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N° 000156/RDA/J06/BAPP du 08 février 2007
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SCIENTIFIC REPORT
2nd International Conference
on
LOW COST HIGH PHYSICS AND APPROPRIATE SOLUTIONS TO REAL LIFE PROBLEMS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

5 9 December 2011 Yaoundé , Cameroon

Organised by

Cameroon Physical Society

With the support of

The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics

European Physical Society/IGPD

University of Yaounde I Faculty of Sciences

1. Description

The Cameroon Physical Society launched in 2009 a series of bi-annual conferences on the general topic: “Low Cost High Physics and Appropriate Solutions to Real life Problems in Developing countries”. The conferences are the place for the presentation of scientific achievements in physics that fulfil at least two of the following criteria:
- Research topics that can be covered entirely (theory, experiment and hints for application) with low funding,
- High level scientific research topics that have been published or are publishable in good international journals,
- Research topics that have impact on the technological, economic and social development in developing countries.
By so doing, the Cameroon Physical Society wants to find a solution on the big threat to the development of physics activities in Cameroon and other developing countries where there is a lack of public and decision-makers awareness on the benefits that come from research in physics, but also help physicists to do complete research (theory, experiment and applications) in their home countries instead of been forced to brain-drain.
The first conference of the series took place from 8 to 10 December 2009 and two days training on specialized topics (6 and 11 December) with 64 participants coming from Europe, Latin America and Africa and covered many physics disciplines with following main topics: Applied Nonlinear Dynamics, Renewable energies, biological physics and Methods for research and research motivations.

The 2011 edition took place from 5 to 9 December 2011 at the Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon. The main fields for the 2011 conference were the following main topics:
a- Semiconductor lasers and Photonics materials with the following subtopics: semiconductor lasers and optics devices, appropriate instrumentation for optical spectroscopy and solutions to developmental issues, dynamics of semiconductor lasers, electro-optics and applications, electronic models for semiconductor lasers, construction of lasers and applications, optomechanical devices, interaction laser-metals),
b- Biological and medical physics: bio-engineering (artificial ventricle and artificial arterial prosthesis), development of appropriate filters for safe drinking water, malaria dynamical models and ecology, medical image analysis and encoding),
c- Complex dynamics and applications: modelling of collective social dynamics, ecosystems dynamics, modelling of coloured patterns of the skin of animals, chaotic and ractchet dynamics, control of vibration, dynamics of electromechanical devices,
d- Innovative approach for appropriate low cost equipment: physics for development in a world in crisis, appropriate devices for multispectral imaging,
e- Innovative solutions to some real-life problems (mainly during the poster session): intelligent charge controller of accumulators in renewable energy power stations, remote control alarm to secure public building, free operator security remote controller for goe-localisation of vehicles, chaotic sieves, safety time in wooden beams building in case of fire, electromechanical door lockers with codes, FM radio emitter, electronic model of African musical instruments, emitter-receiver system based on free space optical communication,
f- Presentation of the activities of the OSA University of Yaoundé I-student chapter,
g- Special trainings were also given on December 5 and 9 (see here after).

2. Funding
 
The direct funding of the workshop has come from:
- International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy,
- International Group of Physics for Development at the European Physical Society;
- Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé I,
- Cameroon Physical Society (CPS).
Besides those institutions, the following universities also supported the participation of their members to the conference:
- University of Palma de Mallorca, Instituto de Fisica Interdisciplinar y sistemas complejos (IFISC) UIB-CSIC, Mallorca, Spain from where came four (4) participants,
- Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil from where came four (4) participants,
- Université de Franche-Comté, Besançon, France from where came two (2) participants,
- Ecole de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal, Québec, Canada from where came one (1) participant,
- Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgique, from where came one (1) participant,
- Free University, Berlin, Germany, from where came one (1) participant,
- CEA Iramis, France, from where came one (1) participant.
The support of African participants (6) (2 participants from Nigeria, 2 from Central African Republic, 1 from Congo-Brazzaville and 1 from Ivory Coast) was provided by ICTP.

3. Organizers:

 
The organizing committee was constituted with the following people:
Chair: Professor Paul Woafo, President of CPS,
Section coordinators: Professor Alain Tiedeu (Head, division of international relations at CPS), Dr. Robert Tchitnga (Head, division of Physics Education at CPS), Dr. Serge Zekeng (Head, division of scientific meetings at CPS) and Dr. Blaise Roméo Nana Nbendjo (member of CPS).
This group was supported by all the Executive Bureau of CPS as well as the group of honorary members of CPS and the Advisory committee constituted of
- Annick Suzor-Weiner, Université Paris-Sud, Paris, France.
- François Piuzzi, CEA Iramis, France,
- Ludger Woeste, Free University, Berlin, Germany,
- Stefano Ruffo, University of Florence, Italy,
- Yanne Chembo Kouomou,Institut FEMTO-ST-CNRS, Besaçon, France,
- Jean Chabi Orou, Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Bénin.

4. Attendance
 
Initially organized for 50 participants, many people expressed their wish to take part to the conference. Finally more than 65 people attend the conference (see the list of participants below). This is an increase of number for foreign participants as well as for Cameroonians participants. Indeed the 2011 conference received 14 extra-africans participants while the 2009 had only 4 extra-africans. The extra-africans came from Spain (4), Brazil (4), France (3), Belgium (1), Germany (1) and Canada (1). The African participants came from Nigeria (2), Central African Republic (2), Congo-Brazzaville (1) and Ivory Coast (1).

5. Opening ceremony:

The opening ceremony was covered by the President of the Cameroon Academy of Sciences and the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences.


