and computing professionals from 27 countries are attending the five-day conference at Academia Sinica, Taiwan's leading research institute. They are scheduled to present 465 papers covering seven major themes.

This year's conference comes at an important time in the world of physics. It is the first global forum to be held since the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) run by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) was launched again in March, said convener Simon Lin, an associate research fellow at Academia Sinica.

The LHC, a huge particle accelerator said to be able to recreate the moments following the Big Bang, is expected to challenge previous understandings of how the universe works.

Teams involved in four detector experiments using the collider -- ATLAS, CMS, ALICE and LHCb -- will present their latest data and explain their tools of analysis at this week's forum, Lin added.

Taiwan is one of the 34 countries participating in the operation of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) , a distributed computing and data storage infrastructure, according to CERN's website.

Speaking further on Taiwan's efforts in basic research and scientific development on the opening day of the conference, Vice President Vincent Siew said the government was committed to building Taiwan into an e-Science center in Asia and promoting scientific collaboration in the Asia-Pacific region.

He said applied science development was not possible without a solid foundation in basic science, which is why Taiwan has increased its funding for scientific research at local universities and research institutes to 2.8 percent of gross domestic product in recent years, close to the 3 percent seen in developed countries.