Press releases October 2000

Physics in the Spotlight

CERN, ESA and ESO put Physics on Stage

Can you imagine how much physics is in a simple match of ping-pong, in throwing a boomerang, or in a musical concert? Physics is all around us and governs our lives. The World-Wide Web and mobile communication are only two examples of technologies that have rapidly found their way from science into the everyday life. But who is going to maintain these technologies and develop new ones in the future? Probably not young Europeans, as recent surveys show a frightening decline of interest in physics and technology among Europe's citizens, especially schoolchildren. Fewer and fewer young people enrol in physics courses at university.

Poland at CERN

On 17 October 2000, the second Polish industrial and technological exhibition opens at CERN1. The first one was held five years ago and nine of the companies that were present then have come back again this year. Six of those companies were awarded contracts with CERN in 1995. Three Polish officials were present at the Opening Ceremony today: Mrs Malgorzata Kozlowska, Under-secretary of State in the State Committee for Scientific Research, Mr Henryk Ogryczak, Under-secretary of State in Ministry of Economy and Prof.

CERN celebrates LEP - the accelerator that changed the face of particle physics

Members of government from around the world gathered at CERN on 9 October to celebrate the achievements of the Large Electron Positron collider (LEP), the Laboratory's flagship particle accelerator. Over the eleven years of its operational lifetime, LEP has not only added greatly to mankind's pool of knowledge about the Universe, but has also changed the way that particle physics research is done, and proved to be a valuable training ground for young professionals in many walks of life.

The LEP story

The LEP story begins in the late 1970s when CERN Member State physicists got together to discuss the long term future of high energy physics in Europe. A new picture of fundamental interactions, unifying the electromagnetic and weak forces, was emerging, and LEP would be the machine to study it. After a history built on proton machines, the idea of an electronÐpositron collider was a break with tradition for CERN.

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