Geneva, 18 April 2007. The world’s largest particle physics laboratory, CERN1, is guest of honour at the annual Salon International des Inventions in Geneva from 18-22 April this year. Better know for its advances in understanding the Universe, CERN is also a hotbed of innovation, giving rise to new technologies in areas ranging from medicine to IT. The World Wide Web, invented at CERN in 1990, is the best known CERN technology, but there are many more that the public will be able to explore on the CERN stand.
For the Salon, CERN has teamed up with ten companies that have spun off technologies and ideas from the Laboratory. CERN’s stand will be dedicated to a presentation of the Laboratory and its current flagship project, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), scheduled to start-up later this year. Each of the technologies featured will be highlighted on the stand, along with the companies that have put them into more general use. This will allow visitors to trace the path from basic research to practical application from start to finish.
One example is Medipix. A particle detection technology that has found applications in medical imaging. Visitors to the salon will be able to see a Medipix detector in action on the CERN stand, and use it to image the particles emitted by everyday objects.
The LHC will be the world's largest and most complex scientific instrument when it switches on in 2007. Experiments at the LHC will allow physicists to complete a journey that started with Newton's description of gravity. Gravity acts on mass, but so far science is unable to explain why the fundamental particles have the masses they have. Experiments at the LHC may provide the answer. LHC experiments will also probe the mysterious missing mass and dark energy of the Universe – visible matter seems to account for just 4% of the total mass of the Universe. They will investigate the reason for nature's preference for matter over antimatter, and they will probe matter as it existed at the very beginning of time.
"CERN's main mission is fundamental science, understanding our universe," explained CERN Director General Robert Aymar, "but we also play important roles in developing new technologies, training innovators of the future, and in promoting international collaboration."
The full list of technologies and companies linked to the CERN stand at the Salon is:
- PXL industries (France) détection des fuites (Leak welds device)
- SpinX technologies (Suisse) microfluidics (application pour la découverte de nouveaux médicaments)
- Panalytical (Pays Bas) détecteurs pour des applications médicales
- Ijspeert Innovative Technologies (Suisse) dispositif de positionnement (positioning device)
- Raytest (France) Scanneur TEP pour petits animaux (small animal PET scanner)
- Techtra (Pologne) électronique (high density PCBs)
- Géodésie Industrielle SA (Suisse) techniques de géométrie
- Maat Gknoledge (Espagne) informatique pour la mammographie (mammogrid)