December 2009 News Archive

December 30, 2009

Universities Research Association, Inc. (URA) has announced a deadline
of February 19, 2010 for the submission of applications for the spring
2010 cycle of awards in the URA Visiting Scholars Program at Fermilab.
Successful applicants will be notified at the end of March 2010.

These awards provide financial support for faculty and students from
URA’s 87 member universities to work at Fermilab for periods of up to
one year. URA makes two rounds of awards each year, in the Spring and
Fall. The application deadline for the fall 2010 cycle will be in August
of next year. Successful applicants will be notified in September.

Proposals may range from attendance at conferences or summer schools to
year long research stays. Support from this program can range from
transportation costs, to local lodging expenses during short visits, to
stipend support during a longer visit. Individual awards may be up to a
maximum of $50,000 in any 12-month period. With the 18 awards conferred
in October 2009, URA has made a total of 68 awards since the beginning of 2008.

The program is a corporate commitment to Fermilab made by URA under the
FRA contract with the Department of Energy. The 87 URA member
universities each contribute $5,000 a year for five years in support of
joint Fermilab-URA research and education initiatives.

For details on the URA Visiting Scholars at Fermilab Program, including eligibility, application procedure, award administration, and names of award recipients, visit the URA Visiting Scholars Website.

December 18, 2009
CERN: LHC ends 2009 run on a high note

December 18, 2009
Latest News from the LHC – End of Run with High Energy

December 18, 2009
New LHC 2010 draft accelerator schedule

Dear Colleagues,

a new LHC 2010 draft accelerator schedule has been posted
by Mike Lamont on the BE site.

Most relevant date for the near future:

LHC closed on 15th of February (*** correction to original note – from
TC) 2010, which includes the experimental areas.
(with occasionnal access still possible in that week,
to be coordinated with LPC).

see the usual page

or directly

December 18, 2009
Reflecting on a historic year for CERN

Christmas is a time for contemplative reflection, and after 12 months in office, for me at least, there’s plenty to reflect upon. One of the first things I did on taking up my mandate was to give an interview to the Bulletin, setting out my priorities for the months ahead. The top priority for 2009 was to repair the LHC and install protection systems to ensure that we would not find ourselves back where we were on 19 September 2008. We also planned to re-introduce the LEP-era tradition of the Chamonix workshop to take stock and plan for the year ahead.

Although focusing on the LHC, we made time for workshops on future fixed-target and neutrino physics at CERN, established a new external relations office and added knowledge transfer to the lab’s technology transfer mandate. Not mentioned in that January Bulletin article, but of vital importance to the lab nonetheless, was the plan to bring in a new contract policy.

Looking back, I think we have done pretty well with this ambitious programme for the year, and I’d like to thank each and every one of you for the part you’ve played. The things CERN achieves because of its creative, forward-thinking and dedicated people are truly amazing.

The LHC has, of course, been the star. When people from the machine met with people from the experiments in Chamonix in February, they set themselves the objective of getting the LHC up and running before the end of the year, with an energy rising towards 5 TeV during the course of the 2009-2010 run. Although the date discussed in Chamonix for first beam proved to be a little ambitious, we have achieved all our objectives for the LHC in 2009. Stable beams have circulated reliably, a world record collision energy has been set, and all the experiments have collected substantial quantities of data. It has been a fantastic year for the LHC, and although it’s been said before, I want to underline the fact that it has been made possible by the unique global collaboration that is particle physics. It has been truly heart-warming to see the community pulling together to achieve its goals.

Away from the LHC, the fixed-target and neutrino workshops produced a wealth of good ideas that will take time to digest, but which I hope will lead to a vibrant programme for the future. The existing fixed-target run was very successful in 2009, with our accelerator complex delivering many more protons on target than planned. Our stakeholder relations have been streamlined through the external relations office, and our knowledge and technology transfer group is on the verge of launching the lab’s alumni initiative: the CERN global network. The new contract policy came into force on 1 August, smoothing the process and adding flexibility to our recruitment.

In 2009 the number of CERN users passed the 10000 mark for the first time, and we have received formal applications for membership from five countries. In the light of this, work got underway on-site to prepare our basic infrastructure for a growing number of people. Over recent years, our buildings and public spaces have received only the minimum of necessary maintenance, and the time has now come for serious investment. The signs of this have been visible across the CERN sites throughout the year, and include a much-needed extension to restaurant 1.

