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From Physics to Daily Life

Applications in Informatics, Energy, and Environment

Beatrice Bressan

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Il piacere più nobile è la gioia di comprendere.

The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.

Leonardo da Vinci

Contributors' CVs

Spyros Arvanitis is Senior Researcher at the KOF (Konjunkturforschungsstelle) Swiss Economic Institute at the ETH (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) Zurich, Switzerland. He is head of the Research Section Innovation Economics of the KOF. He holds a doctoral degree in Economics from the University of Zurich and a doctoral degree in Chemistry from the ETH Zurich. Spyros has served as expert in national and international advisory bodies on the evaluation of technology policy. His research interests cover several fields of industrial economics, with a strong emphasis on empirical studies. He has published extensively on the economics of innovation, technology diffusion, determinants of firm performance, economics of market dynamics as well as the international competitiveness of firms and industries.


Sergio Bertolucci, Physics degree cum laude (University of Pisa, Italy), serves as Director for Research and Computing at CERN. He chaired the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Committee and was a physics research committee member at DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron). He was vice-president and a member of the Board of the Italian INFN (Istituto Nucleare di Fisica Nucleare). A former Pisa scholar, Sergio has worked at DESY (Germany), Fermilab (US) and Frascati (Italy). He was a member of the group that founded the experiment CDF (Collider Detector at Fermilab). He has been involved in the CDF detector design, construction and operation, and has been technical coordinator of the team responsible for the design and construction of the KLOE (K LOng Experiment) detector at DAFNE (Double Annular Φ Factory for Nice Experiments) at the LNF (Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati). Sergio was appointed head of the LNF accelerator and the DAFNE project, becoming Director of the Laboratory in 2002. The ‘top quark’ discovery was amongst the obtained scientific results. He designed and built many innovative detectors that are still state-of-the-art today. He has co-authored over 370 scientific publications (global h-index 86). Sergio has been the Italian Delegate of the Programme Committee on the research infrastructure of the 6th European Union Framework Programme. His memberships include: ESA (European Space Agency), FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research), KEK (Kimg Enerugimg Kasokuki Kenkyimg Kikimg), RECFA (Restricted European Committee for Future Accelerators), J-PARC (Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex), and SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre).


Robert Bishop spent 40 years in the technical, engineering and scientific computing business. He was responsible for building and operating the international aspects of Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI), Apollo Computer Inc., and Digital Equipment Corporation. To accomplish this task, he lived with his family in five countries: US, Australia, Japan, Germany and Switzerland. He was SGI Chairman and CEO (1999–2005). Robert is a Fellow of the Australian Davos Connection and is an elected member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences, and serves on the advisory boards for NICTA (National Information and Communication Technology Australia), and the Human Brain Project of EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale, Lausanne, Switzerland). He served on the advisory boards of the Multimedia Super Corridor and UNITEN (Universiti Tenaga Nasional), Malaysia, and LONI (Laboratory Of Neuro Imaging) of UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), US. Robert earned a B.S. (First Class Honours) in Mathematical Physics (University of Adelaide, Australia), an M.S. from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences (New York University, US), and received his D.S. Honoris Causa (University of Queensland, Australia). In 2006, he was awarded the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Distinguished Public Service Medal for his role in delivering simulation facilities that helped NASA's space shuttle fleet return-to-flight after the 2003 Columbia disaster. Robert is Founder and Chairman of BBWORLD Consulting Services Sàrl and Founder and President of the ICES (International Centre for Earth Simulation) Foundation, Switzerland.


Daan Boom graduated in Library and Information Science at The Hague University, The Netherlands. He has over 30 years' experience in advising and implementing knowledge management practices and IT solutions in private and public sectors. Daan is associated as Director of International Relations with CCLFI (Centre for Conscious Living Foundation Inc.), Manila, Philippines. He was Knowledge Management Programme Manager at ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development), Nepal and Head of Knowledge Management at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) where he co-authored a paper on Knowledge Based Economies (2007) and ADB's experience implementing knowledge management (Knowledge Management for Development Journal, 2005). Daan was editor in charge of a special edition on Knowledge Management for Mountain Development (ICIMOD, Issue 58, 2011). He published an article on social media use to enforce democracy and transparency (Dutch Information Professional Journal, May, 2012). In Asia he organized knowledge management and communication workshops to strengthen local capacities of Non Governmental Organizations, and South-South knowledge exchange programs between universities and research institutes. Throughout his work, he has contributed to curriculum development on knowledge management for universities and has participated or chaired international networks.


