The Mössbauer effect, discovered by Rudolf Mössbauer in early 1958 in Zeitschrift für Physik, is the nuclear resonant emission and absorption of gamma rays. He was awarded by the Nobel Prize in 1961 due to the importance of his discovering. The Mössbauer effect has been extensively applied to solid-state physics, materials science, geophysics, geology and a wide range of disciplines, where more than 60,000 papers were published using the Mössbauer technique.
In Latin American, Mössbauer Spectroscopy initiated around 1960 at the Brazilian Center of Research in Physics (CBPF - Rio de Janeiro) by Prof. Jacques Danon. At the beginning of Mössbauer spectroscopy in Latin America, there was some collaboration among a few Latin American research groups, such as that of Prof. Jacques Danon with Profs. Augusto Moreno y Moreno, Carlos Abeledo and Albert Fech in Mexico. At that time, Prof. Danon had published the first lectures on the Mössbauer effect, which were written in Spanish during the Escuela Latino Americana de Física, held in Mexico in 1968.
In 1985, Prof. Elisa Baggio-Saitovitch, former Jacques Danon Ph.D. student, searched for scientific collaborations among researchers in Latin America. In the Brazilian national meeting on Mössbauer effect, it was suggested that a Latin American meeting should be created. It was then accepted by the Brazilian community and Prof. Jacques Danon was appointed the first chairperson.
Considering that it was very difficult to contact all the people from different countries, Prof. Danon was essential, since he knew practically everybody working in this specific field throughout the world. No e-mails, social networks and, even no easy phone connections were available. The best communication was by telegram or by fax. In 1988, the economic situation in Brazil was favorable, since the Ministry of Science and Technology had been just established and financial support was obtained from several Brazilian agencies and foundations. The 1st Latin American Conference on the Applications of the Mössbauer Effect (LACAME) was held in Rio de Janeiro in November 1988. The LACAME´88 had 129 participants, where most of the people from Latin American countries, working in that field, came to Rio. About 10 non-Latin American scientists, specialists in different fields, were invited and contributed to the success of the LACAME´88. The supported agencies were CBPF, CNPq, CNEN, FINEP, CAPES and CLAF and the total budget reached US$ 50,000.00.
The 2nd LACAME was held in Cuba in 1990, with the informal participation of “Commandante” Fidel Castro at the conference dinner. Other countries that have organized the LACAME were: Argentina (Buenos Aires, 1992), Chile (Santiago, 1994), Peru (Cuzco, 1996), Colombia (Cartagena de las Indias, 1998), Venezuela (Caracas, 2000), Panama (Panama City, 2002), Mexico (Mexico City, 2004), Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, 2006), Argentina (La Plata, 2008), Peru (Lima, 2010), Colombia (Medellin, 2012), Mexico (Toluca, 2014), Panama (Panama City, 2016) and Chile (Santiago, 2018). The results of these meetings have shown to be excellent opportunities to improve scientific collaborations among research groups in Latin American, where an increasing number of graduate exchange students, visiting professors, pos-docs and, of course, improving infrastructures.
Despite the difficulty in organizing an international conference in Latin American, the LACAME conferences have shown to be very dynamic, with valuable discussions and scientific exchanges. We hope that LACAME'20 would bring important and stimulating new contributions to the field and future meetings should be decided.
As shown, LACAME conferences are organized in Latin America every two years, and they have been successful in organizing and reinforcing collaborations among the Mössbauer community in Latin America. Except for LACAME´94, all Proceedings have been published in Hyperfine Interactions.
Rudolf Ludwig Mössbauer
Jacques Abulafai Danon