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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.

CERN is first to demonstrate a 10 Gigabit/sec network with four major computer manufacturers

CERN1 has made another important step forward in high-speed computing and state of the art networking. On 15 September a Gigabyte System Network (GSN) network with a capacity of 10 Gbit per second ramped up successfully at CERN, connecting together computers from different computer companies (Compaq, IBM, SGI and Sun).

LEP shutdown postponed by one month

On 14 September 2000 CERN 's Director General Prof. Luciano Maiani, after a recommendation from the LEP Experiments Committee and the CERN Research Board, decided to extend the experimental run of the LEP accelerator until the 2nd November 2000. It was originally planned to conclude LEP's eleven year period of physics research at the end of September, and to begin the complex operations for the installation of CERN's new accelerator the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). However, exciting new results from the LEP experiments justify this change.

Theoretical physicists take stock at CERN conference

On Monday 26 June Luciano Maiani, Director-General of CERN*, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, opened the "Supersymmetry 2000" conference which is taking place at CERN in Geneva this week. Many of the world's top physicists are gathering to present their work and discuss possible signatures of new physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics, such as novel particles and large extra dimensions of space, and the problem of energy in the vacuum, first raised by Einstein.

Last sprint for LEP

The CERN* Council, where the representatives of the 20 Member States of the Organization decide on scientific programmes and financial resources, held its 115th session today under the chairmanship of Dr. Hans C. Eschelbacher (DE).


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