A broad call for community input to the committee was issued in spring 2012 as a “Dear Colleague” letter, shortly after the committee’s second meeting. The announcement was sent by e-mail to the users of the National High Magnetic Field Facility (NHMFL) and colleagues of committee members, and appeared on the committee’s public Web page. The letter is excerpted below.
The National Research Council (NRC) has established a committee called the Committee to Assess the Current Status and Future Direction of High Magnetic Field Science in the United States (MagSci), which will produce a report on the current status and trends in the U.S. research community for high magnetic fields throughout science and technology, and guidance for the future of both the scientific disciplines that use high field magnets and the magnetic-technology development community in the United States. More information about the study can be found at http://sites.nationalacademies.org/BPA/BPA_067287. With this message, the MagSci committee invites you to send it any information or opinions you feel should be taken into account during its deliberations.
Specifically, how have high magnetic fields had an impact on your research? What scientific advances might your research lead to? How have you taken advantage of facilities at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) or other high-field magnet centers? Have you utilized international high magnet field facilities for your research? What new facilities or new capabilities would be most valuable to you? In what new areas of research are high magnetic fields likely to have a large impact? Are the challenges related to the current status of high magnetic field science impacting your research? Do you have any other comments? How does support for magnetic field research compare with support elsewhere?
By way of background, we note that when the NSF created the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) in 1990, the original drivers principally resided in physics and materials science. Since then, the instrumentation available through the NHMFL has become increasingly used by other disciplines, including biology, chemistry, and geology. The NHMFL also has found applications beyond basic science, serving many applied fields from medicine to the petroleum industry. Consequently, in 2011, the NSF commissioned the NRC to generate an assessment of the current status and future direction of both high magnetic field science and technology development in the United States.
The MagSci committee is distributing this message to as many members of the high magnetic field community as possible, using several different organizations, because it wants to be sure that all voices have been heard before it issues its report. We apologize if you have received multiple copies of this letter.
If you have information you want to transmit to the MagSci committee, please send it by e-mail to NRCMagSci2012@nas.edu. It would be helpful to have your comments by June 20, 2012. Please note that in accord with government regulations for federal advisory committees, all information submitted to the committee will be made available to the public. Thank you for your help.
Bertrand Halperin, Chair
Committee to Assess the Current Status and Future Direction of High Magnetic Field
Science in the United States
Written responses were received from the following individuals:
Michael S. Chapman
Jack H. Freed
William P. Halperin