The CERN* Council, where the representatives of the 19 Member States of the Organization decide on scientific programmes and financial resources, held its 113th session on 18 June under the chairmanship of Dr. Hans C. Eschelbacher (DE).
Bulgarian Accession to CERN
At a ceremony during the Council meeting the Bulgarian flag was hoisted for the first time to join the other 19 flags of CERN's Member States. Mr Vesselin Metodiev, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Science of Bulgaria said: "One of the priorities of our Government is to develop and maintain competitive science in Bulgaria. Our membership in CERN is an important step in this direction as it will enable many Bulgarian scientists, engineers and technical staff to work at the leading edge of science and contemporary technologies." Prof. Luciano Maiani Director General of CERN commented: "Bulgaria's membership of CERN is another step forward in the unique European collaboration in fundamental physics research. We are delighted to welcome our Bulgarian colleagues to our community."
Bulgaria became a full Member State of CERN when it gave to UNESCO on 11 June its instrument of ratification of the constitutive Convention of CERN in conformity with the Article XVIII of this convention.
Experimental Particle Physics is carried out mainly at the Institute of Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and at the University of Sofia. The groups participate at CERN in L3, Delphi and CMS. The experimental High Energy Physics group in the Institute has about 30 members of which about 15 are working in the CERN Programme. About 35 theoretical physicists form the Theoretical group. The Physics Department of the University of Sofia has 10 theoretical physicists and 9 experimentalists. Other small groups involved in particle physics can be found at the University of Plovdiv and at the Higher Chemistry and Technology Institute in Sofia.
Bulgaria will contribute its full contribution to the CERN budget as from 1 July. This will be 494 thousand Swiss Francs for 1999.
The Director General's Report
In his scientific activity report, CERN's Director General Luciano Maiani outlined a plan that foresees a "limited but first class" research programme during the interim between CERN's current flagship, the Large Electron Positron collider (LEP), and the forthcoming Large Hadron Collider (LHC) due to switch on in 2005.
LEP got off to an excellent start in 1999 and is running at its highest energy yet, 98 GeV per beam. In 2000, LEP's final year of running, the energy will reach and perhaps exceed 100 GeV per beam maximising the discovery potential for new phenomena and ensuring full overlap between LEP, the Tevatron Run II programme at the US Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the LHC. Current indications suggest that the long-awaited Higgs particle may be within reach of LEP and indeed current data in the 95 GeV range lie in between what would be expected for a 95 GeV Higgs particle and what would be expected if the Higgs did not have that mass. Data collected this year will bring a definitive answer.
After 2000, the COMPASS experiment will be the focus of CERN's research activity continuing a long CERN tradition of investigation into the structure of hadrons. The Antiproton Decelerator (AD), commissioned this year, will also collect data during the LEP-LHC interregnum, studying atoms of antihydrogen to see if they behave like atoms of hydrogen. And CERN's nuclear physics facility, ISOLDE, will continue to provide a focus for research over the coming years.
Possible additions to this approved and funded programme are a venture to send a neutrino beam from CERN to the Italian Gran Sasso laboratory 700 kilometres away and a facility to provide neutrons for basic science applications and studies of nuclear waste transmutation. These projects depend on external funding being found and, in the case of the neutrino proposal, on a scientific programme complementary to similar programmes in the US and Japan being defined. Council will make a final decision on the neutrino project in December.
Moving to the LHC project, the Director General announced that, with some 50% of the cost committed, the project remained on time and within budget. Civil engineering is well under way; modifications to CERN's existing accelerator complex are nearing completion and the first LHC dipole magnet made to the final design is performing well. Similarly good progress is being made around the world by the 13 institutes collaborating with CERN on LHC construction. For the detectors it is a similar story with construction of the two big general purpose experiments ATLAS and CMS well advanced. The smaller ALICE and LHCb experiments, which started later, are not far behind and all expect to be ready in 2005.
The Director General also described small but significant budget rearrangements within the present programme to allow R&D into long-term accelerator technologies to continue at CERN and for a program to facilitate technology transfer.
A new Education and Technology Transfer Division (ETT) has been created to implement a well-focused action in the strategic fields, in which CERN communicates to the society at large its scientific results, their cultural and educational implications as well as the technologies and methods developed in the accomplishment of CERN's basic mission. The division shall report to the Director of Technology Transfer and Scientific Computing.
Senior staff appointments
Dr J.-P. Delahaye (FR) was appointed as Leader of the PS Division for three years from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2002.
Dr S. Myers (GB) was appointed as Leader of the SL Division for three years from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2002.
Dr J.-A. Rubio (ES) was appointed as Leader of the ETT Division for three years from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2002.
Dr K.-H. Kissler (DE) was appointed as Leader of the SPL Division for three years from 1 April 2000 to 31 March 2003.
Professor W. Majerotto was re-elected Vice-President of Council for a period of one year as of 1 July 1999.
Professors K. Gaemers, G. Ross and S. Yamada were re-elected members of the Scientific Policy Committee for three years from 1 July 1999.
* CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, 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.