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Report of the Commission on High Pressure for the year 2000

High-pressure crystallography continues to develop very rapidly through the influence of modern synchrotron and neutron sources, with new techniques and areas of science opening up every year. The Commission sees as its principal activity the organization of symposia and workshops to keep the crystallographic community in touch with the latest developments, and to create opportunities to extend the boundaries of the Commission activities and draw in new people from the wider field of high-pressure science.

The principal activity of this year was the organization of an international workshop focused on the topic of Crystallography at High Pressure and High Temperature Using X-rays and Neutrons. Nearly 80 high-pressure scientists from 13 countries gathered at the picturesque site of the third-generation synchrotron facility Spring-8 at Hyogo, Japan for the four days from September 30 to October 3, 2000. The workshop was jointly organized by the Commission, the SRRC Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI), and the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI). The local organizer was Commission member Osamu Shimomura. The major topics of the oral sessions included structures and transitions in molecular and elemental liquids; novel (and often complex) structures in simple systems – like lithium, oxygen and xenon; theoretical studies of liquid carbon, molecular hydrogen and alkali metals under pressure; a wide variety of geoplanetary science – mineral phases and equations of state, the Earth’s lower mantle and core, and planetary ices; high P-T synthesis of new materials like cubic boron carbonitride and 3D polymerization of C60; and high P-T experimental techniques using x-ray synchrotron and neutron sources. Altogether, there were 25 oral and 43 poster presentations. The participants included 13 young scientists supported jointly by the IUCr and JAERI, from Germany, India, Russia, Switzerland, USA, UK and Sweden. Three young scientists were invited speakers. Considerable assistance with the excellent local arrangements was given by JAERI and JASRI staff.

In addition, Commission members have been involved during this year in the early stages of preparing an international workshop covering the full range of activities to be held at Orsay, France, in September 2001 with Commission member Igor Goncharenko as the local organizer. A preliminary bid has been prepared and submitted for sessions at the 2002 Congress. Planning has also continued for a School on High Pressure Crystallography to be held at Erice, Italy, in 2003 with Commission member Andrzej Katrusiak as Director.

The Commission maintains a regularly updated mailing list and an active web site, including a list of forthcoming meetings of interest to high-pressure crystallographers and detailed reports on past meetings. The Commission is preparing a list of information on central facilities for high-pressure crystallography, and on how to access them. These services to the community depend on the much appreciated efforts of John Parise, John Loveday, and Martin Kunz.

R.J. Nelmes, Chair