CERN: Opinion en Getting back to a diverse physics programme after LS2 <span>Getting back to a diverse physics programme after LS2</span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-byline field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item">Manfred Krammer</div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/21331" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">thortala</span></span> <span>Tue, 07/20/2021 - 15:31</span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) is back in operation after close to three years of intense maintenance and upgrades. With this milestone behind us, and with only the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) left to restart, it is hard not to be excited about getting back to physics after LS2.</p> <p>The SPS is the last link in the chain supplying the LHC with beams but, like the Booster and the PS, it is host to a vibrant and diverse research programme in its own right. The Booster feeds ISOLDE, the PS feeds the East Area, n-ToF and the AD, while the SPS’s 450 GeV protons fill the beamlines of the North Area, HiRadMat and AWAKE. The restart of the injection chain is bringing the diversity of physics at CERN back to life, and this is what I wish to celebrate here.</p> <p>It is a widely acknowledged truth at CERN that colliders cannot bring all the answers to the intricate and wide-ranging questions of physics, from the internal dynamics of protons to matter-antimatter asymmetry. That is why the Organization has made a point of developing and fostering experiments that rely on different methods, grouped within the “Physics Beyond Colliders” (PBC) programme, of which the North Area is the centrepiece. North Area beamlines supply a range of particles to a range of fixed-target experiments, which share the Prévessin site with the CERN Neutrino Platform and the control centre of the AMS experiment on the International Space Station.</p> <p>From the pioneering NA1 spectrometer, which initially studied hadron fragmentation, all the way – 63 experiments later – to NA64, which studies the dark sector, the North Area’s rich physics programme has given CERN and the world an abundance of results. Over the years, the NA experiments have brought us the first attempts to study quark-gluon plasma, the first evidence of direct charge-parity (CP) violation and a strong understanding of the internal dynamics of protons and neutrons. Most recently, the NA64 experiment has <a href="">set firm limits on the interaction between photons and their hypothetical dark counterparts</a>.</p> <p>Visiting the North Area can feel like entering a maze of concrete blocks, magnets and cranes. But this seemingly chaotic arrangement is only the reflection of the multiplicity and diversity of the experiments, which use different methods to observe numerous rare phenomena. There lies the strength of the North Area. This tradition of multiplying strategies to solve the riddles of physics is being perpetuated through the upgrade of long-standing experiments and the setting-up of new ones, opening horizons for various fields of research. The kaon-focused NA62 experiment will benefit from the optimisation of the SPS beamline, which was conducted in 2020, while new experiments, such as <a href="">AMBER</a> (the successor to COMPASS) and NA64++, which will study dark-sector physics, are being geared towards installation.</p> <p>Moving towards this new generation of experiments and ensuring that the existing ones operate under optimal conditions offers mouth-watering perspectives for dark matter hunters, quantum chromodynamics specialists and so many other CERN users. None of those future achievements would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of those who contributed one way or another to the works carried out during LS2, whom I wish to warmly thank. Here’s to many more years of physics beyond colliders at CERN!</p> </div> Tue, 20 Jul 2021 13:31:49 +0000 thortala 157656 at Laying the foundations for a solid future <span>Laying the foundations for a solid future</span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-byline field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item">Fabiola Gianotti</div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/21331" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">thortala</span></span> <span>Thu, 07/08/2021 - 08:40</span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>On 21 June, <a href="">we laid the symbolic foundation stone of the Science Gateway</a>:  an occasion to show the great progress that is being made towards CERN’s new learning centre.</p> <p>Speakers at the ceremony, including the President of the Council making her presentation from the Pompidou Centre in Paris, used the occasion to underline CERN’s values as a diverse and inclusive centre of scientific excellence, and the role that the Science Gateway will play in spreading those values when it opens in 2023.</p> <p>That first stone was not the only solid foundation to be put in place last month at CERN. The CERN Council met online during the week of 14-18 June and took decisions that underpin CERN’s future. I’d like to report on two of them: the approval of the Medium-Term Plan (MTP) for the period 2022-2026, and the definition of the main deliverables and milestones for the Future Circular Collider (FCC) Feasibility Study, as well as the establishment of an organisational structure for the said Study.