Geneva, 22 September 2004. To mark the 50th anniversary of CERN's creation, local Swiss and French authorities have clubbed together to offer the Organization a spectacular illumination of the 27-kilometre ring of the Large Hadron Collider accelerator. At 20:00 sharp on 29 September, Micheline Spoerri, Head of Geneva's Department of Justice, Police and Security, will throw the switch for 24 powerful 'skytracer' floodlights to light up the night sky of the Geneva - Pays de Gex region.
This illumination forms part of a larger celebration, with birthday events taking place in four of the Organization's Member States. Close to CERN* itself, a cable car station perched on the flanks of the Jura mountains in the village of Crozet in France will be the centre of attraction. During an event starting at 18:30, the Crozet celebration will be joined by live video link to Interlaken, Switzerland, where the Organization's Director General Robert Aymar will be attending a conference on Computing in High-Energy Physics (CHEP'04). Video links will also be made to London and Rome to hear from former Director Generals Chris Llewellyn-Smith and Luciano Maiani, and to Boston for a message from the inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee.
No birthday party would be complete without a cake, and CERN's is no exception. The 50 candles on the cake will be blown out at Crozet by people sharing their 50th birthday year with CERN. For details of all CERN's 50th anniversary events, see the 50th Anniversary Web Site.
Other major 50th anniversary events at CERN include an Open Day on 16 October. With 50 sites to visit, this is the most ambitious Open Day in the history of the Organization.
Celebrations reach a conclusion three days later on 19 October with the official VIP celebration attended by Heads of State and representatives of the Organization's 20 Member States. This occasion will also mark the inauguration of the Globe of Science and Innovation, CERN's new networking and visitor centre that is a 50th anniversary gift to the Organization from the Swiss Confederation. To attend, media have to follow the accreditation procedure.
* CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. India, Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have observer status. CERN Council is the body in which the representatives of the 20 Member States of the Organization decide on scientific programmes and financial resources.