A lesson in history and optimism

François de Rose, one of CERN’s founding fathers, has kept his promise. At the celebration to mark his hundredth birthday held at the Laboratory in 2010, he announced that he would come back when the Higgs boson had been discovered.


François de Rose in the ATLAS cavern.

Now approaching his 103rd birthday, the former French ambassador and CERN President of Council came back to CERN and visited the ATLAS experiment and the Computer Centre. Expressing pride in the Organization as a “great European achievement” which “has surpassed the hopes of its founding fathers”, François de Rose received from the Director-General two framed images of Higgs candidate events, one from ATLAS and the other from CMS. He ended his visit in the CERN cafeteria, observing mischievously: “This is the most important place in the Laboratory “. François de Rose promised to come back for the next discovery. ”But you had better be quick about it”, he joked, “I won't be here forever.”

by Corinne Pralavorio