</p> <p>The unanimous approval of the MTP provides a ringing endorsement from the Council of the work we are doing at CERN, and also a commitment to the long-term sustainability of the Laboratory. Roughly 60% of the resources in the MTP will be directly invested in science, with the rest being largely devoted to the maintenance and renewal of our technical and general infrastructure. This will ensure a good working environment and a strong level of services for the global CERN community for many years to come.</p> <p>In approving the organisational structure for the FCC Feasibility Study, the Council backed up its update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics in 2020. The Feasibility Study will run until 2025. Results will be described in a Feasibility Study Report, providing input to the next update of the strategy. The Study currently involves some 150 institutes from around the world, and is coordinated by CERN. In recognition of the scale and ambition of the FCC, the Council has positioned itself as the oversight body for the Feasibility Study, whereas a Steering Committee, a Collaboration Board and a Scientific Advisory Committee provide supervision of, or advice to, the execution of the activities. A Coordination Group, chaired by the Study Leader will coordinate a number of work packages around six thematic areas, from the development of the accelerator and detector technologies to the administrative and geological challenges of a 100 km tunnel in the Geneva area. Potential partners with an interest in contributing significant resources to a future circular collider at CERN will be invited to take part in Council sessions devoted to the FCC.</p> <p>The main deliverables and milestones for the FCC Feasibility Study divide along two main lines: technical and financial. On the technical side, a decision on <a href="">the optimum placement of the ring</a> based on geological surveys and on the locations of the surface areas will be made by mid-2022. This will be followed by detailed studies of areas identified as geologically challenging from mid-2023 to mid-2025. An updated design will be presented, and a mid-term review conducted, in 2023.</p> <p>In parallel, a financial feasibility study will develop a spending profile by the end of this year, and the costings of the project will be reviewed by a committee of external experts in 2023 and 2025. The funding model, including the identification of potential contributions from outside the CERN budget, for the first-stage of the project, the tunnel and an electron-positron collider (FCC-ee), will be presented by the end of 2025.</p> <p>The Council also congratulated CERN and its community for the great accomplishments on the scientific programme and all the Laboratory’s activities despite the testing period. I would like to thank our Member and Associate Member States for their trust and support and for having delivered 95.6% of their contributions to the 2021 CERN budget by the time of the June Council meeting, a ringing vote of confidence in CERN. You’ll find further information in the presentations from the <a class="bulletin" href="">Directorate’s Online Meeting with personnel</a> on 22 June.</p> </div> Thu, 08 Jul 2021 06:40:01 +0000 thortala 157567 at A warm welcome back to our visitors <span>A warm welcome back to our visitors</span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-byline field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item">Charlotte Lindberg Warakaulle</div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/151" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">anschaef</span></span> <span>Thu, 06/24/2021 - 09:36</span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>“The visit has been cancelled.” For many of us working on CERN’s public engagement, that phrase has become emblematic of the past 15 months as thousands of visits to the Laboratory had to be cancelled or postponed. But, hopefully, we can now consign this phrase to the past.</p> <p>On 1 June 2021, <a href="">CERN restarted a number of activities for the public</a> after having had the doors closed for visits and events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Openness, engagement and sharing of knowledge with the public are part of our CERN DNA, and it was difficult to have to disappoint the many people who had planned to visit us during the pandemic. We are therefore delighted to welcome our first visitors back on site, although the reopening is of course gradual – initially just the Microcosm exhibition, CERN Shop and events at the Globe – and highly dependent on the health situation, in line with <a href="">CERN’s COVID-19 scale and measures</a>.</p> <p>I say “on site” because the pandemic did not prevent CERN from welcoming many visitors, virtually. Our disappointment at the many cancelled visits was transformed into a burst of creativity and innovation in the way that we engage with the public.</p> <p>The Visitor and Events Operations and the Teacher and Student Programmes sections deployed a wide range of online activities, giving people locally and worldwide the chance to learn about CERN, its facilities and its research from their schools and their homes.</p> <p>Since April 2020, no less than 450 virtual talks have been organised for over 12 000 visitors from 27 countries, for which 40 CERN guides were trained. In recent months, the Visitor and Events Operations section has also conducted <a href="">virtual tours</a> with guides on site, and has integrated virtual tours of ATLAS and ALICE in <a href="">its platform</a>, alongside a compilation of CERN’s most popular <a href="">online resources</a> for discovering the Laboratory.