Library news

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:

CERN library event

The CERN Bookshop is going to be present at the 4th edition of TEDxCERN. Visit the bookstand!

Books by and recommended by the speakers will be available:

  • The future of the brain / Gary Marcus and Jeremy Freeman (eds.)
  • Powerless science? Science and politics in a toxic world / Soraya Boudia and Nathalie Jas (eds.)
  • Technoscience and environmental justice / Gwen Ottinger and Benjamin R. Cohen (eds.)
  • Kluge : the haphazard construction of the human mind / Gary Marcus
  • Guitar zero : the science of becoming musical at any age / Gary Marcus

and many more!

CERN library event

The Association of International Librarians and Information Specialists (AILIS), the Zentralbibliothek Zürich, and the CERN Scientific Information Service will be pleased to have you join us for our next Library Science Talk.

Ruben Verborgh, of Ghent University, will speak on the topic "Linked Data and Sustainable Publication."

The talk will take place at 15:30 on Monday, 5 December at CERN. Registration is required.

CERN library event

The Association of International Librarians and Information Specialists (AILIS), the Zentralbibliothek Zürich, and the CERN Scientific Information Service will be pleased to have you join us for our next Library Science Talk.

Courtney Mumma, of the Internet Archive, will speak on the topic "Cooperative Collection Building at the Internet Archive."

The talk will take place at 15:30 on Monday, 12 September at ITU. Registration is required.

CERN library event

Tasneem Zehra Husain is a string theorist and the first Pakistani woman to obtain a PhD in this field. She is very active in advocating education in Pakistan: she helped setting up a Science and Engineering School in her home town Lahore, conducts educational workshops for science teachers, and also contributed to anthologies of science writing for adults and kids.

ATLAS Outreach and Peter Jenni, together with the CERN Diversity Office invited Tasneem Husain to spend a week of interactive encounters around science at CERN during the first week of October (For the full program please click here). One event during this week will be a book presentation organized by the CERN Library and Diversity Office where Ms Husain will give some insight into the genesis of her book, her favourite passages and a Q&A session with the audience afterwards.


Husain’s first novel, “Only the Longest Threads” reimagines the stories of great breakthroughs and discoveries in physics from Newton’s classical mechanics to the Higgs Boson from the viewpoint of fictional characters. These tales promise to be great reads for both lay audiences and to those who have a more advanced understanding of physics.

The book can be purchased during the event or at the CERN Library (bldg. 52, 1st floor) and borrowed from the library.

Coffee will be served after the event.

Registration is now open. Please register below.

Archival historical image

Dialling zero for an outside line could get frustrating in 1965. With just 17 lines serving 1,000 CERN extensions, callers faced long waits – and if the overloaded battery failed no-one got through at all. Phone traffic had increased by 70% between 1963 and 1965, complaints were frequent and the exchange staff were feeling overloaded too.


No more lines, extensions or operators’ desks could be added to existing exchange, so a new one was commissioned. Stop-gap measures until it was ready in August 1968 included pleas for patience and strict rationing of the only 140 new internal phone numbers remaining at CERN.

Archival historical image

CERN’s internal magazine carried detailed instructions about closed roads, blocked entrances, and suggested detours. Staff were invited to respect the parking ban and to obey police instructions, but plenty of them took the opportunity to pile outside and watch as well. On 19 July 1968 the Tour de France came right past CERN’s main entrance!


CERN staff joined fans lining the route to encourage riders on Stage 20, which took the riders 242.5 km from Sallanches to Besançon, over the Faucille pass in the nearby Jura mountains. This was the last year that the Tour ran on a national team format; stage 20 was won by Jozef Huysmans (Belgium A), who finished 32nd overall when the race ended two days later.



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