CERN honours Carlo Rubbia

Carlo Rubbia turned 75 on March 31, and CERN held a symposium to mark his birthday and pay tribute to his impressive contribution to both CERN and science.

Carlo Rubbia, 4th from right, together with the speakers at the symposium.

On 7 April CERN hosted a celebration marking Carlo Rubbia’s 75th birthday and 25 years since he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. "Today we will celebrate 100 years of Carlo Rubbia" joked CERN’s Director-General, Rolf Heuer in his opening speech, "75 years of his age and 25 years of the Nobel Prize." Rubbia received the Nobel Prize along with Simon van der Meer for contributions to the discovery of the W and Z bosons, carriers of the weak interaction.

During the symposium, which was held in the Main Auditorium, several eminent speakers gave lectures on areas of science to which Carlo Rubbia made decisive contributions. Among those who spoke were Michel Spiro, Director of the French National Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics (IN2P3) of the CNRS, Lyn Evans, sLHC Project Leader, and Alan Astbury of the TRIUMF Laboratory. Former CERN Director-General Herwig Schopper lectured about CERN’s accelerators from LEP to the LHC. Giovanni Bignami, former President of the Italian Space Agency and Professor at the IUSS School for Advanced Studies in Pavia spoke about his work with Carlo Rubbia.

Then Hans Joachim Schellnhuber of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research and Sven Kullander, from the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, both spoke on an issue to which Rubbia has dedicated himself in recent years - renewable energy. While president of the Italian alternative energy agency ENEA (between 1999 and 2005), Rubbia developed a novel method for concentrating solar power at high temperatures for energy production, known as the Archimedes Project, which is presently being developed by industry for commercial use.

Watch the full webcast of the event.