The CERN1 Council, where the representatives of the 19 Member States of the Organization decide on scientific programmes and financial resources, held its 103rd session on 15 December under the chairmanship of Prof. Hubert Curien (F).
Director General's Report
From the lowest energy levels at ISOLDE to the highest at LHC, the Director-General reported a successful year. The accelerators worked better than ever, and the LHC's baseline design was finalised.
ISOLDE produces radioactive beams for applications in nuclear physics, particle and astrophysics, solid state physics, atomic physics, biology, and medicine. Highlights in 1995 included the study of halo-nuclei, and 1995 also saw the approval of a post-acceleration facility for ISOLDE. This will be an important pilot for second generation radioactive beam facilities currently being considered in Europe, the United States, and Japan.
The record performances of CERN's accelerators throughout the year were driven by the hugely improved beams from the veteran Proton Synchrotron (PS). Although over a quarter of a century old, the PS is constantly being upgraded to respond to the changing demands of CERN's users.
Another CERN veteran, the Low Energy Antiproton Ring (LEAR) will enter its last year of operation in January, and is set to go out on a high note. In 1995, a LEAR experiment (PS 205) broke new ground in the study of objects called "atomcules" in which an electron orbiting a Helium nucleus is replaced by an anti-proton.
Moving up CERN's energy scale, the SPS broke all its own records in 1995. The Chorus and Nomad neutrino experiments, which try to throw light on dark matter and the processes fuelling the sun, both collected plenty of data, and analysis is well under way. Lead ion beams exceeded their design intensities, giving tantalising hints of a new state of matter, the long sought-after quark-gluon plasma (qgp). This is the primordial soup out of which the Universe is thought to have emerged.
LEP's year has been dominated by preparations for the energy upgrade from LEP1 to LEP2, scheduled for next year. A new way of operating the machine was mastered, and new accelerating cavities were installed. At the end of the year, LEP took its first step towards LEP2, upping the energy from 90 to 140 GeV, and earning the label LEP1.5. The reconfigured machine worked straight away, and the experiments have already produced new results. One experiment, ALEPH, found some quite unexpected events which appear very difficult to understand on the basis of known physics.
At the top end of the CERN energy range comes the LHC, whose design was improved and finalised this year. The new configuration sees LEP being removed from the tunnel to make way for the LHC, and eventually being reinstalled later to make an electron-proton collider. The cooling system for the superconducting magnets has also been redesigned, saving on construction costs. The LHC Advisory Committee, an independent body of experts, endorsed the design changes and congratulated the LHC Project Leader on the high level of cohesion of the project.
The two general purpose LHC detectors, ATLAS and CMS, were subjected to rigorous peer review, and the CERN Research Board has recommended the Director General to approve both experiments. The dedicated b-physics experiment, LHC-B, submitted a letter of intent in August, and is now working out the precise technical specifications of its detector. The ALICE experiment, which will extend the search for the quark-gluon plasma to LHC energies, will submit its full technical proposal by the end of the year.
In conclusion, the Director-General said that 1995 had been an excellent year for physics at CERN, with good progress towards both LEP2 and the LHC, and with hints of new physics promising an exciting year in 1996.
Completion of the LEP Upgrade
Council agreed to add 48 superconducting cavities (16 available spares and 32 new ones) to the Large Electron Positron Collider (LEP), together with the necessary ancillary equipment. The total material cost of 36 MCHF will be generated by reducing present exploitation costs. The extra cavities will add 9 GeV to the centre of mass energy of the accelerator increasing the performance from 183 GeV to 192 GeV, completing the LEP upgrade. The extra 9 GeV will cover a range where the existence of the Higgs boson has a high probability according to data from LEP.
Report of the Restricted Tripartite Group
Council approved the "package" of recommendations of the Restricted Tripartite Group on remuneration and employment conditions of the CERN personnel.
