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Cyprus Represented at Official Inauguration of the Large Hadron Collider
2008-10-24 12:16:06

Nicosia, Oct 23 – A five-member delegation under Education and Culture Minister Andreas Demetriou represented Cyprus at the official inauguration of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN on October 21st.

European Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik was among the dignitaries present in Geneva, Switzerland, for the official inauguration of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN on October 21st. Also present were French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, Swiss President Pascal Couchepin and numerous science ministers.

The Cypriot delegation held contacts with CERN high-ranking officials during which they looked into the more active participation of Cyprus to the activities of the world's leading laboratory for particle physics and the potential of its participation to it as a full member. Cyprus is participating at CERN on the basis of a special agreement that has been recently activated. The Cypriot delegation had also contacts with science ministers and other countries’ delegations.

The LHC, which is contained in a tunnel with a circumference of 27 kilometers on the French-Swiss border, is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. Its construction involved over 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries. The LHC is designed to help physicists study the basic constituents of matter and answer fundamental questions in science.

The inauguration event, according to European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) Director General Robert Aymar, was also held in part to thank all Member States for their contribution in helping make the LHC a reality. “Today is a day for CERN to thank its Member States for their continued support for basic science and for providing the stable framework that makes science of this kind possible,” he said.

The LHC was shut down in September following a large helium leak in one of its sectors. This was caused by a faulty electrical connection between two of the accelerator's magnets. As proper safety procedures were in effect, no one was ever at risk. Following an investigation, it is expected that the LHC will restart in spring 2009.

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