Karlsruhe honours Cronin, Jenni and Della Negra

The awards of the Julius Wess Award and an honorary doctorate were two of the highlights of the inaugural symposium of the Karlsruhe School of Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics – Science and Technology (KSETA), which took place on 1 February. The school has been founded thanks to a successful application within the context of the 2012 German Excellence Initiative.

Nobel laureate James Cronin was made an honorary doctor of the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) for his outstanding achievements in cosmic-ray research, which culminated in the successful construction and operation of the Auger Observatory in Argentina. A research group from KIT has been working closely with Cronin since the beginning of the project.

Peter Jenni and Michel Della Negra of CERN were presented with KIT’s 2013 Julius Wess Award for their outstanding contributions to hadron-collider physics, which led to the discovery of the W and Z bosons in 1983 and of what could well prove to be the Higgs boson in 2012. As long-term spokespersons, they are often dubbed the "founding fathers" of the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the LHC, respectively, and they created the present-day culture of competition between friends. KIT has been deeply involved in CMS for almost 18 years.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon visits CERN

On 1 March, Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations, visited CERN for the first time since the organization was granted observer status at the United Nations General Assembly last December (CERN Courier Jan/Feb 2013 p5).

Ban visited underground areas at the LHC, as well as UNOSAT, the UN technology-intensive programme hosted by CERN to deliver imagery analysis and satellite solutions to relief and development organizations (CERN Courier October 2009 p17).

The visit offered the opportunity to discuss CERN’s contribution to science-related UN activities, such as ECOSOC, the United Nations platform on economic and social issues. CERN contributed on the theme of young women in science to ECOSOC’s youth forum on 27 March and will be taking part in ECOSOC meetings in Geneva in July. Ban and CERN’s director-general also discussed the role of the secretary-general’s recently established science advisory board.

Kolkata pays tribute to the memory of Bose

A bust of Satyendra Nath Bose, the Indian scientist best known for his work on Bose-Einstein statistics, was unveiled on 6 October on the corner of a prominent thoroughfare in the northern region of Kolkata. Bikash Sinha, the Homi Bhabha chair professor at the Indian Department of Atomic Energy, performed the unveiling in a ceremony attended by many distinguished people, including scientists, ministers and eminent academics.

Bose’s ancestral home is located nearby, next to the Scottish Church Collegiate School. Sinha had his early education in the same school and came to know Bose closely, visiting him after school hours. Bose himself explained to the young Sinha about the beauty and the elegance of his famous statistics and how spin-0 and spin-1 elementary particles obey Bose-Einstein statistics.

Since the announcement of the discovery of a Higgs-like boson on 4 July 2012, a keen interest has gripped this area of Kolkata. Intense intellectual discussion is the order of the day, with no end to the discussion of the relevance of the Higgs boson and its capacity for creating mass. The general public is extremely curious about the newly found boson and its connection to God because it has often been referred to as the "God particle". The hysteria, Sinha notes, seems to have gone so far that Bose – a Bengali – is now viewed by some as a favoured son of God.