From the CERN web: gravitational waves, magic numbers, innovation 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...


Simulation of two massive black holes merging, based on data collected from the LIGO collaboration on 14 September 2015. (Image: LIGO Collaboration © 2016 SXS)

The hills are alive, with the sound of gravitational waves
12 February – ATLAS Collaboration

It’s 16:00 CET at CERN and I’m sitting in the CERN Main Auditorium. The room is buzzing with excitement, not unlike the day in 2012 when the Higgs discovery was announced in this very room. But today the announcement is not from CERN, but the LIGO experiment which is spread across two continents. Many expect the announcement to be about a discovery of gravitational waves, as predicted by Einstein in 1916, but which have remained elusive until today…

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The laser launch stations at COLLAPS at the ISOLDE facility, where the new discovery was made. (Image: Samuel Morier-Genoud/CERN)

Has the magic gone from Calcium-52?
9 February – by Harriet Jarlett and James Gillies

For the first time scientists have measured the radius of a calcium nucleus with 32 neutrons – indicating that nuclear physics theories don’t describe atomic nuclei as well as previously thought.

The study, conducted by CERN scientists at the ISOLDE facility and published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Physics, aimed to understand whether calcium has more than two magic numbers.

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Students and researchers get to work at CERN's IdeaSquare facility as the Innovation for Change project begins. (Image: Joona Kurikka/CERN)

Innovation for Change project starts at CERN
2 February

The Innovation for Change project started on 1 February at CERN. The project involves 50 students and researchers, with scientific and engineering backgrounds, who will be working for the next five months in Geneva and Turin. Split into several groups, but with a common goal: to apply the most advanced technology to societal challenges, such as how to achieve a better use of water resources in towns and farming, how to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions or how to increase power generation’s efficiency.

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 The final CESSAMag components left CERN for Jordan. The picture shows a SESAME dipole, supplied as part of the project, being moved to a test bench in February last year.

Last main ring components leave CERN for SESAME
1 February – by James Gillies

For close to three years, CERN has coordinated the production of magnets and power supplies for the pioneering SESAME research facility under construction in Allan, Jordan. A third-generation light source, SESAME is the first facility of its kind in the region, and the first intergovernmental research organisation to be established in the Middle East. Bringing together Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey, SESAME will address research topics ranging from biological science to cultural heritage after its first beam lines are commissioned later this year.

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CERN-recognised experiment to expand scientific capacity
1 February

Scientists from the CERN-recognised KM3NeT collaboration have publicly announced KM3NeT 2.0. KM3NeT 2.0, which is located at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, will continue the work done by the experiment to study neutrino astronomy, but will also expand its scientific reach to study neutrino oscillations.

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While ALICE is sleeping
1 February – ALICE Collaboration

What is happening at ALICE during the shutdown? In order for the LHC and all the experiments to work properly throughout the year, certain changes need to be made. The right time for that is the year-end technical stop, or YETS. It usually begins in the last working week in December, right after the heavy-ion run, and lasts for about 10 weeks.

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International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG) Newsletter
February 2016

Learn about IPPOG highlights in this second number of newsletter!