Japan is Observer at CERN

The CERN1 Council, where the representatives of the 19 Member States of the Organization decide on scientific programmes and financial resources, held its 102nd session on 23 June under the chairmanship of Prof. Hubert Curien (F).

Japan admitted as Observer

A Japanese delegation, lead by Mr. Kaoru Yosano, Japan's Minister of Monbusho, (Ministry of Education, Science and Culture), was warmly applauded by the delegates of CERN's Member States when it entered the Council Chamber for the first time as an official Observer. Mr. Yosano, thanked the CERN Council for unanimously agreeing to grant Japan Official Observer Status and also accepting Japan's offer to contribute to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project saying : "I am convinced that Japan's newly acquired Observer Status along with its contribution to the LHC Project will serve to further strengthen the cooperative linkage between the Japanese and European scientific communities. I am looking forward to this Project opening up new frontiers in the field of Particle Physics, and advancing joint international efforts to pioneer these new domains."

Japan is the first country from outside the European region to be admitted as an Observer to the CERN Council, underlining the increasing globalization of High Energy Physics research. Observer status allows Non-Member States to attend Council meetings and to receive Council documents, however Observers do not take part in the decision making procedure of the Organization. Observer Status is a valuable international relations tool, allowing CERN to maintain formal contacts with certain States or International Organizations for which Membership either is not possible or not yet feasible. 5 states now have Observer Status: Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, Turkey and Yugoslavia, whose Observer Status is now suspended in accordance with the decision of the United Nations and of the European Union.

Prof. Llewellyn Smith, CERN's Director General, thanked Minister Yosano for the contribution of 5 billion Yen (~68 million Swiss Francs) from the Japanese government to help improve and speed up the construction of the LHC. The Director General made reference to the long and fruitful collaboration that has existed between CERN and Japanese physicists and paid tribute to the high level of physics research taking place in Japan. He expressed his gratitude to Minister Yosano for coming personally to the meeting, stressing that both CERN and Japan will benefit from the strengthening of ties brought by the new Observer Status. Prof. Llewellyn Smith said : "I am delighted to celebrate two events: Japan's Observer Status and the generous contribution to LHC. These are major steps forward for LHC, for CERN-Japan relations, and for inter-regional scientific co-operation."

 

Progress in Negotiations with Non-Member Countries

On the approval of the LHC in December 1994, CERN Management was encouraged by Council to examine the possibility of contributions to the LHC from Non-Member States. The Director General made a brief presentation on the progress of discussions with countries, other than Japan. The Canadian Government has announced that Canada will make an in-kind contribution to LHC through the TRIUMF Laboratory in Vancouver, but this has not yet been discussed with CERN. The basis for an agreement with India has been accepted by the Committee of Council and a Protocol should be signed later this year. Israel already contributes to CERN and the relevant Protocol is currently being reviewed prior to renewal. The basis for an agreement with Russia has been accepted by the Committee of Council and a Protocol governing a Russian contribution to the LHC is currently under discussion with the Government of Russia. Discussions have started with the Department of Energy in the USA, but have been slowed down by budgetary uncertainties: a further meeting between the CERN Management and DOE officials will take place at the end of August.

 

Associate Status for Non-European States

Council discussed the proposal to create an Associate Status for Non-European States wishing to participate in, and to make substantial contributions to, a CERN activity or activities. The proposal ­ revised in the light of Council's comments ­ will be submitted for approval by Council in December 1995.

The need for a new Status arises from the increasingly global nature of research in particle physics in general, and the role of CERN in particular. Already CERN¹s scientific users comprise half the world's experimental particle physicists, and some 30% come from outside the CERN Member States. This figure is growing and 45% of the scientists who have signed the technical proposals for the two major experiments for LHC, ATLAS and CMS, are based outside the Member States.

It is fair that Non-Member States whose physicists will make significant use of the LHC, over a long period, should be asked to contribute to the project. These researchers should be involved not only in the experiments, but in the project as a whole, with a role in the construction of the accelerator and a "voice" in policy decisions related to the project. The Associate Status will provide a mechanism for Non-European States which make substantial contributions to the LHC (or to other major CERN activities) to be institutionally involved, with the Member States, in setting the general policy for the project.

In the discussion, Council delegates mentioned that the creation of Associate Member Status would be an important step forward, formalising the fact that CERN is already a world laboratory. However, care and prudence should be taken with the formulation of such a historic new framework.

 

Content of the Associate Status

The Director General outlined the first proposals for the framework of the Associate Member Status, which include :

  • Participation by right in the CERN activity or activities specified in the Agreement
  • Attendance at Council, with right to speak on any issue connected to the specified activity(ies)
  • Attendance at Committee of Council for specified parts of meetings devoted to discussion of the specified activity(ies), with the right to contribute to the discussions. Such sessions would be scheduled at least twice a year
  • Attendance of Scientific Delegates at Scientific Policy Committee for specified parts of meetings, by agreement with the Chairman
  • Participation in the CERN Fellowship programme and eligibility of nationals of the Associate State for appointment to limited duration posts, if and as specified in the Agreement

 

CERN scientific activities 1996 - 1999

The Director General gave an in depth summary of CERN's scientific activities for the years 1996-1999. He mentioned the excellent work on nuclear physics being carried out at the Online Isotope Separator (ISOLDE) and drew attention to the future Radioactive Beam Experiment (REX - ISOLDE). The Low Energy Antiproton Ring (LEAR) has produced several exciting physics results, notably evidence for glueballs ­ particles composed of gluons. There has been pressure to extend the LEAR programme for one year beyond its planned closure at the end of 1996, but regrettably, the Research Board had found that the significant resources that this would require, made it impossible. Prof. Llewellyn Smith highlighted the importance of the current neutrino experiments, NOMAD and CHORUS. It is hoped that results will prove that neutrinos have mass, providing a possible answer to the greatest cosmological mystery ­ the missing mass of the Universe. The new Heavy Ion programme is now underway. These experiments examine the conditions created by smashing high energy heavy ions into nuclei at rest. It is expected that the extreme temperatures and densities produced will create a state of matter, quark-gluon plasma, which only existed at the very beginning of our Universe. The Director General outlined the programme for the upgrade of the LEP accelerator. In October 1995 there will be a run at 140 GeV and the LEP2 programme for the production of W- boson pairs will start up at the end of 1996. Prof. Llewellyn Smith said that there are now strong physics arguments for a further modest upgrade of LEP. There will be an examination of the feasibility of such an upgrade to see if it could be incorporated into CERN's programme without affecting the LHC construction timetable.

 

Senior Staff appointments

Now that the LHC has been approved and construction is beginning, Council decided to create an LHC Division as from 1st January 1996. The LHC Division will focus on the core activities related to the construction of the machine, namely superconducting magnets, cryogenics and vacuum together with supporting activities.

Council appointed:
Dr J.-P. Gourber (F) as Leader of the LHC Division for three years from 1st January 1996.
Mr. B. Angerth (S) as Leader of the PE Division for three year from 1st January 1996.

Council re-appointed:
Mr. J. Ferguson (GB) as Leader of the AS Division for three years from 1st July 1995.
Mr. A.J. Naudi (CH/GB) as Leader of the FI Division for three years from 1st July 1995.

 

Elections

Prof. J. Niederle (Czech Republic) was elected Vice-President of Council for one year as from 1 July 1995.

Prof. G. Bellettini (I) was re-elected a member of the Scientific Policy Committee for three years.

Footnote(s)

1. CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, has its headquarters in Geneva. Its Member States are Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, Turkey, Yugoslavia (status suspended after UN embargo, June 1992), the European Commission and Unesco have observer status.

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