From the CERN web: WEF, ALPHA, CAST and more

This section highlights articles, blog posts and press releases published in the CERN web environment over the past weeks. This way, you won’t miss a thing...


Anne Richards, Chair of the CERN & Society Foundation (left) chairs a meeting on diversity at Davos with CERN Director General, Fabiola Gianotti (centre), and Clare Matterson, Director of Strategy at the Wellcome Trust. (Image: Giovanni Porcellana/CERN)

Director General attends WEF annual meeting in Davos
28 January – by James Gillies

As head of a major intergovernmental organisation, CERN’s Director General has a standing invitation to attend the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting of leaders in politics, business and other walks of life at the Swiss mountain resort of Davos, and it’s an invitation that Fabiola Gianotti accepted this year. The theme for this year’s meeting was ‘mastering the fourth industrial revolution’, expected to be characterised by the rise of new technologies such as robotics and 3D printing.

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In a new paper published in the journal Nature, the ALPHA experiment at CERN's Antiproton Decelerator (AD) reported the most accurate measurement yet of the electric charge of antihydrogen atoms.

ALPHA experiment shows antihydrogen charge is neutral
21 January – by Harriet Jarlett

In a paper published in the journal Nature, researchers at CERN’s ALPHA experiment have shown – to the most accurate degree yet – that particles of antihydrogen have a neutral electrical charge.

According to the Standard Model, which explains how the basic building blocks of matter interact, all antimatter – such as antihydrogen – should have the exact opposite charge to its matter counterpart. For example, in a hydrogen atom, a negatively charged electron combines with a positively charged proton to give a net charge of zero. In contrast, an antihydrogen atom should have a positively charged positron combining with a negatively charged antiproton to give a net charge of zero. The Standard Model also says that during the Big Bang equal amounts of antimatter and matter were created. But today this isn’t the case, there is much less antimatter in the universe than matter.

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 Giovanni Cantatore and Marin Karuza in front of the CAST magnet, holding the heart of the KWISP force sensor: nanomembranes to detect the direct coupling of exotic particles to matter. 
(Image credit: Luca Nagel/CAST)

CAST: enlightening the dark
15 January – CERN Courier

After sixteen years searching for solar axions, CAST is attracting new collaborators and widening its scientific programme.

Our star has been the target of human investigation since the beginning of science. However, a plethora of observations are not yet understood. A good example is the unnaturally hot solar corona, the temperature of which spans 1–10 MK. This anomaly has been studied since 1939 but, in spite of a tremendous number of observations, no real progress in understanding its origin has been made.

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Event display of a top–antitop event with 200 pile-up events in the ATLAS Phase-II tracker. (Image credit: ATLAS)

ATLAS and CMS upgrade proceeds to the next stage
15 January – CERN Courier

The High-Luminosity LHC project will bring unprecedented collision rates to the experiments, but with some technical challenges.

At the end of the third operational period in 2023, the LHC will have delivered 300 fb–1, and the final focusing magnets, installed at the collision points at each of four interaction regions in the LHC, will need to be replaced. By redesigning these magnets and improving the beam optics, the luminosity can be greatly increased. The High Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) project aims to deliver 10 times the original design integrated luminosity (number of collisions) of the LHC. 

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