The CERN1 Council, where the representatives of the 19 Member States of the Organization decide on scientific programmes and financial resources, held its 110th session on 19 June under the chairmanship of Dr. Hans C. Eschelbacher (DE).
LEP to continue physics in the year 2000
CERN's Large Electron-Positron collider got the green light today to achieve its full potential by running for an additional year in the year 2000. Delegates attending the 110th meeting of the Laboratory's governing body, Council, approved the move after a careful presentation of the proposal's scientific merits and financial aspects by CERN's Director General Chris Llewellyn Smith.
LEP is the world's highest energy electron-positron accelerator and CERN's flagship research facility. It was built in the 1980s to produce particles called W and Z bosons. For seven years LEP produced Z bosons and around 20 million of them were analysed. In 1996 the accelerator's beam energy was increased to allow pairs of W bosons to be made. Each year since then more energy has been added to LEP's particle beams, bringing the exciting possibility of discovering new phenomena. In 1998, LEP got off to a flying start and is now routinely producing collisions at the record energy of 189 GeV. Next year, LEP will achieve its maximum collision energy of 200 GeV. Studying electron-positron collisions at this energy is an opportunity which will not be repeated at any laboratory for at least a decade. After the endorsement of the resolution the Director General thanked those Member States which had made supplementary contributions to the Organization's budget to extend the running period of LEP.
Progress with the LHC
Professor Llewellyn Smith reported excellent progress towards the construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), CERN's next accelerator project. The upgrades necessary to make CERN's current accelerator chain compatible with the LHC are well under way. Civil engineering work has begun, and the first full scale LHC magnet prototype has been successfully tested. On-going R&D looks set to improve the magnet design further before full scale production begins. The Director General pointed out that contracts amounting to some 40% of the total cost of the LHC have already been adjudicated, within budget forecasts.
Progress towards LHC experiments is also proceeding as planned. The two big general-purpose experiments, ATLAS and CMS, have begun construction. These are both collaborations each involving over 1500 physicists from over 150 institutes in 35 countries. A milestone in international collaboration in science came earlier this year when both experiments agreed on all facets of the construction of the enormous detectors, the Memoranda of Understanding, which determine who will pay for the last nut and bolt and who will put them in place.
The progress on the LHC project was acknowledged on behalf of the two US funding agencies supporting the LHC, the Department of Energy (DoE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), by Dr Peter Rosen of the DoE who said "It is gratifying to see the accelerator and the detectors moving from the R&D phase into the construction phase, and to know that the project continues to be on schedule and within budget." His sentiments were echoed by Japan's representative, Mr Akiba, Co-ordinator for international science programmes at Monbusho, who said "I am very pleased that Japan can contribute to the steady development of this very significant scientific project. I also hope the co-operative relationship between Monbusho and CERN will be further strengthened in the future." He was speaking two days after the Diet of Japan formally approved a third contribution to the LHC, bringing the country's total stake in the project to 150 Million Swiss Francs. The President of Council and the Director General both expressed their gratitude for Japan's generous contributions to the LHC project.
Professor Walter Majerotto (AT) was nominated Vice-President of Council for a period of one year from 1 July 1998.
The President of Council announced the management structure of the Organization as from 1 January 1999 when Prof. Luciano Maiani, Director-General Designate, starts his five year mandate.
Professor Roger Cashmore (GB) was appointed Director for Collider Programmes from 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2001.
Professor Claude Détraz (FR) was appointed Director for Fixed Target and Future Programmes from 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2001.
Dr Lyndon Evans (GB) will continue as LHC Project Leader for three years as of 1 January 1999.
Dr Horst Wenninger (DE) was appointed Director for Technology Transfer and for Scientific Computing from 1 January 1999 to 31 May 1999.
Dr Hans F. Hoffmann (DE) was appointed Director for Technology Transfer and for Scientific Computing, from 1 June 1999 to 31 December 2001.
Dr Kurt Hübner (AT) will continue as Director for Accelerators for two years as of 1 January 1999.
Dr Jürgen May (DE) was appointed Technical Director from 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2001.
Dr Maurice Robin (FR) will continue as Director of Administration for three years as of 1 January 1999.
Professor Manuel Delfino (ES) was appointed as Leader of the Information Technology (IT) Division from 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2001.
Dr Dietrich Güsewell (DE) was re-appointed as Leader of the EST Division from 1 January 1999 to 31 December 1999.
Dr Philippe Lebrun (FR) was appointed as Leader of the LHC Division from 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2001.
The leadership of all the other divisions remains unchanged until December 1999.