As CERN prepares for its 60th birthday on Monday 29 September, the Laboratory can also celebrate receiving a world record for “the first proof of the existence of a Higgs boson”, sharing the award with the ATLAS and CMS experiment collaborations.
Representatives of Guinness World Records – which also celebrating its 60th anniversary this year – came to CERN recently to present the award. They were taken on a tour of the Laboratory and were shown the underground experimental caverns by ATLAS physicist Heather Gray and CMS physicist André David.
Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief of the Guinness World Records book, then presented the certificate to CERN Director of Accelerators and Technology, Frédérick Bordry, ATLAS collaboration deputy spokesperson, Thorsten Wengler, CERN Director-General, Rolf Heuer, and CMS collaboration spokesperson, Tiziano Camporesi.
Thanks to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), this is not the first world record for the Laboratory. Upon completion in September 2008, the LHC broke the record for the largest scientific instrument at 27 kilometres in circumference. Since then, the machine has gone on to break numerous other records during its operation, a selection of which Guinness World Records was able to present during the visit to CERN.
As well as playing its part in the first proof of the existence of the Higgs boson, the LHC also set the record for the most powerful particle accelerator. Along the way in 2012, scientists on the LHC were able to create the highest man-made temperature, at an astounding 5 trillion K – the temperature of the universe moments after the big bang.
“The fact that CERN was acknowledged in our very first edition 60 years ago and continues to break records in our latest edition is testament to the importance of this international scientific effort,” says Glenday. “It’s been a privilege to visit the Large Hadron Collider and present the team leaders their certificates, and I’m sure there will be plenty more record-breaking at CERN in its next 60 years.”
As stated on the certificates, thanks to the LHC a 60-year-old CERN can pride itself on being “Officially Amazing”.