CERN Accelerating science




The LHC… er, what is it exactly?

"Hmmm, I’m not sure… and I’ve even been to see it!" That’s a common response if you ask people in Meyrin to say what CERN or the LHC is. The Bulletin, along with CERN’s video service, conducted its own impromptu survey, with some surprising results. >>

Science and Society in harmony

Yesterday I spoke at a conference hosted by an organization called Melody for Dialogue, and it struck me that this organization has much in common with a movement that contributed to CERN’s foundation 55 years ago. >>

The back-story on FlashForward

Micro black holes that consume the world, strangelets that trigger a runaway reaction, and even an antimatter bomb to blow up the Vatican. If you thought you’d heard all the possible ways the LHC might cause cataclysmic disaster, think again: how about shifting the entire consciousness of humanity 21 years into the future? This is the plot of science-fiction author Robert Sawyer’s novel FlashForward, which is currently being transformed into a big-budget TV series. The Bulletin caught up with the author to find out more. >>

An interesting idea, but….

The idea of causing the consciousness of the entire human race to jump into the future for about two minutes is an amusing one. However, in this case, imagination has nothing to do with what can really happen in our world and, in particular, nothing that can ever be caused by the LHC operation. John Ellis, from the Theory group, explains why. >>

The Latest from the LHC: Towards the big chill

With 6 sectors out of 8 at nominal cryogenic temperature (1.9 K= about -271 °C), the commissioning at the LHC is progressing well. According to the present schedule, the whole machine will be cold in about two weeks. >>

The Latest from ATLAS

Since November 2008, ATLAS has undertaken detailed maintenance, consolidation and repair work on the detector (see Bulletin of 20 July 2009). >>

The Latest from CMS

CMS is on track to be ready for physics one month in advance of the LHC restart. The final installations are being completed and tests are being run to ensure that the experiment is as well prepared as possible to exploit sustained LHC operation throughout 2010. >>

The Latest from ALICE

After intensive installation operations from October 2008 until July 2009 (see Bulletin 31/7/2009), ALICE started a full-detector cosmics run in August, which is scheduled to last until the end of October. >>

The Latest from LHCb

This month the LHCb Collaboration has observed the first Cherenkov rings from the RICH1 detector. These rings were emitted by cosmic particles passing through the detector. >>

Notes from the LHC

The best-selling American author of ‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’, Bill Bryson, visited CERN on 14 September. When asked whether, after this visit, he would rewrite the chapter about CERN, he replied: "Oh yes, absolutely"! >>

A pop-up voyage to the heart of matter

How do you make a pop-up Big Bang? Well it seems that many of you out there have an opinion on this somewhat esoteric question. When Emma Sanders, co-author of ATLAS’ new pop-up book carried out an informal survey amongst physicists, the question provoked some strong reactions. >>

Stephen Hawking returns to CERN

Stephen Hawking visiting the CERN Control Centre.If you happened to pass through Building 4 during the first weeks of September, you might have noticed the name of Stephen Hawking on one of the doors on the second floor, which hosts most of CERN theorists’ offices. >>

CERN pays tribute to Herwig and Ingeborg Schopper

On 15 September CERN hosted a tribute to commemorate Herwig Schopper’s 85th birthday. The symposium was also dedicated to Schopper’s wife Ingeborg, who passed away on 14 September, and CERN’s Director-General Rolf Heuer led the audience in observing a minute of silence in her honour. >>

Inauguration of the Kjell Johnsen Auditorium

On Wednesday 23 September, the Kjell Johnsen Auditorium was inaugurated in Building 30. Named after the leader of the construction team of the Intersecting Storage Rings (ISR) - the first proton collider in the world - this 200 square-metre auditorium can seat 200 people. >>

Literature in Focus - Meet the author Denis Guedj

Author of some fifteen works, mostly novels, Denis Guedj comforts us in our belief that science and literature, far from being poles apart, can combine to make the most wonderful TRUE stories. >>

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