The success achieved last year by the newly organized technical-training programme showed that there was a strong demand for increased knowledge among the technicians as well as the scientific staff of CERN. A great many of them feel a need to extend their training, either by keeping up to date in their own field and increasing their understanding of it, or by acquiring a basic understanding of other techniques currently applied at CERN.

Following this encouraging lead, the directorate last May created the Training and Education Section, whose functions are to organize, coordinate and develop both technical and academic training according to the needs of the laboratory. What follows is a brief outline of the 1963/4 programme.

Academic programme

This year, two series of lectures have been arranged, one theoretical and one experimental, both at post-graduate level. They deal mainly with the recent developments in elementary-particle physics, from the theoretical as well as the experimental and technological points of view, but are not intended to be only for specialists in each of these fields. It is worth mentioning that [the experimental] courses attract 50–100 physicists and engineers, some of whom come from outside CERN.

Technical programme

This year, the technical programme consists of 10 courses (at "elementary" or "specialized" level), each of 15–30 lessons given once or twice a week. Since nearly all of the students prefer the courses to be in French, the lessons are again being given in this language.

About 350 technicians and other staff have registered for this year's courses. Some of them take mathematics as well as their technical course, so that the total number of registrations is about 550.

In addition to the above programme, a course in basic physics is being prepared. This will use the principles of "programmed instruction" and will follow the physics course devised in the United States, by the Physical Science Study Committee. It will be used to try out the new methods of auto-instruction, which seem to offer great advantages in such a complex and "busy" community as ours.

The section is also organizing three series of technical seminars: electronics, mechanics (technology of materials and workshop processes) and accelerator technology. These are intended for the technical and scientific staff.

General lectures

General information lectures on important experiments or big technological projects at CERN are also organized by the training and education section. These lectures, given by some of those closely concerned with the projects, are aimed at a non-scientific audience and are intended for the whole of the staff. They provide a good opportunity for the lecturers to repay the debt that they owe to all those who have helped, in one way or another, by giving their audience an understanding of the general outlines and enabling them to appreciate the importance of the various experiments.

• Extracted from an article on p154.


Were you at this Christmas party?

The (cover) photograph shows that the main auditorium at CERN has more than one use, and that a young audience can be even more attentive than the physicists and engineers who more often occupy the seats. The occasion was the performance of a play called Capucines, presented by the drama group of the international organizations, Harlequin and Co, during the first of this year's two Christmas parties bringing together the children of CERN staff and some of those from neighbouring communities. Also on the programme were a film and a conjurer, as well as refreshments and the visit of Father Christmas.

Photo Puzzle

How much do you know about CERN's equipment?

Here we have two mystery pieces of equipment for you to identify. The answers can be found on the next page.