Subnuclear physics is the branch of scientific research in which phenomena connected with the detailed structure of the ultimate constituents of matter are studied. It is through these studies that man tries to challenge nature by discovering its fundamental laws. This knowledge is the indispensable origin of all technological development and forms the basis of all modern scientific thought.
The school aims, each year, to help specialists who are actively engaged in the most advanced research to become up to date on the most significant theoretical and experimental developments. Though applicants are selected as students primarily based on their scientific qualifications, geographical allowances are made to permit every country at least one participant. One of the aims of the school is to encourage and promote young physicists to achieve recognition at an international level. There will be poster sessions whereby each student has the privilege of presenting the results of current studies and interacting with other participants to their mutual benefit. Each student may also propose a contribution for open presentation.
The Board of Lecturers and Invited Scientists will select the best proposals. Priority will be given to new material of either an experimental or theoretical nature, especially if the candidate has made an important contribution to the results to be presented. A review paper has lower priority and, as before, will only be selected if the candidate can point out some new features in the field reviewed. Due to the large number of students and the limited time available, it is obvious that only selected ‘New Talents’ can be given the possibility of making themselves known. The selection will be based solely on ‘scientific excellence’, without favour to geographical distribution, the laboratory, or the university of origin. A group of distinguished physicists has been invited to contribute to the lively intellectual atmosphere of the school by participating in the discussions following the Lectures. Moreover, they will take part in the selection of the ‘New Talents’, in the choice of the Best Student and in the award of the various diplomas open for competition.
The reconstruction of the first six decades of subnuclear physics has a strong link with the “Ettore Majorana” School of Subnuclear Physics at Erice, a small town on the top of a mountain founded – according to the myth – by the son of Venus. Here, every year since 1963, the development of subnuclear physics has been recorded and the hottest topics of the moment were registered as faithfully as possible in the discussion sessions of the Erice School. At this School, I have attempted to have as Lecturers the most active and authoritative members of the subnuclear physics community. Their ingenuity, their wisdom, their rigorous attempts to understand the constituents and the fundamental forces of nature are reported in the volumes of the Subnuclear Physics Series. The original ideas which have flourished during the past 60 years were the focus of an intense intellectual activity, both for theorists and for experimentalists, who have contributed to the lectures and to the discussion sessions of the Erice Subnuclear Physics School.