The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research turns 60

A festive event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) (CERN Courier March 2006 p15) was held in the evening of 26 March in the "Mir" cultural centre. The event was attended by members of the directorate and personnel of the laboratory, as well as Dubna City mayor Vyacheslav Mukhin, the head and representatives of the City Administration, leaders of firms and organisations, deputies, and representatives of public associations. In his speech, JINR director and academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Victor Matveev, recalled the main phases and activities in the history of the institute. He spoke about each research laboratory individually, as well as about the people who made JINR’s history and contributed to the construction of the key facilities. On this occasion, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation awarded three JINR scientists – A V Efremov, V K Lukianov and M G Itkis – with the title "Honorary Worker of Science and Technology". During the ceremony, Matveev also presented grants and congratulatory certificates to Dubna teachers. At the end of his speech, on behalf of the JINR directorate and the JINR Scientific Council, Matveev congratulated staff members and veterans of JINR, and all those who attended the event.

The festivities for the anniversary had been preceded on 25 March by the laying of the first stone of the Complex of Superconducting Rings for Heavy Ion Colliding Beams (the NICA complex, nica.jinr.ru/), and continued with a special session of the JINR Committee of Plenipotentiaries that was held on 4–5 April. A concluding ceremony featured ballet dancers of the Bolshoi Theatre, who performed classical pas-de-deux and adagio from famous ballets including Giselle, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake. After the entr’acte, the Orpheus Radio Symphony Orchestra played famous waltzes from ballets and operas, such as Tales from the Vienna Woods, On the Beautiful Blue Danube and Voices of Spring Waltz.

Later in the evening, in the Molodezhnaya grassy glade near to the "Mir" cultural centre, a colourful show and fireworks closed the celebrations. Representatives of the Russian Federation and the Moscow region administrations, international organisations such as the UN, UNESCO, the EU, the IAEA, and leaders of scientific centres – JINR international co-operation partners – were invited to take part in the event. Among them was CERN’s Director-General Fabiola Gianotti, who congratulated JINR scientists on the 60th anniversary of the institute.

On the same occasion, the Press Office of JINR, in collaboration with INTERGRAFIKA, organised a full-scale poster and multimedia exhibition. The colourful poster exhibition, "JINR – 60", consisted of 30 posters highlighting the achievements of the institute, its future plans and the wide international co-operation that the laboratory enjoys. In addition, an exhibition of 80 photographs taken by JINR photographers presented portraits of famous scientists, JINR staff members and guests, events and working moments. They provided an impressive picture of the unique atmosphere of research at JINR.


Federico Antinori elected as the new ALICE spokesperson

On 8 April, the ALICE collaboration Board elected Federico Antinori from INFN Padova (Italy) as the new ALICE spokesperson. During his three-year mandate, starting in January 2017, Antinori will lead a collaboration of more than 1500 people from 154 physics institutes worldwide.

Antinori has been a member of the collaboration since it was created, and he has already held many senior leadership positions. Currently, he is the experiment’s physics co-ordinator, with responsibility for overseeing the whole sector of physics analysis. During this time, ALICE has produced many of its most prominent results. Before that, he was the co-ordinator of the Heavy Ion First Physics Task Force, charged with analysis of the first Pb–Pb data samples. In 2007 and 2008, Antinori served as ALICE deputy spokesperson. He was also the first ALICE trigger co-ordinator, having a central role in defining the experiment’s trigger menus from the first run in 2009 until the end of his mandate in 2011. He also played an important role in commissioning the experiment before the start of its operation.

Antinori feels honoured to be entrusted by the collaboration with its leadership: "ALICE is a unique scientific instrument, built with years of dedication and the labour of hundreds of colleagues. We have practically only begun to exploit its possibilities. As spokesperson, I can play a key role in making ALICE ever more efficient and successful, and this is a truly exciting prospect for me."


The first Guido Altarelli Award

The 24th International Workshop on Deep-Inelastic Scattering and Related Subjects (DIS2016) was held in April at DESY, Hamburg, during which the first Guido Altarelli Award was presented. The award honours the memory of the late Guido Altarelli, a pioneer in unravelling the structure of the proton and developing the theory of the strong force, and a mentor and supporter of promising young scientists. The two recipients were selected from 24 outstanding young scientists, nominated by distinguished scientists from all over the world by a selection committee composed of members of the DIS workshop series International Advisory Committee. Two exceptional candidates were selected, who have made outstanding contributions to topics close to the subjects of the DIS16 Workshop – Fabrizio Caola, a theorist from CERN, and Jan Kretzschmar, an experimental physicist from the ATLAS collaboration, Liverpool, UK.