</p> <p>Two online science shows – “It’s just a phase!” and “Superconductors take off!” – have been developed by the Teacher and Student Programmes section. In total, 50 shows have been held for over 2300 students aged from 6 to 19 in 15 different countries.</p> <p>In September 2020, the final stage of the <a href="">Beamline for Schools</a> competition took place in a hybrid format, with one team on site at the DESY laboratory (Germany) and the other team running its experiments remotely from CERN. For the 2021 edition, two online events were organised for all the pre-registered teams, leading to record participation.</p> <p>And from October 2020 to June 2021, some 1800 teachers from 40 different countries participated in 13 online teacher programmes, ranging from half-day events to six-week training courses. This represents an undeniable success that could well transform CERN’s <a href="">Teacher Programmes</a> in the long run.</p> <p>The Protocol Service, with the support of colleagues across the Laboratory, also developed a virtual-visit concept that will provide new opportunities for engagement with decision-makers who wish to know more about CERN but may not be able to visit in person.</p> <p>These are just a few examples of the many initiatives that saw the light of day during the pandemic. Together with the strong digital storytelling we put in place (engagement with CERN on social media increased by 107%, for example), they are helping CERN reach an ever-wider public. All initiatives were very positively received, encouraging us to continue innovating. They will not replace the on-site engagement, which will be expanded with the opening in 2023 of the CERN Science Gateway, but provide an important complement to our exhibitions and guided tours, many of which have also been upgraded during the pandemic.</p> <p>We are thrilled to reopen CERN’s doors to our visitors – and to maintain the online engagement that is opening science up to many, many more.</p> </div> Thu, 24 Jun 2021 07:36:44 +0000 anschaef 157473 at Join us in launching CERN’s Year of Environmental Awareness on 24 June <span>Join us in launching CERN’s Year of Environmental Awareness on 24 June </span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-byline field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item">Fabiola Gianotti</div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/21331" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">thortala</span></span> <span>Wed, 06/09/2021 - 10:53</span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Last Saturday was World Environment Day, and a fitting occasion for us to launch <a href="">CERN’s Year of Environmental Awareness</a>, an initiative allowing everyone involved with the Laboratory to discover CERN’s work in the field of environmental protection, and to find out how we can all contribute.</p> <p>We are launching the initiative in 2021 for good reason. CERN has always taken pains to limit its environmental impact and reports regularly to Host State authorities. Over recent years, however, we have upped our game considerably, by allocating substantial resources, human and financial, and putting in place bodies to examine, manage and reduce where possible our environmental footprint. The CERN Environmental Protection Steering board (CEPS) studies and prioritises environmental actions and, following management approval, supervises the implementation of concrete measures for improvement. The Energy Management Panel (EMP) examines CERN’s energy use and identifies areas where consumption can be reduced and/or energy can be re-used. Working with departments and units across the Organization, both make a tangible difference, as you can discover in the pages of CERN’s biennial environment reports, and through events and articles over the coming year.  Last year was the first time that CERN produced a public-facing environment report. It covered the period 2017-2018. The 2019-2020 report will be released this September, and we are committed to publishing a report every two years from then on.</p> <p>Beyond the walls of the Laboratory, CERN has also been increasingly engaged with environmental protection. In 2007, we established a tripartite environment committee with the environmental authorities of the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, and the Sub-Préfectures of Gex and Nantua, France, to look at CERN activities that impact the neighbouring region. Three years later, we extended our engagement through another tripartite committee with the Swiss Federal Office for Public Health (OFSP) and the French Nuclear Authority (ASN) to replace previously existing bilateral agreements covering matters of radiation protection and safety at CERN.</p> <p>Several initiatives to limit CERN’s impact on the environment and increase sustainability have been identified and implemented. Examples include the renovation of the East Hall during LS2, which reduces the overall energy consumption of the facility by 90%. The heat recovery project from the LHC at point 8, which will contribute to heating a new residential development in Ferney-Voltaire is another example. A new retention basin has been built to handle the outflows from the Prévessin site, reducing the risk of flooding in case of heavy rainfall. Looking ahead, new buildings at CERN are being designed with the highest standards in terms of environmental protection. The new computing centre at Prévessin will include heat recovery to heat the site, and Science Gateway is a prime example of green architecture, being powered by solar energy, and surrounded by a veritable forest of trees.