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CERN prepares to celebrate completion of the LHC

Geneva, 20 October 2008. Swiss President Pascal Couchepin and French Prime Minister François Fillon will be joined at CERN1 tomorrow by science ministers from CERN’s Member States and around the world to inaugurate the Large Hadron Collider.  The world’s largest and most complex scientific instrument, the LHC circulated its first beam on 10 September 2008.

“The LHC is a marvel of modern technology,” said CERN Director General Robert Aymar, “which would not have been possible without the continuous support of our Member States. This is an opportunity for me to thank them on behalf of the world’s particle physics community.”

The inauguration ceremony, which is by invitation only, will consist of speeches, exhibitions and a new audiovisual concert, “ORIGINS”, an adaptation of “LIFE: A Journey Through Time”, featuring the imagery of National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting and the music of Philip Glass, performed by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by Carolyn Kuan. It will be followed by a buffet of molecular gastronomy presented by Chef Ettore Bocchia. The event has been made possible thanks to the generous support of a range of sponsoring companies and organizations2, most of which have contributed to the construction of the LHC. It will be followed by a party for CERN personnel.

“All those who have contributed to the LHC’s making have just reason to feel proud, and the inauguration ceremony is also our opportunity to thank them,” said Aymar, “while officially launching a new era of scientific discovery.”

The event will be distributed via Webcast and via satellite through Eurovision. Photographs of the event will be available to download on the day. The programme is available for download in PDF format. Further details are available at:


1. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It 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. India, Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have Observer status.
2. Gold Sponsor: INEO GDF SUEZ, Regione Sicilia. Main Sponsors: Air Liquide, ALSTOM Power, ASG Superconductors SpA, ATI Wah Chang, Babcock Noell GMBH, HAMAMATSU Photonics, Intel, La Fondation Meyrinoise pour la Promotion Culturelle, Sportive et Sociale, Linde Kryotechnik AG, Luvata Group, Oracle, Ville et Etat de Genève and UBS. Sponsors: CECOM Snc, Efacec, Force10 Networks, IEEE, La Mobilière Suisse, Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum GmbH, Peugeot Gerbier, Siemens, Sun Microsystems SA, TRANSTEC Computer AG and Western Digital. Associate Sponsors: Accel, Arcelor Mittal, Bruun & Sorensen, CAEN SpA, Carlson Wagonlit, CEGELEC, DELL SA, E4 computer engineering SpA, EAS European Advanced, EOS, Ernesto Malvestiti SpA, IBM, IHI Corporation, Infotrend Europe Ltd, Iniziative Industriali Srl, ISQ, Italkrane Srl, Kaneka, La Tour Réseau de Soins, Migros, National Instruments, ProCurve Networking by HP, SERCO, Soci&e