Geneva, 20 June 2008. At its 147th meeting in Geneva today, the CERN 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. Once all sectors are cold, electrical testing will be concluded in readiness for first beams, currently scheduled for August.
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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 CERN, 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.
On 6 April 2008, CERN 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. On the surface, a wide-ranging programme will be on offer, allowing people to learn about the physics for which this huge instrument is being installed, the technology underlying it, and applications in other fields.
Geneva, 29 February 2008. Today the ATLAS collaboration at CERN 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 Collider (LHC). The first piece of ATLAS was installed in 2003 and since then many detector elements have journeyed down the 100 metre shaft into the ATLAS underground cavern. This last piece completes this gigantic puzzle.
Geneva, 22 January 2008. In the early hours of the morning the final element of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector began the descent into its underground experimental cavern in preparation for the start-up of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (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. It marks the culmination of eight years of work in the surface hall, and moves CMS into final commissioning before registering proton-proton collisions at the LHC.