6. Presentations
 
29 oral presentations were given on topics from diverse fields as described here before by some world renown specialists in the field of semiconductor lasers, physics for development, applied complex systems dynamics, medical image analysis, etc.. Special emphasis has been put on the poster session since young participants had many ideas to share. That is why 19 posters were presented and six (6) prizes were attributed (3 in the fundamental and applied physics and 3 in appropriate solutions to real-life problems encountered in Cameroon). The recipients of the poster prizes are the following:
A

Fundamental and applied physics:

1st prize: A. Mboussi Nkomidio, University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon. Topic: Effects of demylelination and electromagnetic waves on the generation and propagation of front waves in nervous fibres,
2nd prize: A. Nanha, University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon. Topic: Experimental control of beam and plaques vibration,
3th Prize: C. Goune, University of Dschang, Cameroon. Topic: Two levels masking of optical telecommunication using VCSELS,
B Appropriate solutions to real-life problems encountered in Cameroon
1st prize: A.E. Tchahou Tchendjeu, University of Dschang, Cameroon. Topic: A seven language electronic calendar for the revival of the Cameroon culture,
2nd prize: A.R. Tchamda, University of Dschang, Cameroon. Topic: Free operator security remote controller for geo-localization of vehicles,
3th Prize: A. Notue, University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon. Topic: Realization of an electromechanical door locker with code.
All the presentations were followed by a series of interesting questions, indicating the quest of understanding from all the participants.

7. Participation of students:

Thanks to the encouragement from the International Group of Physics for Development of the European Physical Society (IGP/EPS), support has been given to young participants so that a large number of presentations (oral or poster came from them).

8. Special trainings:
 

The following special trainings were given to students on December 4, 5 and 9:
- Fascination Laser:A most wonderful instrument to check and control Molecules, Clusters and even the Atmosphere, training given by Professor Ludger Wöste (Free University of Berlin) on December 4 to PhD students (Robert Tchitnga research group) at the Faculty of Science, University of Dschang, Cameroon.
- Training on multispectral imaging and applications , training given by Mikkel B. Sorensen, (Division of Atomic Physics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden) on December 5 to PhD students and young physicists (Woafo Paul research group) at the Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
- Delay coupled systems: from lasers to neurons, training given by Professor Claudio Mirasso (University of Palma de Mallorca, Instituto de Fisica Interdisciplinar y sistemas complejos (IFISC) UIB-CSIC, Mallorca, Spain) on December 5 to PhD students and young physicists (Woafo Paul research group) at the Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
- Modelling of ecological systems, training given by Professor Roberto André Kraenkel (Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil) to PhD students and young physicists (Woafo Paul research group) at the Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
- The digital imaging and communications in medicine, training given by Professor Rita Noumeir (Ecole de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal, Québec, Canada) on December 5 to PhD students and young physicists (Alain Tiedeu research group) at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Polytechnique, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Development of skills for designing low cost equipment by Professor François Piuzzi (IGPD (EPS) et CEA Iramis, France) on December 9 to PhD students and young physicists (Woafo Paul research group) at the Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon. :


9. Outcomes of the conferenced

The participants have acquired the following in the topics of the conference:

•  knowledge on how to use creativity to devise equipments for high level research and teaching from appliances of out-of- order devices such as computers, scanners, cameras, mobile phones; a practical training was given to some of the participants.

•  Information on various problems where the physicists' expertises have been and can be used to solve real-life problems using high level physics and low cost equipment,

•  Up-to-date information on the fundamental and applied research activities in the topics of the conference.

Besides, various links and networks have been established.

•  The reinforcement of scientific collaboration between Congo and Cameroon in the field of semiconductor lasers dynamics and applications.

•  The reinforcement of the multidisciplinary collaboration between African and Brazilian physicists and a programme of visits to Brazil adopted,

•  The reinforcement of scientific collaboration between the Mallorca group and that of Cameroon ,

•  Adoption of the principle of co-supervision of PhD thesis between some scientists from abroad and those working in Cameroon ,

•  The reinforcement of collaboration between various scientists coming from different African countries,

•  The discussion on how the Cameroonian Physicits could join the African network of medical imaging in which Professor Gérémie Zoueu of Ivory Coast (one of the participant to the conference) and Mikel B. Sorensen of Sweden are already engaged,

•  The discussion has also been engaged between Professor Rita Noumeir and African scientists on issues that could lead to research collaboration between their research groups,

•  Contacts have led to analysis of the possibility for a Belgian student to come in Cameroon for scientific interactions in the field of water filters,

•  Special discussions have been made on the idea of the European Physical Society to create a prize for appropriate and low cost instrumentation,

•  An important point also put forward was on the issue of inviting scientific organizations such as the Abdus Salam ICTP, European Physical Society, American Physical Society, etc. To support the organization of a series of meetings (conferences, workshops or school) on Physics for Development,

•  Because of the fact that efforts are done by the students to bring appropriate solutions to real life problems (see for instance the results presented during the poster session) and also the fact that all those students (in Cameroon) do their studies without a scholarship, the necessity of creating start-up enterprises has been discussed with the aim that the students will design and sell their devices or the ideas of their devices in order to fund their research studies.

This second edition of the conference has reinforced existing collaboration and opened new collaborations. Its impacts on research, links and networks initiated during the conference indicate the strong need of such conferences in Africa where more than 90% of physics activities are theoretical and with no links to local developmental goals. The number of participants (coming from three continents), the number of presentations by young physicists and the discussions after each presentation are encouraging indicators.

The follow-up activities have been identified as being:

•  organize in 2010 of a national conference on the same topic in order to reinforce the aptitudes of Physicists on the devise of low cost equipment, definition of high level physics topics that have links with developmental goals;

•  Initiate and maintain contacts with individuals and groups around the world working with the same philosophy,

•  Prepare the next international conference of the series in 2013.