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CERN Hosts the 17th Magnet Technology Conference

CERN Hosts the 17th Magnet Technology Conference

Geneva, 20 September 2001. From Monday 24 to Friday 28 September, CERN , the European Organization for Nuclear Research, will host the 17th Magnet Technology (MT) Conference, the world's largest conference focused exclusively on magnets and their applications, at the International Conference Centre in Geneva.

Modern particle physics depends upon electromagnets, using them to guide and focus elementary particles like protons and electrons and also ions in accelerators and to analyse the results of their interactions in detectors. Systems consisting of thousands of magnets constitute the backbone of CERN accelerators. The Large Hadron Collider, an accelerator presently under construction at CERN and which will bring protons or ions into head-on collisions at higher energies than ever achieved before and allow scientists to recreate the conditions that existed just after the 'Big Bang', will be equipped essentially with superconducting magnets. These magnets, which present no resistance to the passage of the electrical current, will be operated at a temperature of Ð 272¡C and are at the forefront of technology. In addition, huge magnets of unprecedented size, performance and complexity are essential components for particle identification in the detectors of the LHC experiments. With CERN making such substantial usage of magnets it is not surprising that it is the current MT host.

CERN is the host of the conference, but this does not mean that particle physicists are the only ones interested in using magnets. With over 700 participants from around the world (twice that of the past two MT conferences), those attending the MT-17 have a tremendous diversity of backgrounds.

The MT conference covers the new developments and major projects in all aspects of the science, technology, and use of magnets. Alongside traditional topics like, particle accelerators, fusion for power generation, electrical machines and equipment for power generation and distribution, generation of high fields for biology and material research, there are medical and mass transport related topics. The number of hospitals around the world that are now using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for tumour detection and magnetic fields in biochemical tracking, including human brain function mapping, has dramatically increased. Interesting talks on these subjects will be given at the conference. For several years magnetic levitation, once a dream of science fiction, has grabbed the interest of the Chinese, Japanese, and Swiss transport industries. Plans and progress on Magnetically Levitated Trains will be presented at the conference. Some 30 high-technology firms have also been drawn by the conference and are scheduled to present their products in the main exhibition hall.

Journalists are welcome to visit the conference. For further details contact Neil Calder.

1. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and Unesco have observer status.