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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.
Archival historical image

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.

 

CERN library event

Ruben Verborgh will talk about "Linked Happily Ever After".

Abstract:

Linked Data has become an inevitable reality for many libraries. And that is a good thing, because it enables data integration at a scale that was not possible before. At the same time, it also comes with many challenges. What are the “good” ways of doing Linked Data? How can we do it efficiently, at a reasonable cost? And of course: how can we ensure that the efforts we do today pay off in the future? This last question is the main focus of this talk. I will explain what sustainability means in the context of Linked Data, and on which constants we can rely within an ever changing technological landscape. Expect a mix of vision and concrete advice, but mostly solid, down-to-earth discussions on what Linked Data will mean for libraries now and in the future.

The talk will be followed by a panel discussion with:

Beat Estermann, deputy head of the research unit Linked & Open Data at the E-Government Institute of the Bern University of Applied Sciences.

René Schneider, Professor for Information Science, Haute Ecole de Gestion, Geneva

About the speaker:

Ruben Verborgh is a researcher in semantic hypermedia at Ghent University – iMinds, Belgium and a postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders. He explores the connection between Semantic Web technologies and the Web’s architectural properties, with the ultimate goal of building more intelligent clients. Along the way, he became fascinated by Linked Data, REST/hypermedia, Web APIs, and related topics.

The talk will take place on Monday 5 December at 1530 in the Room Georges Charpak (Room F).

The talk is part of the series of "Library Science Talks" jointly organized by the Zentralbibliothek Zurich, CERN and the Association of International Librarians and Information Specialists (AILIS).

CERN library event

Marco Zito est physicien à l’Institut de recherche sur les lois fondamentales de l’Univers (Irfu) du CEA. Il a tenu pendant trois ans une chronique hebdomadaire consacrée à la physique des particules dans le journal Le Monde.

Il va presenter et dedicacer son livre "Dans le tourbillon des particules", Belin, 2015 (ISBN 9782701192772).

Accélérateurs géants, détecteurs complexes, particules énigmatiques... La physique subatomique peut sembler bien intimidante pour le novice. Et pourtant, qui n a jamais entendu parler du boson de Higgs et du CERN, le laboratoire européen où il a été découvert en 2012 ? Nul besoin d être un spécialiste pour comprendre de quoi il s agit. Aujourd hui, une théorie extraordinairement élégante, le Modèle Standard, décrit tous les résultats des expériences dans le domaine. Trente-sept particules élémentaires et quatre forces fondamentales : c est tout ce dont nous avons besoin pour expliquer la matière et l Univers ! Ce livre, destiné à un large public, raconte sans équations le long parcours qui a abouti au Modèle Standard. Ce parcours, parfois sinueux, a été entamé lorsque les Grecs anciens, et peut-être d autres avant eux, ont imaginé que la matière est composée de petites « billes ». Il faudra attendre plusieurs siècles pour qu on réalise que la matière, à l échelle microscopique, se comporte de façon paradoxale. Loin de l image des petites « billes », sa nature est plutôt proche de celles des ondes, comme les ondulations de l eau à la surface d un étang. Au cours du siècle dernier, les connaissances scientifiques ont progressé de façon fulgurante au fur et à mesure des progrès techniques. Les rayons X et leurs applications médicales, la supraconductivité, le transistor, Internet sont nés dans les laboratoires de physique. La science s est trouvée mêlée de près à l Histoire pour le meilleur comme pour le pire, avec quelques épisodes dramatiques comme le lâcher de bombes atomiques sur Hiroshima et Nagasaki. De ce tourbillon étrange ont émergé nos connaissances actuelles qui, nous le savons, ne sont pas complètes. Les dernières observations suggèrent l existence de nouvelles composantes dans l Univers, comme la mystérieuse matière noire. Les chercheurs sont à l oeuvre pour comprendre sa nature. Les bouleversements, du moins du côté de la recherche, ne sont pas finis...

 

Le soir du 16/11 a` 20h30 Marco Zito va donner une conference au Globe sur "Percer les secrets de la matière : la découverte des particules élémentaires et des forces fondamentales de l'Univers".

 

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

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