CERN looks forward to exciting future

The CERN* Council, where the representatives of the 19 Member States of the Organization decide on scientific programmes and financial resources, held its 104th session today under the chairmanship of Prof. Hubert Curien (F).

Director General's Report On Scientific Activities

Prof. Christopher Llewellyn Smith, Director General of CERN, reported to Council on the scientific future of the Laboratory, which is entering into a new and exciting period of physics research. This year, LEP moves into unknown territory, with a major upgrade in energy, leaving LEP2 the centrepiece of CERN's research programme until the end of the decade.

Over the winter, 84 new superconducting accelerating cavities were installed earning LEP the name LEP2. The revamped accelerator was switched on this week, and is set to move up to its new energy of 161 GeV. This opens up the possibility of exciting new discoveries, and will allow pairs of particles called W+ and W- to be produced for the first time at LEP - a big step forward in CERN's precision studies of the electroweak force.

CERN research is undergoing a major restructuring as physicists concentrate more and more on preparations for the LHC. Several long running facilities are now in their last year of operation. The Low Energy Antiproton Ring, LEAR, circulates its last antiprotons in 1996, bringing to an end the programme which saw the dramatic detection of anti-hydrogen atoms last winter. It may, however, be possible to continue Antihydrogen studies using an updated version of CERN's Antiproton Collector, to be known as the Antiproton Decelerator. Several fixed-target experiments also reach their conclusions this year.

New programmes are waiting in the wings, mostly supported with external funding. Fixed target physics could move to a new spectrometer, and a new neutrino beam could sent to detectors in the Italian Gran Sasso laboratory hundreds of kilometres away. Several experiments studying high energy lead-ion collisions are beginning to show tantalizing hints of quark-gluon plasma, matter as it might have been at the Universe's birth, and new data from this year's experiments are eagerly awaited.

Non-Member State issues

The LHC project was approved by Council in December 1994 as a two phase construction reaching its full design energy of 14 TeV in 2008. However, on approval of LHC, Council took note that it would be possible to re-examine the two stage project and revert to the immediate construction of a 14 TeV accelerator, if by 1997 it is clear that sufficient financial commitments to the project are forthcoming from non Member States.

The Director General presented to Council the progress which has been made in negotiations with non Member States on contributions to the LHC project

  • Japan has already made a generous contribution of 5 billion Yen and relations between CERN and Japan are developing well.
  • An agreement was signed in March 1996 with India providing for a contribution to the LHC accelerator with a net value for CERN of $ 12.5 million.
  • A new agreement was signed with Russia in June 1996 which provides for a contribution to the LHC accelerator and detectors, each with net values for CERN of 67 million Swiss Francs. The Director General expressed pleasure that this agreement opened a new chapter in the long and fruitful collaboration between CERN and Russia.
  • Discussions with Canada continue and an agreement has been drawn up with the TRIUMF Laboratory in Vancouver for an in-kind contribution to the LHC with a value of $ 30 million Canadian.
  • As a result of the negotiations which took place with the USA in January and February 1996 CERN and US officials are jointly examining the impact of a contribution to the LHC accelerator from the Department of Energy (DOE) and a contribution from the DOE and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the ATLAS and CMS experiments. The Director General was pleased with the progress which has been made but on behalf of Council expressed disappointment with the sums currently under discussion in view of the fact that American physicists will be the largest national group using LHC. Dr John O' Fallon representing the DOE mentioned the excellent spirit of the negotiations between CERN and the USA which have progressed very significantly. He said : "The DOE very much wants to reach an agreement, taking part in this international collaboration is a high priority." Further meetings will take place at CERN with representatives from the USA on 24 and 25 June.

LHC Planning

Prof. Llewellyn Smith made a precise presentation of the forward planning of the LHC project, leading to the review by Council of the progress of the project which will take place before the end of 1997. It is hoped that this review will lead to the construction of LHC in a single stage to start experiments at 14 TeV in 2005.Council approved the Director General's proposals for changes in the divisional structure to prepare for LHC, which will become the central focus of all CERN's activities. Following the creation of the LHC and EST divisions in January 1996, management has pursued its review of possible regrouping of activities to improve efficiency.

The Director General made reference to a report "Assessment of the Large Hadron Collider" published by the DOE, which confirms CERN Member States' confidence that the LHC project goals can be met. The conclusion of this report states : "Most important of all, the committee found that the project has experienced and technically knowledgeable management in place and functioning well . This strong management team, together with the CERN history of successful projects, gives the committee confidence in the successful completion of the LHC project."

Restructure and Senior Staff Appointments

Council approved the Director General's proposals for changes in the divisional structure to prepare for LHC, which will become the central focus of all CERN's activities. Following the creation of the LHC and EST divisions in January 1996, management has pursued its review of possible regrouping of activities to improve efficiency.

Senior Management of CERN as from 1 January 1997

Directorate

Director General C. Llewellyn Smith (GB)
Director LHC Project L. Evans (GB)
Director of Research L. Foà (I)
Director of Accelerators K. Hübner (A)
Director of Administration M. Robin (F)
Technical and Research Director H. Wenninger (D)

Division Leaders

Theory (TH) G. Veneziano (I)
Particle Physics Experiments (PPE) G. Goggi (I)
Engineering Support and Technologies (EST) D. Güsewell (D)
Computing and Networks (CN) J. May (D)
Electronics and Computing for Physics (ECP) M. Turala (P)
Proton Synchrotron (PS) D. Simon (F)
SPS + LEP (SL) K. Kissler (D)
Supplies, Procurement and Logistics (SPL) R. Perin (I)
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) H. Schönbacher (A)
Large Hadron Collider (LHC) J-P. Gourber (F)

Elections

Prof. J. Niederle was re-elected as Vice-President of Council for the period of one year.

Prof. G. Ross and Prof. S. Yamada were elected members of the Scientific Policy Committee for 3 years from 1 July 1996.

Footnote(s)

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

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