• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Geneva lab celebrates physicists' Nobel Prize

AFP · 8 Oct 2013, 16:02

Published: 08 Oct 2013 16:02 GMT+02:00

Scores of staff at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) massed to watch the announcement by the Nobel jury on a live-feed, erupting into applause as the two physicists' names were read out in Stockholm.
   
"It's a great day for particle physics. " said Rolf Heuer, head of the lab which straddles the French and Swiss borders on the outskirts of Geneva.

"It's a huge achievement."
   
After heaping praise upon Britain's Higgs and Belgium's Englert, Heuer raised a glass to the crowd assembled in CERN's cafeteria.
   
"It's your work that allowed the Nobel academy to give this prize," the director said, beaming.

"You should give some applause to you guys," he said.

"I'm really proud of you guys."
   
Experiments at CERN's 27-kilometre circular lab, which lies 100 metres underground, last year identified what is believed to be the Higgs Boson — the long-sought maker of mass, theorized in the 1960s.
   
CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) flushed out the elusive particle by crashing proton beams together to create snapshots of the Big Bang, producing a bewildering amount of data.
   
"Everybody should be happy that we discovered this particle, because now we know why we exist, at least partly," Heuer later told reporters.
   
Joe Incandela, spokesman for on the CERN teams that helped identify the boson, said all concerned were "elated".
   
"We don't go into this expecting a Nobel prize," he added.
   
CERN's experiments involved over 3,000 people from around the world.
   
The team members included John Paul Chou, a professor of particle physics from Rutgers University in the United States, who has been undertaking research at CERN for the past five years.
   
"It's a great day," 33-year-old Chou told AFP, a he brandished two bottles of champagne.
   
"The prize goes to two people, but at the same time it's a recognition of physics done by dozens of others," he said.

"Hundreds, and even thousands of people worked together to make this happen," Chou said.

"So in a sense we all share in this prize," he said.

"I'm stuck for words to express the significance of it."
   
Many of CERN's researchers are PhD students.
   
Among those celebrating Tuesday was Kelly Beernaerts, 25, who has been at CERN for three years.
   
"I wasn't expecting this at all," Beernaerts, who like Englert is from Belgium.
   
"I'm very proud to be part of this." 

Story continues below…

CERN scientists celebrate Nobel Prize announcement in Meyrin, Geneva. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Expert predicts major quake for Switzerland by 2040
A fireman stands in the Italian village of Amatrice, which was badly hit by this week's earthquake. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

The canton of Valais is particularly at risk.

Aggressive deer put down after attacking four in Geneva
File photo: Michal Kosacky

The buck attacked four people in the same area over the course of 48 hours.

Navigation error ends badly for Basel driver

A man accidentally drove his car down a flight of steps after his passenger directed him the wrong way.

Blatter 'confident' as he faces Swiss sports court
Sepp Blatter. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Former Fifa boss Sepp Blatter is back in court on Thursday as he seeks to overturn a six-year ban from football.

Federer teams up with Nadal for new tennis tournament
Federer and Nadal at the Laver Cup launch with Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. Photo: Alex Goodlett/Getty Images North America/AFP

The duo will play doubles together in a new competition pitting Europe against the rest of the world in a tennis team event.

Geneva advises teachers on religion in school
File photo: C Carlstead

The secular canton of Geneva has issued guidelines for teachers on how to deal with religious issues in the classroom.

All you need to know about Switzerland’s strangest sports
Swiss wrestling is the main event at the Eidgenössische. Photo: Ulrich Ackermann/Swiss Tourism

The Local takes a closer look at the unique Swiss sports that are the highlight of the Fédérale, or Eidgenössische, festival this weekend.

Basel woman tied up and robbed in own home
Basel city. File photo: Michelle Kinsey Bruns

The victim was attacked by three burglars in her home in broad daylight.

Swiss sports court upholds Russia ban from Paralympics
Head of Russia's Paralympic Committee Vladimir Lukin. Photo: Yuri Kadobnov/AFP

Russia has lost an appeal against a suspension issued over a vast, state-run doping programme.

Swiss Post trials robot parcel deliveries in Bern
The robots are designed to carry out local deliveries autonomously. Photo: Starship

Robots will be seen on the streets of the Swiss capital next month.

Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: Starship
Technology
Swiss Post trials robot parcel deliveries in Bern
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: AFP
Politics
Survey: Swiss optimistic about Brexit effect
Photo: Neil Heritage/Endeavour Fund
Features
Amputee's Matterhorn trek 'makes it more possible' for others
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Photo: EPFL
International
Switzerland tops global innovation table – again
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Photo: Vasily Cotovanu
National
Asylum centre plans shelved after Swiss village protests
Photo: The Local
Politics
Neuchâtel looks to boost rights for foreigners
Photo: AFP
Sport
In pictures: final day success takes Swiss to seven medals
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: AFP
National
Experts debate rail security following Swiss train attack
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
File photo: AFP
Sport
Two basejumpers die in Lauterbrunnen accidents
Photo: AFP
International
Amnesty fears for child migrants at Italian border
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Photo: AXA Winterthur
National
Report: Geneva is Swiss capital of car theft
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Photo: Dani Pozo/AFP
National
Top tips for watching the meteor shower in Switzerland
File photo: Andrew Turner
Technology
Swiss start-up to offer drone service to farmers
Photo: Beat Strasser
National
British quadruple amputee summits Matterhorn
Photo: Judit Klein
National
Switzerland sees rise in child victims of forced marriage
Photo: Michael Schlick/OS Muhr
National
Swiss hiker in Austria rescued after sending SOS to America
Photo: Chris Murphy
Features
14 mistakes foreigners make on moving to Switzerland
Photo: AFP
Lifestyle
Swiss resort unveils huge ‘natural’ fresco on mountain
Photo: C Sonderegger/Swiss Tourism
National
Five great Swiss traditions all expats should try
Photo: AFP
National
Confirmed cases of Zika virus soar in Switzerland
Photo: eGuide Travel
National
Prison for woman who faked Swiss airport bomb threat
Photo: AFP
Technology
Swiss solar plane completes epic round-the-world trip
4,676
jobs available