Published: 19 November 2018

On October 6, ALICE Spokesperson Federico Antinori signed the IPPOG Memorandum of Understanding, making of ALICE an official member of this Collaboration dedicated to particle physics outreach.

ALICE Spokesperson signing the IPPOG MoU. From left to right: Despina Hatzifotiadou, Hans Peter Beck, Federico Antinori and Steven Goldfarb. [Credit: Claudia Marcelloni/ CERN]

During the last meeting of the International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG), held at CERN on 4-6 October 2018, ALICE signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and thus became officially member of the IPPOG Collaboration.

IPPOG is a network of scientists,science educators and communication specialists working across the globe in informal science education and outreach for particle physics. The flagship activity of IPPOG is the International MasterClasses in Particle Physics, held each year during a period of 6 weeks in more than 200 Institutes all over the world.

It was originally founded as EPPOG, European Particle Physics Outreach Group, in 1997 and then renamed "IPPOG" in 2010. It includes representatives from the 22 member states of CERN, from six additional countries (Brazil, Australia, Ireland, Slovenia, South Africa and the US), and from laboratories and experiments: DESY, CERN, five of the major experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the Belle II experiment at KEK's SuperKEKB accelerator in Japan.

In 2016, IPPOG became a Collaboration. As a consequence, the previous members were considered "candidates", with the faculty to become effective members of the Collaboration by signing a MoU and agreeing to contribute financially – in the case of countries –, or in kind – in the case of experimental collaborations.  One important "in-kind" contribution is the data and analysis tools provided for the masterclasses as well as the involvement of the collaboration members.

The MoU was signed by the ALICE Spokesperson, Federico Antinori, and the IPPOG chairs, Hans Peter Beck and Steven Goldfarb, on Saturday the 6thof October 2018. On the same, the MoU was also signed by the LHCb experiment, as well as by Austria and Denmark.  Currently, the IPPOG Collaboration comprises 21 countries, four experiments and one laboratory; two more signatures are in the process.