Event for the launch of the Georges Charpak postage stamp | 26-27 February | Prévessin site

At the end of February, the French post office is releasing a new €0.70 stamp featuring an image of Georges Charpak. CERN is taking part in this event by hosting a temporary post office on the Prévessin site, which will sell the stamp with a special “first day” postmark before it goes on general sale.



Georges Charpak arrived at CERN in 1959 and, in the late 1960s, revolutionised particle detection technology by developing the multiwire proportional chamber. This technique brought particle detectors into the electronic era, setting physicists free from the laborious task of studying photographs one by one. In 1992, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention. Charpak chambers are still used today in the LHC detectors and have paved the way for the technology in numerous other modern detectors. In the 1990s, Charpak was involved in developing medical applications based on particle detection technology. He was also passionate about education and launched the La main à la pâte initiative in 1996, aiming to develop the teaching of science through investigation. The initiative has profoundly altered the way that science is taught in schools in France and has spawned similar schemes all over the world.

The temporary post office will be set up in the new Building 774, notable for its sustainable-development-inspired architecture that complies with the latest thermal insulation standards. As well as being able to buy stamps and related products, visitors will be given another opportunity to see the exhibition A philatelic history, which outlines the history of the relationship between CERN and its post office partners. They will also be able to watch clips of interviews with Georges Charpak, take a guided tour of the CERN Control Centre or stop for refreshments in the cafeteria.

Opening times of the temporary post office, exhibition and guided tours:

  • Friday, 26 February, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, 27 February, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Free admission to the exhibition, films and guided tours of the CERN Control Centre.