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CERN library event

In quel preciso momento, un centesimo di miliardesimo di secondo dopo il Big Bang, si è deciso il nostro destino. In un universo in cui materia e antimateria si equivalevano, e che quindi avrebbe potuto, in ogni istante, tornare a essere pura energia, può essere bastata una leggerissima preferenza del bosone di Higgs per la materia anziché per l’antimateria ed ecco che si è prodotto il mondo che abbiamo sotto gli occhi. “Ecco qua il minuscolo difetto, la sottile imperfezione da cui è nato tutto. Un’anomalia che dà origine a un universo che può evolvere per miliardi di anni.” Se tutto nasce da lì, dobbiamo capire in ogni dettaglio quel momento cruciale, ricostruirlo fotogramma per fotogramma, al rallentatore e da diverse angolature. Per questo al Cern di Ginevra è stato realizzato Lhc, l’acceleratore di particelle più potente del mondo, il posto più simile al primo istante di vita dell’universo che l’uomo sia stato in grado di costruire. Per questo da anni i migliori fisici del mondo lavorano giorno e notte, ai quattro angoli del pianeta. È così che è stata catturata la “particella di Dio”. Ed è per questo che si studia ancora, per capire di più su come tutto questo è nato e su come andrà a finire la nostra storia: se nel freddo e nel buio o in una catastrofe cosmica, che ci darebbe il privilegio di un’uscita di scena assai più spettacolare.

Guido Tonelli è uno dei protagonisti di questa grande avventura, una delle guide di questo esercito di visionari. Qui racconta col piglio dell’esploratore cosa vuol dire affacciarsi oltre il limite estremo della conoscenza, cosa vuol dire fare la scoperta del secolo il giorno del proprio compleanno, cosa vuol dire capire come tutto è cominciato e come forse andrà a finire.


Il libro puo` essere acquistato durante la presentazione o preso in prestito presso la Biblioteca del CERN (bldg. 52, 1. piano).


Archival historical image

A suggestion to ease parking problems on the CERN site by allocating spaces didn’t go down well in 1965. Possibly the priority given to senior staff, and remarks about the benefits of an invigorating walk, gave offence. In any case, an alternative was proposed: 

‘May I suggest instead that “senior administrators, division leaders" and the like, be provided with sedan-chairs or palanquins, in which they could be transported swiftly and effortlessly from corner to corner of the site. Other members of the staff would of course function as bearers. This would not only provide them with invigorating exercise, but also inculcate a due sense of their social position.’


A worried prospective bearer suggested motor scooters, as used by nuns on the wards of an Illinois hospital, instead. To prevent congestion indoors, use of the corridors could be limited to senior staff. Other people would get from office to office via the window ledges, not only enjoying healthful exercise but also freeing up more parking spaces as staffing levels gradually decreased when they fell off. The suggestion does not seem to have been adopted, but remains on file

Archival historical image

Wolfgang Pauli is seen here with his former teacher Arnold Sommerfeld attending a conference on the electron theory of metals in Geneva, 1518 October 1934. The conference proceedings don’t mention any leisure activities, but these included a cable car trip up the nearby Salève mountain to enjoy views of Geneva town, the lake and the Alps. The Salève is in France and Sommerfeld had no French visa, so conference organiser Jean Weiglé obligingly smuggled him up to join the others in his car. 

Archival historical image

Official 25th anniversary celebrations were held on 25 June, but the fun and games happened on CERN’s real birthday, 29 September. As well as sports, sideshows, films, and Genevan Pipes and Drums, there was Happy Birthday, CERN, written and recorded for the occasion at Fermilab.


Verse three goes like this:

“Here's the toast we're proposing:    

may your future be greater,  

  And the budget imposing for your  

  next accelerator;    

May your staff be effective and   

your beams full of pep, 

  May you gain your objective of  

  constructing the LEP!” 


If you can bear to read more, scroll down to page four here - and take a look at one of one of the star attractions at the same time: the Fire Brigade’s 20-metre rescue chute.

CERN library event

World Scientific is going to present its publications for 2 days near Restaurant 1.

CERN library event

Springer is going to present its publications for 2 days near Restaurant 1.

CERN library event

CERN, the European Laboratory for particle physics, regularly makes the news. What kind of research happens at this international laboratory and how does it impact people's daily lives? Why is the discovery of the Higgs boson so important? Particle physics describes all matter found on Earth, in stars and all galaxies but it also tries to go beyond what is known to describe dark matter, a form of matter five times more prevalent than the known, regular matter. How do we know this mysterious dark matter exists and is there a chance it will be discovered soon? About sixty countries contributed to the construction of the gigantic Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN and its immense detectors. Dive in to discover how international teams of researchers work together to push scientific knowledge forward. Here is a book written for every person who wishes to learn a little more about particle physics, without requiring prior scientific knowledge. It starts from the basics to build a solid understanding of current research in particle physics. A good dose of curiosity is all one will need to discover a whole world that spans from the infinitesimally small and stretches to the infinitely large, and where imminent discoveries could mark the dawn of a huge revolution in the current conception of the material world.

"Who cares about particle physics",  by Pauline Gagnon,  Oxford University Press, 2016, ISBN 9780198783244
Thursday 15/09/2016 at 1600 in the Library (Bldg. 52-1-052)

Coffee will be served at 1530.

CERN library event

What does it have in common Swiss filmmaker Alain Tanner, Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges, french philosopher Voltaire, Spanish writer Cervantes, English playwright Shakespeare and Particle Physics? 


El Universo en un puñado de átomos is a chronicle about the relationship between literature, arts, science and technology around HEP. As a novelist interested in public understanding of science, author started these diary of the journey into the atom in April of 1992 interviewing Leon Lederman at Fermilab, later he visited DESY and finally, since 1998, he came to CERN and did "lab life", sometimes spending several weeks, even months, at CERN. Every year since then he have been interviewing particle hunters as many as he could. So, this book is supported by their testimonies given formally and informally (at the kitchen in the hostel, in the corridors, in the restaurants). It is a book written by an eyewitness who enjoys this "coven" of scientific knowledge. 

He tells the story of detectors and accelerators, rarely told in Spanish. It is a tribute to all of those trying to show us a version of a hidden reality.

The very same title has to do with Shakespeare´s play Hamlet. In Act II he replies to his comrades Rosencrantz and Guidenstern:
Ros. Why, then your ambition makes it one;
'tis too narrow for your mind.
Ham. O God! I could be bounded in a nut- 
shell, and count myself a king of infinite space, 
were it not that I have bad dreams. 

Therefore, it is a very Shakespearean and Cervantine book, because they just wanted to relate a good story. And this is the purpose of this book: relate an exciting, peculiar story.

The author has a wide audience among young readers in Spanish.

 "El Universo en un puñado de átomos" by Carlos Chimal, México, Tusquets, 2016


CERN library event

The CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication will be held at University of Geneva in June 21st-23rd 2017.

CERN library event

The schools help to:

  • Establish the scientific presence of African Universities on the Internet
  • Provide scientific and educational content
  • Extend contacts to other fields of science and further partners
  • Provide training in setting up and operating institutional e-repositories

Objectives of the school are to become familiar with all principles related to open access and open knowledge, and also with practical solutions for setting up and running digital libraries.

Programme will cover the following topics:

  • Installation and configuration of an open source digital library
  • Introduction to web technologies
  • Introduction to information retrieval (IR)
  • Open access principles
  • Operation of institutional repositories
  • Maintenance and upgrade of digital libraries

More information:


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