Fabrizio Caola is widely recognised for his pioneering work on high-precision physics for the LHC. He combines formidable technical skills with a deep understanding of the physics of QCD processes. After graduating in Milan with a thesis on QCD resummation, he contributed to NNLO QCD corrections to 2 → 2 processes at hadron colliders, and was one of the theorists who suggested to constrain the decay width of the Higgs particle using the ZZ decay at large invariant masses with data from the LHC experiments.

Jan Kretzschmar undertook his PhD at DESY, Zeuthen, and graduated from the Humboldt University in Berlin with a thesis on determination of the structure functions F2 and FL with data from the H1 experiment at HERA. He has continued his outstanding work on proton structure functions at the LHC, leading the measurement of the W and Z cross-sections with data from the ATLAS experiment and using the results to improve the knowledge of the proton structure function. He is currently convener of the ATLAS collaboration’s Standard Model analysis group.

This year, the award was kindly sponsored by Nuclear Physics B and the Association of Sponsors and Friends of DESY.

• For more information about DIS16, visit https://dis2016.desy.de/.


Philippe Lebrun receives Mendelssohn Award

The International Cryogenic Engineering Committee recently awarded CERN’s Philippe Lebrun for the outstanding contribution by the CERN cryogenics group to the design, construction and operation of high-energy accelerators and associated large detectors using cryogenics and superconductivity.

Lebrun conducted the R&D on the superfluid helium cryogenic system for the LHC. He then led CERN’s Accelerator Technology Department during the construction of the machine, and played a major role during the construction of the cryogenic high-field magnets.

The award, established in 1986 in memory of Kurt Mendelssohn (1906–1982), the founder of the ICEC Committee, was bestowed during the 26th International Cryogenic Engineering Conference held in New Delhi, India, in March. Lebrun was invited to give an award lecture entitled "Cryogenics for high-energy accelerators: highlights from the first 50 years."

In his lecture, Lebrun discussed the development of cryogenics over the past half-century and presented its outlook in future large projects, with reference to the main engineering domains of cryostat design and heat loads, cooling schemes, efficient power refrigeration and cryogenic fluid management.

• For further information, see icec26-icmc2016.org/The%20ICEC%20Mendelssohn%20Award%C2%9D.php.


Five years of synchrotron light in ALBA

At 3.45 p.m. on 16 March 2011, a group of scientists and technicians of the ALBA Synchrotron in Barcelona were celebrating with cava. Eight years after the project’s approval, the facility’s accelerator complex had produced its first synchrotron light – and the first synchrotron light in Spain. A year later, the first experiments started .

To mark the 5th anniversary of this successful commissioning, a celebration was held at ALBA on 16 March this year for all of the staff, together with Dieter Einfeld, the former head of the Accelerators Division, who gave a presentation about the events that led up to the exciting first observation of synchrotron light. The anniversary celebration finished with a toast by all the attendees. In addition, a commemorative video had been made to explain the atmosphere of the historic moment, with several anecdotal accounts.

Today, ALBA’s accelerator complex (CERN Courier November 2008 p31) works for about 6000 hours a year with an availability above 97%. Improvements have been made since commissioning, such as working in top-up mode and the use of a new fast orbit-feedback system to increase beam stability. ALBA operates with seven beamlines available for experiments and each year hosts more than 1000 researchers. At the end of 2016, an eighth beamline will come into operation, devoted to infrared microspectroscopy, and in 2018 and 2020, two more new beamlines will begin operation.

• For the commemoration video, see https://youtu.be/Rv0H_D-mrBI.


Globe of Science and Innovation reopens

After about a year of renovation work, one of the best-known symbols of CERN has recently reopened its doors. Visitors to the laboratory will now be able to see the free and permanent "Universe of Particles" exhibition installed in the ground floor of the Globe of Science and Innovation. This new exhibition sits alongside the recently revamped, interactive "Microcosm" exhibition (CERN Courier March 2016 p45). Both exhibitions take visitors on a journey deep into the world of particles and back to the Big Bang, showcasing the full scale and wonder of CERN’s monumental experiments, such as the LHC, and the people behind them.

Designed by Geneva architects T Büchi and H Dessimoz, the globe was initially built to house the Swiss national "Expo.02" exhibition in Neuchâtel. The Swiss Confederation donated the globe to CERN in June 2003 and, in 2004, the building hosted the official celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the laboratory.

At 27 m high and 40 m in diameter, the building is about the size of the dome of Saint Peter’s cathedral in Rome, therefore any renovation project had to be ambitious.

After more than 10 years’ faithful service, certain components that were initially designed to last only for the months of the Neuchâtel exhibition needed to be replaced to extend the globe’s lifetime. The 18 outer cylindrical arcs, each measuring 32 m in length, have been replaced by new ones of identical appearance but made from a hardier type of wood. In addition to this, the external ramps, disabled-access facilities, staircases and lighting system have been replaced. The globe is now set to host new cultural events, lectures and exhibitions.