</p> <p>Increasing awareness of the importance of environmental matters has been reflected in the growing place the environment occupies in plans for the future of our field. The 2020 update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics stipulates that not only should minimising the environmental impact of future facilities be integrated into any new project from the start, but that technologies developed for such facilities that have the potential to contribute to environmental management more widely in society should be actively pursued.</p> <p>CERN’s particle accelerator, detector and computing technologies already bring great benefit to society in the form of knowledge and innovation, training, and international collaboration. As we move forward, we will be striving to minimise the environmental impact of our facilities, while at the same time maximising their potential for environmental protection.</p> <p>Protecting the environment is a priority at CERN, and it is something we can and should all contribute to. Every one of us has an important role to play in implementing CERN’s policies and embodying CERN’s role in promoting environmental best practice in the world of research. Find out how you can be involved by embracing CERN’s Year of Environment Awareness, starting with the launch event on 24 June at 2.00 p.m. Together, we can ensure a sustainable future for particle physics at CERN, make the laboratory a role model for environmentally responsible research and contribute to the societal efforts to protect the planet.</p> <p><em>_____</em></p> <p><em>The link to the webcast of the Town Hall will be accessible on the event's <a class="bulletin" href="">Indico page</a>. </em></p> </div> Wed, 09 Jun 2021 08:53:43 +0000 thortala 157172 at A pragmatic COVID scale system <span>A pragmatic COVID scale system </span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-byline field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item">Benoît Delille</div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/21331" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">thortala</span></span> <span>Wed, 05/26/2021 - 10:49</span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Much work has gone into CERN’s COVID scale and accompanying measures, which will be introduced on 1 June. The overriding objective of the new system is to provide better visibility on the measures that will be applicable at CERN in the coming months.</p> <p>These measures will guide several aspects of life at CERN, from telework to restaurant and shuttle services and the activities of the clubs and the Visit service. The applicable COVID-19 risk level will be determined mainly on the basis of the circulation of the virus in the local area.  As is already the case today, the measures defined in the new system will be complemented by rules regarding isolation and quarantine for COVID-19 cases, close contacts and persons arriving from high-risk countries or areas. These rules will continue to reflect Host State regulations and recommendations and CERN’s need to define a unique set of measures on its sites. Hygiene measures will continue to apply, regardless of the risk level.</p> <p>While we all hope that with the vaccination campaigns in France and Switzerland advancing well, some kind of return to normality might soon be possible, there remains a great deal of uncertainty – what challenges will new variants bring, and what will be the consequences of the gradual opening up we are now witnessing? We’ve therefore designed a system in which we can move from looser to tighter restrictions, as well as from tighter to looser, as the situation demands.</p> <p>For most of us at CERN, access to the CERN sites and the teleworking measures associated with each level will be the most important information to have to hand. But the system also takes into account factors such as when professional and non-professional visitors can come on site and when we can open our exhibitions and visits to the public.</p> <p>Once the system is in place, the level in force will be regularly evaluated and communicated via the weekly COVID-19 email for the week starting ten days later. The current level will always be displayed on the panels at the entrances to CERN, on the CERN HSE website and in the main CERN directory. The level in force will be based on the weekly virus circulation in the local area, along with a number of qualitative factors relating to life on the CERN site.</p> <p>The COVID scale system is pragmatic and builds on the knowledge that has accumulated across the Laboratory since the pandemic was declared last year, and I am convinced that it will serve us well and allow us to edge closer to normality. You can find out more about it in <a class="bulletin" href="">this article</a>, and on <a class="bulletin" href="">this summary table</a> dedicated to the system. I look forward to the day when the level is green, but I trust that, with the new system, we’ll be able to see each other on site safely even before this is the case.