by In-Kwon Yoo (Conference Chair of ATHIC2012) Pusan National University . Published: 19 November 2012

The 4th Asian Triangle Heavy Ion Conference was held in Pusan, Korea, following the 1st ATHIC in Seoul, the 2nd one in Tsukuba, and the 3rd one in Wuhan. Though the 'triangle' initially originated from three Asian (Korea, China and Japan) has now been extended to include India as a member of the International Advisory Committee.

Heavy Ion Physics aims to study quark matter under extreme conditions, which can be achieved through the very energetic heavy ion collisions mostly in international huge accelerator facilities with hundreds of international collaborators. This kind of experimental as well as theoretical research is possible only through close networking with many experts over the world. We are thus about to explore the origin and the first stage of our universe, notwithstanding.

The poster of the 4th Asian Triangle Heavy Ion Conference held in Pusan, Korea

European and American scientists recognized the need for collaboration already half a century ago, and they founded CERN and many national laboratories. Actually such scientific networks have a long tradition in Asian countries, although they had a rather strong hierarchy. By founding huge scientific facilities in Asian countries and participating in such scale of science we came to recognize the importance of close networking, which delivers not only academic communications, but also technical/financial co-working with sharing know-how and its benefits. In this regard, the ATHIC is not just a conference, but also an outcome of real Asian scientific networking. This spirit has been progressing among Asian heavy ion physicists mainly educated abroad and having experience of such research environments; thus they initiated the Asian Triangle Heavy Ion Conference. It started with 74 participants from 6 countries at the 1st ATHIC in Seoul; more than 150 scientists from 8 countries took part in the 4th ATHIC held in Pusan.

The 4-day scientific program of 82 talks also included parallel sessions and student talks. New results from LHC and energy loss phenomena inside strongly interacting quark matter in relativistic heavy ion collisions were presented. They were enough to excite the auditorium and encourage us to further study the many variables in heavy ion collisions.

The participants enjoyed the warm hospitality of the Korean Local Organizing Committee. The International Advisory Committee members agreed to meet again in Osaka for ATHIC2014.