Senior officials from Flinders and Italy’s University of Trento today agreed to extend their successful research collaboration into the sub-atomic world of antimatter.
Flinders Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International), Professor Dean Forbes and University of Trento Vice Rector, Professor C Locatelli signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will extend a 2007 agreement to facilitate the universities’ joint work on positron-molecule scattering until the end of 2011.
The State Government’s Special Envoy for Higher Education and Trade (Europe), Dr Nicola Sasanelli was present at the signing.
Professor Forbes said the relationship with the University of Trento was an example of how progress on some of science’s “big questions” could be better achieved through international collaboration.
“Since the original MoU, there have been 13 publications from this collaboration that have made a major contribution to our understanding of the behaviour of positrons, or positively-charged electrons,” Professor Forbes said.
“We often take the worldwide benefits of positrons for granted, such as in life-saving PET scans. But there is still so much that we don’t know about antimatter and the Flinders-Trento collaboration is filling in some of those gaps,” he said.
The research is led by Professor Michael Brunger of the Flinders University node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Antimatter-matter Studies, and Professor Antonio Zecca from the University of Trento’s Faculty of Science.