</p> </div> Wed, 26 May 2021 08:49:16 +0000 thortala 157098 at The future of CERN's accelerators and technology in an intriguing physics landscape <span>The future of CERN&#039;s accelerators and technology in an intriguing physics landscape </span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-byline field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item">Mike Lamont</div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/21331" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">thortala</span></span> <span>Tue, 05/11/2021 - 11:57</span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>On the accelerator and technology front, our core missions for the next few years have been mapped out in the 2020 update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics. Some are a continuation of established business: effective exploitation of our existing facilities and deployment of the ongoing HL-LHC upgrade.</p> <p>Another key focus is the extension of the exploration of future options with the aim of securing the longer-term future via an energy frontier machine backed by targeted accelerator R&amp;D. In addition, novel developments of our accelerator complex and its technology should foster diversification in an intriguing physics landscape. All this must be achieved working hand-in-hand with our international partners. </p> <p>The European Strategy update also set out an important conjoined vision of sustainability, environmental and societal impact stemming from the innovative application of the multi-faceted technology that underpins our efforts. It envisaged close connections with other branches of science and industry through common projects<strong> </strong>to foster effective use of R&amp;D via knowledge transfer for society’s benefit. This vision is coupled with public engagement, education and communication and due regard for the social and career prospects of the next generations.</p> <p>That such considerations are included in the European Strategy is not surprising; we are of the zeitgeist, and these themes are well reflected in the missions of, for example, the upcoming Horizon Europe programme and recent policies of governments and institutions around the world.</p> <p>CERN is already actively pursuing some of these threads. The Knowledge Transfer group, for example, is working actively with the Accelerators and Technology sector and the Research and Computing sector, leading to many cases of successful crossover. Active recognition of societal impact and sustainability is becoming part of our baseline considerations. At the same time, it is recognised that these efforts have to be carefully balanced with the demands of CERN’s core mission and that overall priority is given to CERN’s scientific programme. With tightening resources, we have to make intelligent choices. Working together with our European partners is one way of leveraging the available resources, and the Horizon programmes provide one model of realising such cooperation.</p> <p>As an example, the recently launched Horizon 2020 project Innovation Fostering in Accelerator Science and Technology (I.FAST) brings together 48 partners from 15 countries: 8 accelerator laboratories, 12 national research centres, 12 universities, and 16 industries (including 11 SMEs) with the aim of boosting innovation in and from the particle-accelerator-based research infrastructures with due regard for the long-term sustainability of particle accelerator-based research, knowledge transfer and the realisation of an open innovation ecosystem. The project encompasses an impressive breadth of innovative applications of key accelerator technology, such as materials science, superconducting magnets, superconducting thin-film-coated radiofrequency cavities and Additive Manufacturing, and provides a real opportunity to integrate resources and pursue agile exploration of the potential of accelerator technology.</p> <p>Coupled with the incoming core accelerator R&amp;D roadmaps, such collaboration, working together in a pan-European and worldwide context, is surely an imperative as we move forward.</p> </div> Tue, 11 May 2021 09:57:37 +0000 thortala 157002 at Mouth-watering prospects for Research and Computing at CERN <span>Mouth-watering prospects for Research and Computing at CERN</span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-byline field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item">Joachim Mnich</div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/21331" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">thortala</span></span> <span>Mon, 04/26/2021 - 13:36</span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It’s great to be back at CERN after a gap of 21 years. Even if the middle of a pandemic is a strange time to arrive, it’s also a time to experience first-hand the strengths of this great Organization as it adapts to the evolving situation. We all have much to take satisfaction from in the way our community is living with COVID-19.</p> <p>In this, my first message in the <em>Bulletin</em>, I’d like to take a look at what the Research and Computing sector (RCS) has in store for the coming five years. In short, the task ahead of us is no less than to implement recommendations of the 2020 update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics. First and foremost, that means ensuring the success of Run 3 of the LHC and, with recent results from both CERN and Fermilab showing potential cracks in the Standard Model, that is a mouth-watering prospect.