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L

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RE: CERN
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L

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On Tuesday, March 27, there was a serious failure in a high-pressure test at CERN of a Fermilab-built "inner-triplet" series of three quadrupole magnets in the tunnel of the Large Hadron Collider. The magnets focus the particle beams prior to collision at each of four interaction points around the accelerator.
Safety precautions were followed during the test, and no one was injured.
A full investigation of the failure is underway, but preliminary indications are that structures supporting the inner cold mass of one of the three magnets within its enclosing cryostat broke at a pressure of 20 atmospheres, in response to asymmetric forces applied during the test. Such forces are expected on occasion during normal operation of the LHC. The failure does not concern the magnets or the cold masses themselves, but rather their assembly in the cryostat.

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L

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Stephen Hawking
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Stephen Hawking, Lucasian Professor of Cambridge University and best-selling author of A Brief History of Time, has paid a week long visit to CERN in Geneva – the world’s largest centre for particle physics.

Prof. Hawking was visiting the Theory Unit of the Physics Department at CERN. The Theory Unit welcomes about 400 visiting physicists per year, who come together to debate and discuss their ideas. As a key figure in the field of theoretical cosmology, Prof. Hawking’s visit reinforces the exciting anticipation of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), due to start up in 2007, and the importance of CERN as a central meeting place for the best minds in physics.

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L

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CERN has switched on a new neutrino beam, aimed through the earth to the INFN2 Gran Sasso Laboratories some 730km away near Rome. This is the latest addition to a global endeavour to understand this most elusive of particles and unlock the secrets it carries about the origins and evolution of our Universe. The start of the project was marked today by a ceremony at the Gran Sasso Laboratories attended by Italian Minister for Universities and Research, Fabio Mussi, and CERN Director General Robert Aymar.

"CERN has a tradition of neutrino physics stretching back to the early 1960s, this new project builds on that tradition, and is set to open a new and exciting phase in our understanding of these elusive particles" - Dr Robert Aymar.

The CNGS beam and the experimental devices constructed in the Gran Sasso Laboratories to study neutrino interactions are part of a project aimed at shedding light on the mysterious phenomenon of the oscillation of these particles.

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L

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RE: Gran Sasso project
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Scientists at CERN announced the completion of the target assembly for the CERN neutrinos to Gran Sasso project, CNGS. On schedule for start-up in May 2006, CNGS will send a beam of neutrinos through the Earth to the Gran Sasso laboratory 730km away in Italy in a bid to unravel the mysteries of natures most elusive particles.

CNGS forms a unique element in the global effort to understand neutrinos, the chameleons of the fundamental particle world. Neutrinos come in three types, or flavours, and have the ability to change between one flavour and another. Neutrinos interact hardly at all with other matter. Trillions of them pass through us every second, and it is precisely their vast numbers that make them a key element in understanding the Universe and its evolution.

The neutrinos leaving CERN are mainly of the muon type. Theory says that by the time they get to Gran Sasso, some of them will have changed into tau neutrinos. Detectors under construction at the Gran Sasso laboratory will measure how many tau neutrinos appear. This is the crucial distinction between CNGS and other long baseline neutrino experiments, which measure the numbers of muon neutrinos at the source and at the detectors to count how many disappear on the way. The measurements are complementary, and both are necessary for a full understanding of the physics of neutrinos. CNGSs neutrino experiments must be extraordinarily sensitive to detect the small number of tau neutrinos appearing in the beam. Just a few a year will be detected at Gran Sasso.

Having been successfully assembled in the lab, the CNGS target will now be dismantled for installation in its underground target chamber. Installation of the neutrino beam will be complete by the end of the year, and the first beam of neutrinos will leave Geneva, pass about 10km below Florence, and reach Gran Sasso northeast of Rome in May 2006.

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Anonymous

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CERN
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CERN, the European nuclear research lab, has passed a milestone in building its worldwide data grid, sustaining a continuous data flow of an average of 600 megabytes per second (MB/s) for 10 days between eight facilities distributed through Europe and the US.
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