US becomes 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 109th session on 19 December under the chairmanship of Paul Levaux (BE).

Observer status for US

Council delegates applauded warmly as representatives of United States of America were welcomed to the Council session for the first time as official observers. This new status follows the agreement between CERN and the United States for a contribution of $531 million to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project which was signed in Washington on 8 December (see PR07.97). The protocols defining the precise contribution of the Department of Energy (DOE) to the construction of the LHC accelerator and the contributions of both the DOE and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the ATLAS and CMS experiments on LHC were signed by Dr. Martha Krebs, Director of the office of Energy Research, DOE, Dr Bob Eisenstein, Assistant Director of Physical and Mathematical Science, NSF, and Prof. Christopher Llewellyn Smith, Director General of CERN at the Council session. In conclusion to her speech Dr Krebs' said : "The US-CERN Agreement and Protocols will extend the achievements of physics, so stunning in the twentieth century, into the twenty-first. LHC will be the largest so far in the march to global scientific collaboration. It will give testimony to our conviction that the wonder and joy of discovery about our world and the universe are suitable activities for humankind even as we will always struggle with poverty and violence. It will inspire young people of all nations that the quest of science will bring benefits to their world. I am honoured to be here with you today."

Specifically, the U.S. Department of Energy will provide components and materials valued at $200 million for use in the accelerator. The United States will provide a contribution of components valued at $331 million to the massive detectors, ATLAS and CMS, with $250 million from the Department of Energy and $81 million from the National Science Foundation. The detectors are being built by large international collaborations of more than 4,000 scientists and engineers in 45 countries in six continents. More than 550 U.S. scientists from nearly 60 universities and six of the Department of Energy's national laboratories in 25 states are collaborating on designing and fabricating the detector components. About 25 percent of the U.S. experimental high energy physics community are expected to do research at the Large Hadron Collider.

The LHC will break new ground not only in physics research and technology but also in international collaboration, with scientists from every region of the world represented in the construction of the LHC accelerator and the major experiments. Japan has already made a generous contribution of 8.85 billion Yen. 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. An 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. Canada will contribute an in-kind contribution to the LHC during the first half of the construction period with a value of $ 30 million Canadian.

Running LEP in the year 2000

In the currently funded scientific programme at CERN the Large Electron-Positron (LEP) programme comes to an end in 1999. However, recent experimental data from the LEP experiments linked to the possibility of operating LEP accelerating cavities at higher accelerating gradients and thus achieving higher energies presents an overwhelming case for the prolongation of LEP running in the year 2000. Council approved a resolution expressing its desire that LEP should operate in 2000 in view of the extremely powerful scientific case for this very cost-effective option and urging all countries whose physicists participate in LEP experiments to provide additional resources in order to make operation in 2000 possible.

Director General's Report

The Director-General began his report to Council by congratulating the Laboratory's staff and users for making 1997 a record year despite a fire which put accelerators out of action for two months. Once the programme resumed, all accelerators performed exceptionally, producing a wide range of new results.

At the low energy end of CERN's research scale, the ISOLDE facility produces unstable elements. These are used in fields as diverse as medicine and atomic physics, a 1997 highlight being nuclear studies relevant to astrophysics. All but the lightest elements are cooked up in stars where unstable elements play a crucial role. This year, new experiments at ISOLDE began measuring the properties of such unstable elements, bringing important insights into the abundance of elements which make up the fabric of the earth.

Although the Low Energy Antiproton Ring, LEAR, closed in 1996, analysis continues. In 1997, a long-running piece of detective work reached its conclusion with the identification of a particle, an exotic meson, predicted by theory. Quarks are bound into protons and neutrons by gluons, and theory says exotic configurations of bound quarks and gluons should also exist. It is just such a particle which has now been uncovered and studied.

The fire could have been particularly serious for the neutrino programme, but accelerator operators pulled out all the stops to make up for the delay. The CHORUS experiment had to collect data in 1997, otherwise the useful lifetime of the photographic emulsion it relied on would have expired. Both accelerator and experimental physicists rose to this challenge, and a new record was set in the process, and new neutrino data is now under analysis.

CERN's lead-ion programme was cancelled for 1997 because of the fire. Nevertheless, analysis of 1996 data has provided more pieces of the puzzle, building up a picture of the quark gluon plasma which must have existed in the first instants of the life of the Universe.

CERN's flagship accelerator, the Large Electron Positron collider, LEP, ran at its highest energy to date, 91.5 GeV. LEP now rivals the world's best measurement of the mass of the W particle, and is poised to improve on that next year.

Recruitment financed by Saved Leave

The Director General reported to Council on the success of the Recruitment financed by Saved Leave Scheme. The scheme was presented to the staff of the Laboratory by the Management and the Staff Association in September. It provides for the creation of new posts for young people, financed by voluntary contributions from the staff. "The staff's response has underlined the commitment of the CERN personnel and their solidarity with the mission of the Laboratory", said Prof. Llewellyn Smith.


Prof. Luciano Maiani (Italy) was elected as the next Director General of the Organisation (see PR09.97). He will take office as from 1 January 1999, replacing Prof. Llewellyn Smith who will have completed his 5 year mandate. Dr. Hans C. Eschelbacher (Germany) was elected as President of the CERN Council for the period of one year starting in January 1998 (see PR09.97). Prof. Fernando Aldana (Spain) was elected Vice-President of Council for a period of one year as of January 1998. Mr Fernando Bello (Portugal) was appointed Chairman of the Finance Committee for a period of one year as from January 1998. Dr Leif Westgaard (Norway) was elected Vice-Chairman of the Finance Committee for a period of one year, as of 1998.


J. Ferguson has been re-appointment as Leader of the Administrative Support Division until 31 December 1999. A. Naudi has been re-appointment as Leader of the Finance Division until 31 December 1999.

Senior Management of CERN as from 1 January 1998


Director LHC Project : L. Evans (GB)
Director of Research : L. Foà (IT)
Director of Accelerators : K. Hübner (AT)
Director of Administration : M. Robin (FR)
Technical and Research Director : H. Wenninger (DE)

Division Leaders

Administrative Support (AS) : J. Ferguson (GB)
Information Technology (IT) : J. May (DE)
Engineering Support and Technologies (EST) : D. Güsewell (DE)
Finance (FI) : A. Naudi (CH/GB)
Large Hadron Collider (LHC) : J-P. Gourber (FR)
Experimental Physics (PPE) : G. Goggi (IT)
Personnel (PE) : B. Angerth (SE)
Proton Synchrotron (PS) : D. Simon (FR)
SPS + LEP (SL) : K. Kissler (DE)
Supplies, Procurement and Logistics (SPL) : R. Perin (IT)
Technical Inspection & Safety Commission (TIS) : H. Schönbacher (AT)
Technical Support (ST) : A. Scaramelli (IT)
Theory (TH) : A. De Rujula (ES)

CERN invented the World Wide Web and more information on the LHC can be found at: http:// Photographs can be downloaded and previous Press Releases can be consulted from:


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,the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and Unesco have observer status.

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