</p> <p>The next task in hand is to prepare for a successful transition to the high-luminosity phase, the HL-LHC, starting in 2027. Whatever emerges from Run 3, the HL-LHC is a vital successor to the LHC, bringing significantly larger amounts of data and thereby extending the potential for precision studies. Greater precision will not only bring greater clarity to the discoveries made by the LHC, it will also come with new discovery potential.</p> <p>Although it is our flagship facility, the LHC is far from being the only show in town. At CERN, the fixed-target programme has some vibrant years ahead of it, full of potential, and with intriguing results promised across the board. The experimental results that are emerging are giving our Theory department plenty of food for thought, and with the Neutrino Platform in full swing, we have important contributions to make to neutrino programmes in the US and Japan.</p> <p>Perhaps the most significant recommendation of the updated Strategy is that CERN should conduct a feasibility study for a 100 km collider, with an electron–positron Higgs and electroweak factory as the Laboratory’s next major facility, followed by a hadron collider at the highest possible energy. Although the timescales for such facilities are long – the earliest possible start date for the Higgs factory is around 2040, while the hadron collider would not be producing physics results until 2060 at the earliest – there’s not a moment to lose. The Future Circular Collider (FCC) Feasibility Study is tasked with providing input for the next update of the Strategy in around five to six years’ time.</p> <p>Computing is the third key ingredient of the RCS portfolio, and there are significant challenges ahead to keep pace with the increasing data volumes from the LHC. A new computing centre in Prévessin will go a long way towards addressing those challenges, and will be a flagship for CERN’s environmental credentials, since it will have heat recovery built in from the start. Looking further ahead, CERN is joining the global effort to bring about a new quantum revolution. Through the Quantum Technology Initiative, we will be exploring potential new computing, communication, sensing and simulation devices. We will also be pursuing our efforts on commercial software products and their licensing policies in order to ensure the best value and quality we can achieve.</p> <p>Last but not least, the Scientific Information Service is, in a way, the embodiment of all we do, since the product of science is knowledge. We’ll be refurbishing the library, expanding the functionality of INSPIRE, and driving forward CERN’s open science and data preservation frameworks.</p> <p>All in all, it’s an invigorating prospect, and as vaccines appear to be offering a way for us to emerge from the pandemic, I’m looking forward to rediscovering, with you, the vibrant CERN I knew so well 21 years ago.</p> </div> Mon, 26 Apr 2021 11:36:49 +0000 thortala 156868 at One year on <span>One year on</span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-byline field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item">Fabiola Gianotti</div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/21331" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">thortala</span></span> <span>Tue, 04/13/2021 - 12:29</span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. A few days later, CERN went into safe mode. Today, the Laboratory is still far from being the hive of activity and human interaction that we all crave, with a large fraction of the personnel still working from home.</p> <p>As a consequence of the pandemic, the March 2020 CERN Council Session proved to be a harbinger of things to come. We were reminded of this two weeks ago as we marked a year of online Council meetings. Few of us thought 12 months ago that we’d still be in a similar situation in March 2021. Those of you who were able to attend yesterday’s online meeting have already heard news from the Council, had an update on progress in Long Shutdown 2 (LS2) and the upgrades to the accelerators and experiments, and learned about how we are continuing to adapt our measures to the still evolving situation. Those who could not attend can find the recording <a class="bulletin" href="">here</a>.</p> <p>The year since the pandemic was declared has been like no other. We have all had to adapt our personal and professional lives beyond recognition, and some of us have suffered the consequences of the pandemic directly. This sombre milestone is an occasion for us to pay our respects to the victims of the virus and to think of those who have lost family or friends.</p> <p>One year on, it is also an occasion to reflect on what has been achieved. If we can afford ourselves a little optimism, it is because of science, and the value system that science embodies. Vaccines have been developed, undergone clinical trials and been deployed on a massive scale on a timescale that would have been unimaginable just 12 months ago. We have seen scientists take centre stage, commanding great levels of attention, and there has been unprecedented global collaboration to tackle the pandemic. If, as we all dearly hope, the progress that has been made is to be sustained, we must strive to ensure that science retains this position in society: COVID-19 is just one of many challenges facing humanity today.