CERN Courier at 60

CERN Courier at 60

Celebrating six decades of reporting on international high-energy physics


Introducing the CERN Courier

The first edition of the CERN Courier was published on 5 August 1959, expressing a desire to elucidate “the accelerator’s international picture”. Telling of the pneumatic drills hewing the Proton Synchrotron’s foundations, and the squat locomotives hauling a hundred 38-ton magnets into the ring, it also brought news from around the world of “Other people’s atoms”.

You can access a PDF version of the issue via the CERN Document Server.

New fundamental particle discovered, the ANTI-XI-MINUS

In March 1962, the Courier reported the simultaneous discovery at Brookhaven National Laboratory and CERN of one of the few remaining strange particles: a positively charged Ξ. The thirtieth of the “elementary” particles to be discovered, it was observed among hundreds of thousands of bubble chamber photos of antiproton interactions with matter, stimulating then director-general Victor Weisskopf to ask “what is matter made of and why is it so?”

You can access a PDF version of the issue via the CERN Document Server.

An American in Geneva

“Remember the night of November 24th, 1959? Of course I do. I was sitting in the Canteen eating supper with John Adams, as we had done many times that Fall.” So begins Hildred Blewett’s riveting account of radio-frequency electronics built into Nescafé tins and congratulatory vodka from behind the Iron Curtain, as the Proton Synchrotron achieved “TRANSITION!”

You can access a PDF version of the issue via the CERN Document Server.

Forty years in the desert

In September 1980 the Courier reported on an accelerator conference which, forty years on, offers a salutary sense of déja vu. As Leon Ledermann put it, “Ugo says that at higher energies there is a desert; Burt says there is no desert. Carlo says there is no desert and I can prove it; Bjorn says maybe there is a desert but the sand is not fundamental. Vitali says desert schmesert, there is a lot to do… Now Bill Willis is pointing out that the desert is full of lizards and cactus plants and all kinds of rich ecology.”

You can access a PDF version of the issue via the CERN Document Server.

Anomaly Busters II

In 1985 a bevy of high-energy physics luminaries descended on Kyoto, and the Courier was there to chronicle proceedings. Following the “year of the anomaly”, Carlo Rubbia, Georges Charpak, Richard Feynman, Michael Green and “supersymmetry-high-priest” John Ellis debated monojets, “Centauro” events, neutrino oscillations, proton decay and string theory. “May God give us supersymmetry,” concluded Ellis, paraphrasing St. Augustine, “but not yet.”

You can access a PDF version of the issue via the CERN Document Server.