Public interest in CERN remained high in 2009, with some very positive results for particle physics. Media coverage has been sustained and largely enthusiastic. CERN and LHC have regularly been among the most talked about terms on the web, and even the word ‘hadron’ made a list of the top 15 words of the year as compiled by one company that monitors language trends. Science’s rightful place is at the heart of culture, and at the heart of public debate. The LHC is doing its part to put science there, and at the same time building a platform for us to pass our key message of basic science as a driver for knowledge and innovation.

All in all, I think we can all look back with pride on a historic year for CERN. It’s been the year that the LHC started to deliver, and with physics foreseen for the first quarter of 2010, next year is set to be equally memorable. That’s all the more reason for us all to take a well-earned end of year break, and enjoy the opportunity that the festive season brings for reflection. I would like to wish you and your families a very restful holiday, and would like to invite you all to my New Year’s presentation on 11 January. Until then, seasons greetings to you all.

Rolf Heuer

December 16, 2009
LARP reaches magnet technology milestone

–from Fermilab Today

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN has just started producing collisions, but scientists and engineers have already made significant progress in preparing for future upgrades beyond the collider’s nominal design performance, including a 10-fold increase in collision rates by the end of the next decade and, eventually, higher-energy beams.

In a test on Dec. 4, a focusing magnet built by members of the U.S. Department of Energy’s multi-laboratory LHC Accelerator Research Program (LARP), using an advanced superconducting material, achieved the goal of creating a magnetic field strong enough to focus intense proton beams in the upgraded LHC interaction regions.

“This success has been made possible by the enthusiasm and dedication of many scientists, engineers, and technicians at the collaborating laboratories,” said Eric Prebys of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, who heads LARP, “and by the guidance and continuous support of the U.S. Department of Energy and the encouragement and contributions of CERN and the entire accelerator magnet community.”

LARP is a collaboration of Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermilab, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory founded by DOE in 2003 to address the challenge of planned upgrades that will significantly increase the LHC’s luminosity.

Read more

December 14, 2009
Searching for the Higgs

In Physics Trends

December 11, 2009
Second Status Report on the LHC December 18

The second public status report on the progress of the LHC accelerator and of the experiments is scheduled for next Friday December 18, at 12:15.

The presentations, to be webcast and archived, will take place in the Main Auditorium, with a transmission to the Council Chamber.

For more information, see

December 10, 2009
Call for letters of support from DPF Re: Science funding in Japan

Dear DPF Colleagues,
A very troublesome situation has developed with respect to the
funding of science in Japan. This is described at,
where one should click on “News”, and then “News wire archive — 2009.”
The two relevant items are those of 2 December, 2009, and the first of
the items for 24 November, 2009. The APS and the DPF have already sent
letters expressing appreciation and admiration of the outstanding
Japanese physics programs. In the news items, comments from the global
scientific community are invited, and instructions for submitting them
are given. I would encourage you to convey any comments you may have.
Please note from the 2 December news item that time is very short.

Boris Kayser, DPF Chair

December 10, 2009
Atom smasher catches first high-energy collisions – R&D Magazine

December 3, 2009
Student Travel Grants to APS Meeting
Message to members of the American Physical Society’s
DPF, Authorized by Al Goshaw, Secretary/Treasurer

Dear Colleagues:

The DPF is pleased to announce that we can provide travel support for a
limited number of students to attend the joint APS and AAPT
meeting, February 13-17, in Washington, DC. For meeting details, see
Advance registration at a reduced rate is available through December 11.

The travel award will be for $300 in the form of a check in the APS
registration packet, and will be given to approximately 30 students.
To be eligible for the award, a student must be presenting a paper at
the meeting in the category of PARTICLE AND FIELDS and must be a
Ph.D. candidate at a US educational institution. Applications from undergraduate
students presenting results based on their research will also be considered on an
individual basis. Applicants must be members (or applicant members) of the
DPF. Details on a free 1-year student trial membership can be found at

To be considered for an award, students should submit an email request
to Ritchie Patterson ( by 5pm January 15, 2010.
The request should include their university affiliation, thesis adviser, expected
date of Ph.D. completion, and the abstract number and title of the paper they are
presenting at the meeting. The request should also include a follow-up
endorsement from their faculty supervisor, to be transmitted by that
supervisor to the same email address by the same date.

Please take advantage of this opportunity to promote student
participation in the APS/AAPT meeting.

Ritchie Patterson, for the DPF Executive Committee