</p> <p>At CERN, our science is far removed from epidemiology and vaccine development, but we have nevertheless played our part. It was both humbling and a source of pride to see the community rise to the challenge, with all the activities coordinated by the “CERN against COVID-19” task force. Thanks to your selfless efforts, CERN made a difference through initiatives ranging from producing sanitiser gel and face shields to developing an advanced low-cost ventilator to providing computing resources to researchers engaged on the front line of the fight against the virus.</p> <p>Right from the start, we have made the protection of our personnel and a safe working environment for those who cannot telework our top priority. At the same time, we have applied a scientific approach to everything we have done. CERN’s measures and procedures have evolved as evidence on the spread of the virus has accumulated, and they have always been based on the advice of medical experts and authorities.</p> <p>This approach allowed us to make great progress in 2020 under safe conditions. Although some delays were inevitable, the work of LS2 proceeded well, allowing the accelerator complex and the experimental programme at the injectors to resume operation. Last month, an important milestone was reached as the keys to the LHC were symbolically handed back to the operations team, which is now readying the machine for restart. 2020 also saw a constant flow of beautiful physics results from across the full spectrum of CERN’s experimental programme.</p> <p>I wish to take this opportunity to thank you all wholeheartedly for your commitment to CERN’s activities, your compliance with the measures on site, and your patience and support as we adapt, and will continue to adapt, to the evolving situation. My gratitude goes also to all the people and services who have been working incessantly over the past year to deploy the necessary infrastructure and tools to protect the health of the personnel on site and to support everyone from the CERN community who has had administrative, logistic, contractual or other problems.</p> <p>There is no doubt in my mind that this is part of what makes CERN what it is, and what makes science science. Our value system is based on knowledge and scientific evidence, shared challenges and solutions, collaboration, solidarity, mutual trust and respect in order to plot the right course for all. As we reflect on a painful year gone by, we can also allow ourselves a moment of pride at the way our community has come through.</p> </div> Tue, 13 Apr 2021 10:29:27 +0000 thortala 156805 at Excellence in science thrives on global interaction <span>Excellence in science thrives on global interaction</span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-byline field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item">Charlotte Lindberg Warakaulle</div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/21331" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">thortala</span></span> <span>Wed, 03/24/2021 - 16:30</span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>A year ago, it seemed that the world closed around us. From one day to the next, travel and movement became restricted. The usual in-person exchanges with colleagues from across the world suddenly became a rare occurrence. Yet, while the pandemic may have changed how we interact, it has also highlighted the inherently global nature of our discipline and of research generally. Excellence in science is driven by inclusive interaction, by bringing together diverse ideas and input from all corners of our globe.</p> <p>As we look ahead to the future of CERN, this global dimension takes on added importance. An ambitious future for the Laboratory and for the field is only possible through a global effort, with our Member and Associate Members at the heart of it.</p> <p>Five years ago, the International Relations Sector was established with the task of enabling CERN to accelerate science and serve society on a global level, now and for the future. This mission is even more relevant now, five years on, as we focus on support for the implementation of the recommendations of the 2020 update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics. There is an international dimension across all of the 20 statements of the Strategy. Our task in IR is to facilitate that international dimension, generating understanding and building support for the scientific aspirations encapsulated in the Strategy.</p> <p>Reaching out, making CERN visible and making its impact understood, is critical to sustaining long-term support. This requires engagement in our Member and Associate Member States, and beyond. For the IR sector, whose core business involves engaging with people either on-site or further afield, it seemed for a while as if everything would grind to a halt in 2020. “La visite est annulée” became almost a mantra, until our fantastic teams learned how to move on-line with virtual talks and visits tailored for VIPs, schools, the media and the general public. These will continue, and as we hopefully move back towards normality, they will enhance our work going forward.</p> <p>The <a href="">CERN Science Gateway</a>, our new education and outreach centre, will be pivotal in our efforts to enhance the engagement for CERN’s future. Construction got underway towards the end of last year and is now very visible around the Globe of Science and Innovation and next to entrance A. In parallel, work is ongoing to develop new exhibitions, along with educational and outreach programmes ready for the opening in 2022/23. This year’s Sparks! event is an important precursor in this respect. The new materials, joint events through the auditorium, temporary exhibitions at the Globe and more capacity to welcome visitors will all serve to strengthen the link between CERN and our Member and Associate Member States.