Latest press releases

CERN announces start-up date for LHC

Geneva, 7 August 2008. CERN1 has today announced that the first attempt to circulate a beam in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will be made on 10 September. This news comes as the cool down phase of commissioning CERN’s new particle accelerator reaches a successful conclusion. Television coverage of the start-up will be made available through Eurovision.

CERN Council looks forward to LHC start-up

Geneva, 20 June 2008. At its 147th meeting in Geneva today, the CERN1 Council heard news on progress towards start-up of the laboratory’s flagship research facility, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Commissioning of the 27-kilometre LHC began in January 2007 when the first  cool down of one of the machine’s eight sectors began. Today, five sectors are at or close to their operating temperature of 1.9 degrees above absolute zero and the remaining three are approaching that temperature.

Saudi Arabia and CERN sign Protocol to Cooperation Agreement

Geneva, 9 May 2008. A Protocol to the 2006 Cooperation Agreement between Saudi Arabia and CERN was today signed at CERN by H.E. Dr. Mohammed I. Al-Suwaiyel, President of the King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology, on behalf of the Government of Saudi Arabia, and Robert Aymar, Director General of CERN1, in the presence of H.E. Ali I. Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral resources and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Aramco, H.E. Dr. Ibrahim A. Al-Assaf, Minister of Finance and a delegation of representatives of Saudi universities and Saudi Aramco.

CERN opens its doors to the world

On 6 April 2008, CERN1 will open its doors to the public, offering a unique chance to visit its newest and largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), before it goes into operation later this year. This scientific instrument, the largest and most complex in the world, is installed in a 27 km tunnel, 100 metres underground in the Swiss canton of Geneva and neighbouring France. CERN will open all access points around the ring for visits underground, to the tunnel and the experiment caverns.

ATLAS completes world’s largest jigsaw puzzle

Geneva, 29 February 2008. Today the ATLAS1 collaboration at CERN2 celebrates the lowering of its last large detector element. The ATLAS detector is the world’s largest general-purpose particle detector, measuring 46 metres long, 25 metres high and 25 metres wide; it weighs 7000 tonnes and consists of 100 million sensors that measure particles produced in proton-proton collisions in CERN’s Large Hadron Collider3 (LHC).

CMS celebrates the lowering of its final detector element

Geneva, 22 January 2008. In the early hours of the morning the final element of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS)1 detector began the descent into its underground experimental cavern in preparation for the start-up of CERN2’s Large Hadron Collider3 (LHC) this summer. This is a pivotal moment for the CMS collaboration, as the experiment is the first of its kind to be constructed above ground and then lowered, element by element, 100 metres below.

CMS tracking detector successfully installed

Geneva, 18 December 2007. Installation of the world’s largest silicon tracking detector was today successfully completed at CERN1. In the early hours of Thursday 13 December the CMS2 Silicon Strip Tracking Detector began its journey from the main CERN site to the CMS experimental facility. Later that day it was lowered 90 metres into the CMS cavern. Installation began on Saturday 15 December and was concluded this morning.

CERN Director General reports on LHC progress

Geneva, 14 December 2007. CERN1 Director General Robert Aymar today delivered an end of year status report at the 145th meeting of Council, the Organization’s governing body. Dr Aymar reported a year of excellent progress towards the goal of starting physics research at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in summer 2008. Council also approved a budget for CERN in 2008 that will allow consolidation of CERN’s aging infrastructure to begin, along with preparations for an intensity upgrade for the LHC, by 2016.

Council appoints CERN’s next Director General

Geneva, 14 December 2007. CERN1 Council today appointed Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer to succeed Dr Robert Aymar as CERN’s Director General. Professor Heuer will serve a five-year term, taking office on 1 January 2009. His mandate will cover the early years of operation and first scientific results from the Laboratory’s new flagship research facility, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC is scheduled to begin operation in summer 2008.

LHCb installs its precision silicon detector, the VELO

The sensors are grouped in pairs to make a total of 42 modules, arranged in two halves around the beam line in the VELO vacuum tank. An aluminum sheet just 0.3 mm thick provides a shield between the silicon modules and the primary beam vacuum, with no more than 1 mm of leeway to the silicon modules. Custom-made bellows enable the VELO to retract from its normal position of just 5 mm from the beam line, to a distance of 35 mm. This flexibility is crucial during the commissioning of the beam as it travels round the 27-km ring of the LHC.


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