The main points of the package are :
- Salaries: The scale of basic salaries is to be increased on 1st January by 1.31%, of which 0.61% is to be devoted to increased staff contributions to the Pension Fund. In addition, staff are to be granted one day of special paid leave during a closure of the Laboratory at a date to be chosen by the Director General with a view to minimising operating costs.
- Health Insurance: The Organization is to contribute directly to the health insurance cost of pensioners in a phased manner from 1st January 1996 to reach full implementation in the year 2000 at the same level as its contribution for staff members - this will reduce the expected rate of future increases of the staff and pensioners¹ contributions to health insurance.
- Non-Resident Allowance and Installation Grant: For newly-recruited staff, the installation grant is to be increased by one half month of basic salary for persons having a home station outside the Host States, and the non-resident allowance is to be reduced gradually, after the award of an indefinite contract, over a period of twelve years to reach half the present rates.
- Stipends for new Fellows are to be reduced by an amount equivalent to one grade to permit an increase of 10% to 15% in the number of Fellowships. In line with this, allowances for new Students are to be decreased by some 8%.
- First Employment Programme and Detachments Programme: Approval has been given to the principle of introducing these two new employment programmes which the Management is to study for implementation next year.
- Education Grant: The present reimbursement maxima are retained for 1995/1996.
Pensions are to be increased by 1.74% on 1st January 1996 (i.e. as for the salary scale but without applying the tax factor).
Non-Member States and Associate Status
The Director General gave an overview of the status of possible contribution to the LHC project by Non-Member States. He mentioned in particular the visit of the President of Council and the Director General of CERN to Washington which will take place on 8-9 January. Negotiations will begin with the United States on their planned contribution to the LHC.
Council declared its willingness to create a new Associate Status to allow Non-Member States who make important financial contribution to the LHC project to have a voice in the planning and running of the project.
- Prof. Hubert. Curien (F) was re-elected President of Council for the period of one year.
- Dr Paul Levaux (B) was re-elected Vice-President of Council for the period of one year.
- Dr Marcello Gigliarelli Fiumi (I) was re-elected Chairman of the Finance Committee for a period of one year.
- Prof. Jacques Lefrançois, Laboratoire de l'Accélérateur Linéaire, Orsay (F) was elected Chairman of the Scientific Policy Committee for one year from 1 January 1996.
- Prof. Jerome I. Friedman (MIT, Cambridge, USA) was appointed as a member of the Scientific Policy Committee for 3 years from 1 January 1996.
- Prof. Karl Gaemers (NIKHEF, Netherlands) was appointed as a member of the Scientific Policy Committee for 3 years from 1 July 1996.
- Dr Willem C. Middelkoop (NL) was re-elected as Vice-Chairmen of the Governing Board of the Pension Fund for one year.
Appointments to senior posts
Council decided to create a new Engineering Support and Technologies (EST) Division grouping together activities of the present MT Division plus additional support activities from both the accelerator and research sector.
Senior Management of CERN as from 1 January 1996
- Director General : Chris Llewellyn Smith
- Director LHC Project : Lyndon Evans
- Director of Research : Lorenzo Foa
- Director of Accelerators : Kurt Hübner
- Director of Administration : Maurice Robin
- Technical and Research Director : Horst Wenninger
Division Leaders :
- Theory (TH) : G. Veneziano (I)
- Particle Physics Experiments (PPE) : G. Goggi (I)
- Electronics and Computing for Physics (ECP) : M. Turala (P)
- Engineering Support and Technologies (EST) : D. Güsewell (D)
- Computing and Networks (CN) : D. Williams (GB)
- Proton Synchrotron (PS) : D. Simon (F)
- SPS + LEP (SL) : K. Kissler (D)
- Technical Support (ST) : F. Ferger (D)
- Administrative Support (AS) : J. Ferguson (GB)
- Personnel (PE) : B. Angerth (S)
- Finance (FI) : A. Naudi (CH/GB)
- Technical Inspection & Safety Commission (TIS) : B. de Raad (NL)
- Large Hadron Collider (LHC) : J-P. Gourber (F)