</p> <p>The next five years are important ones for all of the CERN community in a global perspective. The top priority remains, of course, the physics – excellent science that thrives on interaction on a worldwide scale. With the experience of the first five years, the IR sector will be working hard over the coming mandate to ensure that the vision and impact of the Laboratory are shared, understood and owned by all of our stakeholders. As we emerge from the pandemic, we want to look forward to a bright and even more greatly integrated future for our field.</p> </div> Wed, 24 Mar 2021 15:30:25 +0000 thortala 156728 at CERN’s accelerators at the dawn of a new mandate <span>CERN’s accelerators at the dawn of a new mandate </span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-byline field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item">Mike Lamont</div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/21331" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">thortala</span></span> <span>Wed, 03/10/2021 - 08:55</span> <div class="field field--name-field-p-news-display-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Beam is back in the injectors after a stunning effort in Long Shutdown 2 under difficult circumstances. Linac4 is now fully operational and delivering beam to the downstream accelerators. The LHC Injectors Upgrade (LIU) leaves the injectors with many new systems and improvements, and the first benefits are already visible with the recent historic milestones: H<sup>-</sup> charge exchange injection into the Booster and 2 GeV injection into the PS. More is to come with the restart of the SPS, with the new RF power system, protection devices and numerous other measures paving the way for the proton and ion beams required for the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC).</p> <p>These achievements are the culmination of more than a decade’s effort in hardware development, prototyping, accelerator physics studies, simulations, controls development, construction, procurement, planning, installation, commissioning and testing of hardware.</p> <p>And it is a real triumph for the dedication and professionalism of the teams involved and the exercise of technical expertise in conception, construction and operation, as well as the belief that an incredibly challenging large-scale technical set-up such as this can be mastered intellectually. As those involved will testify, it’s not easy, it takes time, and it takes collaboration.</p> <p>Linac4, the Booster and the PS are highlighted here, but the same approach can be seen across the SPS, AD/ELENA, ISOLDE, n_TOF, the North Area and, of course, the LHC itself, which has seen major programmes of upgrades, maintenance and consolidation, allowing us to look forward to pushing the main dipoles to 7 TeV and a productive Run 3. Getting back to full-scale operation across the complex, and the steady delivery of beams to the extensive user communities, is set to be a great psychological boost following the pandemic.</p> <p>With the HL-LHC, CERN is looking to secure the high-energy frontier in the medium term, extending the life of the LHC for nearly two decades. The HL-LHC’s 18 work packages draw on expertise across the whole sector and well beyond, with a huge range of technological innovations covering areas as diverse as collimation and crab cavities, cold powering and cryogenics. Key components are the inner triplet quadrupole magnets. The existing triplets have a limited lifespan due to the high level of radiation they receive from luminosity debris.   Their replacement sees the pioneering use of niobium-3 tin (Nb<sub>3</sub>Sn), a technology that has been developed over the last decade, both at CERN and in the United States, from R&amp;D and prototyping through to series production.</p> <p>The update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics has entrusted us with exploration of long-term strategic accelerator options, and the associated accelerator R&amp;D. This is quite a programme, covering an FCC feasibility study, an ambitious long-term high-field magnet programme, an international Muon Collider study, and the continued development of CLIC accelerator technology and other high-gradient accelerating structures. AWAKE remains CERN’s flagship in the plasma wakefield acceleration domain, and Physics Beyond Colliders will continue to explore and help develop novel possibilities. Execution of the programme will require careful marshalling of resources and full-scale collaboration with our partners around the world.</p> <p>It’s hard in a few lines to do justice to the diverse technical capabilities of the Accelerators and Technology sector (ATS).  Deep understanding, experience, expertise, innovation, facilities and manufacturing capability are all present and reflected in a wide-ranging global network of collaborations with institutes and industry. As the importance of sustainability and societal impact grows, we will also continue to incorporate them into our mission. It’s an exciting and challenging time for ATS, and it is an honour for me to lead the sector for the coming five years.</p> </div> Wed, 10 Mar 2021 07:55:14 +0000 thortala 156644 at