Library news

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What is a computer? Why does CERN need the new ‘number crunchers’ anyway? These are some of the questions Lew Kowarski tries to answer in a special issue of the CERN Courier devoted to computing at CERN in 1972.

 

In his introduction he explains that high-energy physics is not just about hunting down and photographing strange particles, as though they were so many rare animals. Other articles give details of electronics experiments, bubble chamber experiments, data acquisition and analysis, mathematical computing applications in theoretical studies and more. But it is perhaps the advertisements that really capture the state of the art nearly half a century ago

CERN library event
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Fans of vintage British TV science documentaries might enjoy this early precursor to Tomorrow’s World. On weekdays (when the outside broadcast cameras weren’t needed to cover sports fixtures!) the Eye on Research crew visited scientific laboratories and research centres to discuss topical issues.

 

This was the BBC’s first regular science and technology series; it broadcast over forty episodes on a wide range of subjects between 1957 and 1962 (they are listed on BBC Genome). Presenting live from CERN on 24 February 1959, we see Raymond Baxter deploying all his famous interviewing skills to help some distinctly nervous scientists explain their work to the viewers. The soundtrack jumps a bit, but it’s still worth a look.

Inspire news

The 2016 edition of the annual topcites list is still very much dominated by experiment, in particular the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012, with the ATLAS and CMS papers at the [1] and [2] positions as they have been since 2013 (joined by the ATLAS and CMS instrumentation papers [12,13]). Indeed, they have Read More →

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It needed more than a broom to tackle the giant icicles decorating CERN’s labs and offices during the great freeze of 1963. The village of La Brévine, 150km away, lived up to its reputation as Little Siberia with temperatures down to -38°C, while cyclists - and even motorists - enjoyed themselves riding across Europe’s frozen lakes and icy rivers.

 

The Swiss electricity network struggled to cope with high demand, reduced production and the failure of a high-tension cable bringing power from Germany. In response, CERN limited its consumption as much as possible, modifying or cutting the experimental programme until things improved. See more photos of CERN in the 1963 snow here.

CERN library event
The Library is also going to be closed during the CERN annual closure from Thursday, 22 December 2016 to Wednesday, 4 January 2017.
CERN library event
Le Bihan's books "Looking inside the brain" and "Le cerveau de cristal" will be on sale in front of the auditorium before and after the conference. Price : CHF 25.00.
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A “modest ceremony” marked the opening of a new training centre for CERN’s apprentices on 9 December 1971. The converted barrack was fitted with a range of equipment, enabling them to practice their skills and spend more time learning together before heading around the laboratory for further training. 

 

The apprenticeship programme had been set up in conjunction with the Geneva authorities to take advantage of the extraordinary range of specialist skills found at CERN. It began in 1966 with the enrolment of five young people, two in design office work, one as a laboratory assistant and two in administration. Starting at around the age of 15, they spent three or four years at CERN before moving on to further education or directly into employment.

CERN library event
CERN library event

From the mid-1980s, an international collaboration of 600 physicists embarked on the investigation of subnuclear physics at the high-energy frontier. As well as discovering the top quark, the heaviest elementary particle ever observed, the physicists analyzed their data to seek signals of new physics which could revolutionize our understanding of nature. Anomaly! tells the story of that quest, and focuses specifically on the finding of several unexplained effects which were unearthed in the process. These anomalies proved highly controversial within the large team: to some collaborators they called for immediate publication, while to others their divulgation threatened to jeopardize the reputation of the experiment. Written in a confidential, narrative style, this book looks at the sociology of a large scientific collaboration, providing insight in the relationships between top physicists at the turn of the millennium. The stories offer an insider's view of the life cycle of the "failed" discoveries that unavoidably accompany even the greatest endeavors in modern particle physics.

“Anomaly! Collider Physics and the Quest for New Phenomena at Fermilab ” by Tommaso Dorigo, World Scientific, 2016, ISBN 9781786341112 .

The book can be purchased during the event or borrowed from the library.

 

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