Journées Relativistes '96

Dieter Brill, Markus Heusler and George Lavrelashvili

1. University of Maryland,

2. ITP Zurich, Switzerland,

3. ITP Bern, Switzerland,

The Journées Relativistes were started in the 1950's as an annual meeting of French-speaking relativists and cosmologists. In recent years they acquired a more international flavor, visited various countries in Europe, and adopted English as their lingua franca. The general purpose of these meetings is to report on progress in general relativity and its applications, and to strengthen international scientific cooperation. The major issues of the 1996 conference included general relativity, new developments in cosmology (driven by recent observational results of the CMB and by gravitational lensing) numerical relativity, quantum cosmology and quantum gravity.

The local Organizing Committee of the XXVIth meeting consisted of Ruth Durrer (Geneva), Petr Hájícek (Bern), Philippe Jetzer (Zurich), George Lavrelashvili (Zurich), Mairi Sakellariadou (Geneva), and Norbert Straumann (Zurich), Chairman.

The meeting could not have taken place without the financial support of the ETH Zurich, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Dr. Tomalla Foundation, and the Hochschulstiftung of the University of Zurich.

The Journées Relativistes '96 were held May 25-30 at the Centro Stefano Franscini on Monte Verità in Ascona, Switzerland, a center for small conferences providing accommodations, lecture hall, discussion rooms, meals, and spectacular views of Lago Maggiore. The seventy-five participants came from fifteen countries, representing all major centers of research in Europe, as well as representatives from South Africa, Israel, Georgia, Russia, Mexico, Canada and USA. Extensive interaction between the participants was fostered by the scheduling, which included adequate discussion time, and the accommodations that allowed everyone to be in the same location; even during evening excursions into the village colleagues were not hard to find.

The main lectures were held by B. Carr (London), P. Chrusciel (Tours), T. Damour (Bures-sur-Yvette), S. Deser (Brandeis U), R. Durrer (Geneva), J. Fröhlich (Zurich), M. Heusler (Zurich), O. Lahav (Cambridge), A. Lasenby (Cambridge), V. Mukhanov (Zurich), G. Neugebauer (Jena), A. Rendall (Potsdam), C. Rovelli (Pittsburgh), P. Schneider (Garching), E. Seidel (Potsdam) and G. Veneziano (CERN). In addition, over forty shorter contributions were given in two parallel sessions. The lectures and contributions have been published in Helvetica Physica Acta, Vol. 69 (1996), Nos 3 & 4.

The Journées also included a visit to a nearby solar observatory, and one afternoon was reserved for an excursion and banquet. This involved a variety of activities hard to find in one place except in Switzerland: boat rides, a sub-tropical island, a hike in the mountains, and dining al fresco.

The XXVIth Journées continued the tradition of a very high scientific and cultural level, and we expect many further, interesting meetings to come in this series.

Jorge Pullin
Tue Feb 4 22:28:54 EST 1997