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BaBar International Finance Committee Visits "France-West"

(Photo - IFC) BaBar is an international collaboration, and the operating costs of the experiment are shared among the partners of the collaboration. Twice each year there is a meeting of representatives of the larger financial contributors, called the International Finance Committee (IFC). At these meetings the progress of BaBar is discussed, along with the financial needs of the experiment.

The most recent meeting was June 26th and 27th at a small but extreme western region of France: Washington D.C.'s French Embassy. The Embassy very generously offered to host the meeting at the request of Gerard Bonneaud, a member of BaBar who worked two years as the Scientific Counselor of the Embassy.

On the evening of June 26th, the IFC was invited to a dinner at Ambassador Jean-David Levitte's residence. Ambassador Levitte gave a very eloquent speech welcoming the IFC as well as Raymond Orbach, Robin Staffin and John Kogut of the Department of Energy. The Ambassador referred to the central work of BaBar—trying to understand the difference between matter and anti-matter—and said, "For those of us who are not physicists, we may never understand this! To paraphrase the great French writer Albert Camus at the end of his work The Myth of Sisyphus, what we do feel, however, is that something important is at play here, at the very heart of man’s extraordinary intellectual adventure, in his attempt to understand the universe in which we live. We feel that the adventure evoked by BaBar, which has come to live at SLAC, close to the San Andreas Fault on the Pacific coast, exemplifies the very adventure for which man lives, giving meaning to his existence."

The meeting went very well, thanks to the organizational work by the Embassy staff as well as the BaBar members who made presentations to the IFC. All the members of the IFC expressed their sincere appreciation for the hospitality extended to them during their stay.

—Harvey Lynch
    SLAC Today, July 18, 2006

Above image: IFC members, from left to right: David MacFarlane, SLAC; Domenec Espriu, Spain; Nando Ferroni, Italy; Norman McCubbin, UK; Persis Drell, SLAC; Umberto Doselli, Italy; Michael Roney, Canada; Irene Reinhard, Germany; Bruno Mansoulie, France; and Francois Le Diberdier, France. (Image courtesy of Cecilia Cestellini.)