Latest press releases

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.

LHC completes the circle

Geneva, 7 November 2007. At a brief ceremony deep under the French countryside today, CERN1 Director General Robert Aymar sealed the last interconnect between the main magnet systems in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This is the latest milestone in commissioning the LHC, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator.

CERN announces new start-up schedule for world’s most powerful particle accelerator

Geneva, 22 June 2007. Speaking at the 142nd session of the CERN1 Council today, the Organization’s Director General Robert Aymar announced that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will start up in May 2008, taking the first steps towards studying physics at a new high-energy frontier. A low-energy run originally scheduled for this year has been dropped as the result of a number of minor delays accumulated over the final months of LHC installation and commissioning, coupled with the failure in March of a pressure test in one of the machine’s components.

Closing the gap: descent of the last LHC magnet

Geneva, 26 April 2007. A ceremony was held at CERN1 today to mark the end of a crucial phase of installation of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). A large dipole magnet was symbolically lowered into the tunnel at 12:00. This completes the basic installation of the more than 1700 magnets that make up the collider, which measures 27 km in circumference and is scheduled to be commissioned at the end of 2007.

CERN is guest of honour at international inventions exhibition

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 first time the LHC reaches temperatures colder than outer space

Geneva, 10 April 2007. The first sector of CERN1's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to be cooled down has reached a temperature of 1.9 K (–271°C), colder than deep outer space! Although just one-eighth of the LHC ring, this sector is the world’s largest superconducting installation. The entire 27–kilometre LHC ring needs to be cooled down to this temperature in order for the superconducting magnets that guide and focus the proton beams to remain in a superconductive state.


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