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Carlo Rubbia, the 1984 Nobel Prizewinner for Physics, participates in the conference organized by Focus Abengoa Foundation to mark the 50th anniversary of the CERN

December 21, 2004

Seville, December 20, 2004. – Today, the Focus-Abengoa Foundation organized, in collaboration with the Energy, Environmental and Technological Research Center (CIEMAT), the conference entitled “The CERN: Past, Present and Future” to mark the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the European Nuclear Research Center (CERN).

The conference, held at 11:30 hours in Hospital de los Venerables, Focus-Abengoa Foundation's headquarters, inaugurated by Javier Benjumea, Foundation, and Abengoa' chairma, and was given by Carlo Rubbia, Nobel Prizewinner for Physics in 1984, ENEA's chairman (Ente per le Nuove Tecnologie, L´Energie e L´Ambiente) and former CERN's general manager; Juan Antonio Rubio, CIEMAT's general manager and former head of the CERN’s Education and Technology Transfer Division; and Manuel Aguilar, manager of the CIEMAT’s Basic Research Department and Vice-chairman of CERN’s Council.

Over 50 years, the CERN has not only played an important role through its scientific mission and in encouraging international cooperation, but has also had a great social impact thanks to the practical application of the discoveries that have been made throughout the years and which have led to Europe’s scientific and technological activity being even further developed.

In the words of Carlo Rubbia, Nobel Prizewinner for Physics in 1984, “the CERN is an international organization that performs works for the benefit of mankind and is also a European model for conducting science. The CERN is currently working on the LHC, Large Hadron Collider, a large particle accelerator that will enable us to sound matter at depths never before reached. The LHC is a 27-kilometer development capable of more than 800 million collisions per second. The project will be the largest scientific instrument ever built for studying particles and we expect it to be brought into operation in 2007”.

The CERN, European Nuclear Research Center, is a Particle Physics research laboratory. Founded in 1954 by twelve European countries, this body is a model of international scientific collaboration and one of the world’s most important research centers. It currently comprises 20 member states, including Spain, and some 6,500 scientists (several Nobel prizewinners among them) from 500 universities representing 80 nations are involved in its different projects. Spain’s representation at the CERN is managed by the Energy, Environmental and Technological Research Center (CIEMAT).

Important discoveries have been made at the CERN which have resulted in some of its scientists such as Charpack, Ting, Steimberger or Carlo Rubbia having been awarded the Nobel Prize. Noteworthy among the discoveries is the invention of the World Wide Web, by Tim Berner Lee, which has enabled the rapid development of Internet.

The CIEMAT is a Public Research Body attached to the Ministry of Education and Science. Since its establishment as JEN, in 1951, and as CIEMAT, since 1986, it has carried out technological research and development projects in the Energy and Environmental sectors which have put it at the international forefront of science and technology. It also maintains close relationships with other research groups with similar objectives.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation was established in 1982 as a consequence of the cultural activities Abengoa commenced in 1972 when it published the works “Temas Sevillanos” and “Iconografía de Sevilla”. Over the same period a collection of documents, books and prints on the Kingdom of Seville or by Sevillian authors had been gathered. This initial cultural activity led Abengoa’s senior management to realize the importance of it being seen by the public outside its essential technological activities through an activity that would be of benefit to society, the result of which was the establishment of the Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla.

The Foundation’s activities have been increasing, complying with its foundational objective of promoting culture in its diverse artistic and scientific forms. The main role-players throughout Focus-Abengoa’s existence have been education, painting, restoration and music, followed by seminars, the written word and prints.

Carlo Rubbia

Born in Italy in 1934, he is a CERN physicist since 1961 and in 1979 was appointed its general manager for a five-year term of office. He is one of the creators of the CERN’s large collision ring. He conceived, in order to obtain sufficient energies to create the intermediary bosons, a radically new particle accelerator where two clusters (one of protons and the other anti-protons) collide. In 1983, through this technology, he discovered the W and Z intermediary bosons, the weak force vectors. He shared the 1984 Nobel Prize for physics with Simon Van der Meer, for this discovery. Towards the end of his term as CERN’s general manager, he proposed the energy amplifier concept. He is working on perfecting an energy amplifier since 1994.

Furthermore, Carlo Rubbia is an officer of the Légion d’Honneur (appointed by François Mitterrand in 1989) and has been distinguished with the "Cavaliere di Gran Croce" (Italy’s highest honorific distinction) by the President of Italy, Sandro Pertini.

Juan Antonio Rubio Rodriguez

A Doctor in Physics by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, he commenced his scientific relationship with the CIEMAT in 1965 as a scholarship holder from the Institute of Nuclear Studies of the Nuclear Energy Council. He also started with the CERN three years later as a scholarship holder. From 1984 to 1987, he was the CIEMAT’s scientific manager, coordinating the Spanish “High Energies Physics Mobilizer” and “Fusion by Magnetic Confinement” programs, as well as Spain’s adherence to the CERN where he held the posts, among others, of Head of the Research Group, Scientific Adviser to the General Manager, Coordinator and Commissar for the Expo’92.

Manuel Aguilar

Associated with the CIEMAT since 1965, he is a Doctor in Physics by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He has participated in research projects on High Energies Experimental Physics at the European Particle Physics Laboratory (CERN, Geneva, Switzerland), the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL, New York, USA) and the Collége de France (Paris, France), for more than 10 years. In 1983, he was appointed Head of the CIEMAT’s Particle Physics Unit, and since 1998 is director of the CIEMAT's Fusion and Elemental Particle Physics Department.

Since September 1998, he is a member of the Spanish delegation of CERN’s Council, and since 2000, Spain’s scientific delegate on CERN’s Council. He is currently Vice-chairman of the organization’s Governing Body.

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