Iranian universities move forward to collaborate with the world’s largest lab in particle physics

On 22nd of November 2018, Isfahan University of Technology (IUT) hosted the event of “One day meeting on prospects for collaboration of Iranian universities with CERN”. In addition to scientists from different institutes and universities across the country, the head of the research deputy of the ministry of science and technology, Dr. Broumand and the director general of IUT, Dr. Modarres Hashemi, were also present.
The first part of the program was devoted to the review of the current status of Iran’s scientific relations with CERN, in the context of experimental particle physics and accelerators. Dr. Mohammadi, the head of School of Particles and Accelerators from Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM), reported on the outstanding performance of the institute over the past 20 years. As the initiator of the Iran-CERN collaboration, IPM has so far been the only Iranian institute contributing to the physics of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. The latest achievements by IPM, ranging from high-quality publications within the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment to the upgrade of the detector for future LHC collisions, were presented.
Aiming at an extended participation, Mr Martin Gastal (CERN) described different possibilities for new institutes to join the CMS experiment. Institutes with Full Membership are given the full benefit of being a member of a state-of-the art scientific community by taking part in technology development, computing, and physics analysis. Cooperating institutes envisage full membership by contributing to technical projects and few dedicated physics analyses, during maximum about 5 years.
The Phase II upgrade of the first endcap station of the CMS Muon system using Gas Electron Multiplier (GEM) detectors was presented by Dr Archana Sharma (CERN). This upgrade, targeting the second long shutdown (2019 -- 2020), is an international environment welcoming new contributors for the design and technology developments. In particular, the possibility of developing the electronic design of the readout boards was highlighted. The Muon system in the CMS detector is used to detect and identify particles named muons and has had a key role in the discovery of the Higgs boson.
Next the IUT potentials to join CMS were presented by Dr. Jafari, within the framework of a proposal, where motivations and the importance of the forthcoming collaboration were also discussed. Containing both physics and technical programs, the proposal is expected to bring additional synergy between scientific activities in the physics department and the department of electrical and computer engineering. Dr. Gholami from the department of electrical and computer engineering described the proposed project to design and build an electronic readout board for the GEM detector where he also highlighted the capability of laboratories in IUT to achieve this goal. The mid-term and long-term physics program of the LHC together with the IUT physics proposal were presented by Dr. Bakhshiansohi. He emphasized that the computing facilities of IUT is an essential part of this program, in view of analyzing the CMS data.
Following up the discussions by members of different universities about different aspects of extending the collaboration, Dr. Broumand summarized the meeting. It was mentioned that, given the successful background of the Iran-CERN collaboration, the extension of the program towards universities would clearly have added values for the future of education and research in the country. The formation of a consortium, from contributing institutes with a clear plan and timeline, was proposed. The ministry of science will have a supportive attitude towards this program and relies on the effort of the interested scientists to move forward.