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Dates Set for World Debut of Giant Discovery Machine

News Release | For Immediate Release | August, 28, 2008

(Vancouver, BC) -- Autumn 2008 will be remembered as one of the most exciting seasons in scientific history as the world's largest research project, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, gets under way. The product of two decades of design, research, and hard labour by thousands of scientists in dozens of countries, and of billions of dollars, the LHC and its associated science experiments have just announced the schedule for the world debut. As one of the key participating countries, Canada will be celebrating.

The LHC has been under construction for more than a decade. It is scheduled to begin operation this fall. Three milestones will mark its successful start-up and Canada is preparing itself for the anticipated enthusiastic celebration. TRIUMF is central to Canada's participation in the LHC, and would like to make media aware of the following news opportunities:

Dates to watch for:

  • September 10, 2008: The first attempt to circulate a beam in the LHC
  • October 3, 2008: Worldwide computer research grid kick-off
  • October 21, 2008: Formal inauguration of the LHC
    (As part of National Science & Technology Week)

The first attempt to circulate a beam in the LHC (September 10, 2008)

As announced by CERN, the first injection (sending beams of particles all the way around the 27-kilometre circular machine) is scheduled to take place September 10, 2008. Achieving this milestone requires full integration of every system of the accelerator, not unlike the launch of a space mission. In addition to a live telecast from the Geneva control room, the Canadian universities will be hosting coordinated public events in Montreal, Toronto, and in TRIUMF's facility in Vancouver featuring lectures, public announcements, and interactive displays. For further details, please contact Tim Meyer at TRIUMF, 604.222.7674.

Worldwide computer research grid kick-off (October 3, 2008)

The massive amounts of digital data recorded by the science experiments at the LHC will be shared around the world with a next-generation computing platform known as the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid. Canada hosts one of the ten Tier-1 nodes of the grid at TRIUMF, thereby gaining early access to the scientific data. On October 3, 2008, the Worldwide Grid will be hosting a kick-off event in Geneva, Switzerland. Canada will formally launch its component of the global grid at a breakfast celebration in Vancouver (as TRIUMF is the site of the computing centre) from 8:00-10:00 a.m. on October 3. Government officials, business representatives, and the scientific computing consortium will be making presentations and demonstrating the power of the GRID. The event will also feature a question-and-answer session with the Director General of CERN and other

Formal inauguration of the LHC (October 21, 2008)

On October 21, 2008, the LHC and its associated science experiments will be formally inaugurated at a diplomatic gala in Geneva, Switzerland to which heads-of-state will be travelling from all over the world. An inauguration ceremony in Canada will be held in Vancouver from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at TRIUMF. This event will be framed as part of the Government of Canada's National Science and Technology Week. In addition to live videoconferencing with CERN and Canadian representatives at the formal inauguration, Canadian scientists will explain the importance of the LHC science program and their hopes for its breakthrough discoveries. For further details, please contact Tim Meyer at TRIUMF, 604-222-7674.

For further details on the above events, the LHC project or to arrange advance interviews, please contact Tim Meyer, TRIUMF at 604.222.7674 or via e-mail at



(For a full list of local media contacts see


Prof. Robert McPherson
ATLAS-Canada Spokesperson
University of Victoria / IPP
Phone: + 1.604.222.7654
E-mail: Rob McPherson

Dr. Isabel Trigger
ATLAS-Canada Physics Coordinator
Phone: +1.604.222.7651
E-mail: Isabel Trigger
(English and French)

TRIUMF, Canada's National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics

Dr. Timothy I. Meyer
Head, Strategic Planning & Communications
Phone: + 1.604.222.7675
E-mail: Tim Meyer

Dr. Nigel S. Lockyer
Phone: +1.604.222.7353
Email: Nigel Lockyer

Institute of Particle Physics

Prof. William Trischuk
Institute of Particle Physics
E-mail: William Trischuk



CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. India, Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have Observer status. Canada has made important contributions to CERN's flagship

TRIUMF is operated as a Joint Venture by: TRIUMF The University of Alberta 4004 Wesbrook Mall The University of British Columbia Vancouver, B.C. V6T 2A3 Carleton University Canada l'Université de Montréal Phone: +1 (604) 222 1047 Simon Fraser University Fax: +1 (604) 222 1074 The University of Toronto Web: The University of Victoria under a contribution through the National Research Council of Canada accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider and one of its associated particle physics detectors, the ATLAS experiment.

The Large Hadron Collider or LHC is a particle accelerator which, at 27 kilometres in circumference, will be the world's largest and most complex scientific instrument when it switches on in fall 2008.

ATLAS is a worldwide collaboration comprising over 2500 scientists and engineers from 178 institutions in 35 countries and regions. These are Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States of America. ATLAS-Canada comprises over 110 faculty members, post-doctoral fellows and students from eleven Canadian institutes: the University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, Carleton University, McGill University, Université de Montréal, University of Regina, Simon Fraser University, University of Toronto, TRIUMF, University of Victoria and York University. See

TRIUMF is Canada's National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics. Physically located on the south Campus of the University of British Columbia, TRIUMF is owned and operated as a joint venture by a consortium of the following Canadian universities, via a contribution through the National Research Council Canada and supported by the Province of British Columbia: University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, Carleton University, l'Université de Montréal, Simon Fraser University, University of Toronto, University of Victoria.


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