50 years of CERN: A celebratory review of the past, present and future of Europe's Particle Physics Laboratory


Tuesday 12th October
HM Treasury, 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ
18.30-21.00

To mark the 50th anniversary of CERN's foundation, you are invited to a reception that will celebrate UK involvement in CERN's past successes and discuss future ambitions. In addition to world-leading research that has won Nobel prizes; CERN was the birthplace of the World Wide Web and has seen a host of other innovations that have led to advances in information technology, electronics, detector materials and instrumentation for healthcare.

CERN is the European Particle Physics Laboratory; a jewel in the crown of European Scientific discovery and technology development. Its large-scale experiments drive advancements across a range of disciplines.

CERN's future promises more developments in science and technology. In 2007, CERN's newest facility, Large Hadron Collider will commence operations, searching for the elusive Higgs Boson - the particle thought to give others mass, and answering compelling questions about dark matter and dark energy, the existence of extra dimensions and the fundamental nature of matter, energy, space and time.

Speakers:

Lord Sainsbury of Turville, Science Minister
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web (Video message)
Professor Ian Halliday, Chief Executive of Particle Physics and
Astronomy Research Council (PPARC)
Dr Robert Aymar, Director General, CERN

Notes to Editors

1. Media registration - to register for the event please contact Chris Gosden at PPARC. Email Christy.gosden@pparc.ac.uk or Tel 01793 442009. If you have already responded to a paper invitation, there is no need to reply again.

2. For queries, please contact Julia Maddock in the PPARC Press Office, contact details below.

3. The venue is HM Treasury, a map is available at http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/contact/contact_index.cfm

Contacts

Julia Maddock
PPARC Press Office
Tel 01793 442094
Email Julia.maddock@pparc.ac.uk

CERN's 50th Anniversary

PPARC funds UK involvement in CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. The convention that established its foundation was signed on 29 September 1954, marking, just 9 years after the end of the Second World War, an early and pivotal event in the development of European co-operation, with a political significance transcending its particular scientific focus. In the organisation's golden jubilee year, CERN is focusing on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which will be the world's largest and most complex scientific instrument when it switches on in 2007. Experiments at the LHC will allow physicists to probe why the fundamental particles have the masses they do as they search for the elusive Higgs Boson. LHC experiments will also probe the mysterious missing mass and dark energy of the universe - visible matter seems to account for just 5% of what must exist. They will investigate the reason for nature's preference for matter over antimatter, and they will probe matter as it existed at the very beginning of time.

CERN's reputation is based on fundamental research, but the organisation is also an important source of new technologies. This is particularly true in the area of information technology. The World Wide Web was invented at CERN, and today the organisation is in the vanguard of the effort to develop a globally distributed computing system known as the Grid. See http://www.pparc.ac.uk/cern/cn50_intro.asp for further information.

PPARC

The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) is the UK's strategic science investment agency. It funds research, education and public understanding in four broad areas of science - particle physics, astronomy, cosmology and space science.

PPARC is government funded and provides research grants and studentships to scientists in British universities, gives researchers access to world-class facilities and funds the UK membership of international bodies such as the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN, the European Space Agency and the European Southern Observatory. It also contributes money for the UK telescopes overseas on La Palma, Hawaii, Australia and in Chile, the UK Astronomy Technology Centre at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh and the MERLIN/VLBI National Facility.

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