Space- and ground-based particle physics meet at CERN

The fourth international conference on Particle and Fundamental Physics in Space (SpacePart12) will take place at CERN from 5 to 7 November. The conference will bring together scientists working on particle and fundamental physics in space and on ground, as well as space policy makers from around the world.


One hundred years after Victor Hess discovered cosmic rays using hot air balloons, the experimental study of particle and fundamental physics is still being pursued today with extremely sophisticated techniques: on the ground, with state-of-the-art accelerators like the LHC; and in space, with powerful observatories that probe, with amazing accuracy, the various forms of cosmic radiation, charged and neutral, which are messengers of the most extreme conditions of matter and energy. SpacePart12 will be the opportunity for participants to exchange views on the progress of space-related science and technology programmes in the field of particle and fundamental physics in space.

SpacePart12 wil open with a keynote speech by Nobel Laureate Jim Cronin, who will revisit the history of cosmic ray physics and discuss its deep links with the birth of CERN. Two special public evening events are expected to attract a large audience: the lecture by Ed Stone, the scientist in charge of NASA’s Voyager programme and the lecture by Bill Gerstenmaier, associate director for NASA’s Human Space Flight and for the International Space Station

Victor F. Hess with a ionization chamber, 1960. (Credits: VF Hess Society, Echophysics, Schloss Pöllau/Austria).

SpacePart12 will be an opportunity to celebrate a century of particle physics by reviewing the status of the field, with a particular focus on the open issues and on the role that space- and ground-based studies of the various forms of cosmic radiation could have in shedding light on the dark sides of our Universe. During the last decade, the growth rate of contributions to the understanding of our Universe from results provided by spaceborne observatories has been outstanding. In addition to the US, Russia, Europe and Japan, new players - most notably China, but also India and Korea - are taking leading roles in this field.

The conference will bring together leading researchers from around the world and from diverse sub-fields of physics, namely astroparticle physics and astrophysics, which have common interests in elementary particles and fundamental interactions. The conference programme will include talks from leading scientists as well as leading representatives of the international space community, covering science, technology and strategies for the future.

For detailed programme information, logistics and registration, please visit the conference website at:


by CERN Bulletin