Beatrice Bressan, science and technology writer and EUSJA (European Union of Science Journalists' Associations) member, is the Responsible for the Outreach activities of the CERN TOTEM (TOTal cross-section, Elastic scattering and diffraction dissociation Measurement at the Large Hadron Collider) experiment and expert consultant for associations and companies. After a degree in Mathematical Physics (La Sapienza University, Rome) and a Master in Science Communication (ISAS, International School for Advanced Studies, Trieste), Italy, she obtained a PhD, magna cum laude, and carried out a postdoctoral study in Knowledge Management and Technology Transfer for the Department of Physical Sciences of Helsinki University, Finland, within the CERN research programmes. She has worked several years as Technology Transfer Promotion Officer at CERN. Her managerial positions include: Head of Communications (SIB, Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics), Communications Manager (Physics Department, Geneva University), Communications Director (MaatG Cloud Computing Company), Switzerland, and Chief Business Development Officer (gnúbila Software Development Company), France. Beatrice has extensive experience in project management, business development, media publishing, public relations, mediation, and negotiation. She is author and editor in a wide range of subject areas; her publications include: A History of International Research Networking (Wiley, 2010), Knowledge Management in an International Research Centre (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2011).


Robert Cailliau graduated in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (Ghent University, Belgium). In 1974 he started at CERN as Fellow in the PS (Proton Synchrotron) division. In 1987 he became group leader of Office Computing Systems. In 1989, both he and Tim Berners-Lee independently proposed a hypertext system for access to the documentation needed by CERN. He joined Berners-Lee, whose system became the ‘World Wide Web’ or ‘WWW’ (1990). As a key proponent of the early Web, he launched many related efforts, notably through the European Commission (1993: WISE – World-wide Information system for Support of R&D Efforts – Web for the least favoured regions, with the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft in Germany; 1994: Web for Schools) and helped with the transfer of WWW to the W3C (WWW Consortium). His work with the Legal Service led CERN to release its Web software into the public domain (1993). Robert organized the First International WWW Conference (1994, CERN), and was co-founder of the International WWW Conferences Committee of which he was a president. From 2002 until his retirement from CERN in 2007 he devoted his time to public communication. He is a public speaker and delivers many keynotes at conferences. Robert was awarded a knighthood by King Albert II of Belgium in 2005.


Michael Campbell obtained an Honours Degree and PhD at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. After working for a short period at the Battelle Institute in Carouge (Geneva, Switzerland), he joined CERN, also located near Geneva, in 1988. After an initial period of training in CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) circuit design, he started designing pixel detector electronics for High-Energy Physics (HEP) experiments. The first full hybrid pixel detector system was used at the WA97 (West Area 97) experiment in the mid-90s. Several generations of CMOS technology later Michael was a major contributor to the design of the silicon pixel detector of the ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) experiment and the pixel readout system of the RICH (Ring-imaging Cherenkov) detector of the LHCb (Large Hadron Collider beauty) experiment at the LHC (Large Hadron Collider). In parallel with his activity in HEP he founded the Medipix Collaborations which have used successive generations of CMOS technology to bring spectroscopic X-ray imaging closer to reality. Michael is the spokesman of the Medipix2 and Medipix3 Collaborations and has authored or co-authored over 100 scientific publications, mostly in the field of hybrid pixel detectors.


Rolf-Dieter Heuer is the Director General of CERN since January 2009. He graduated in Physics at the University of Stuttgart and obtained his PhD at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. He then worked as research scientist in the JADE (Japan, Deutschland, and England) Collaboration at the PETRA (Positron-Electron Tandem Ring Accelerator) in the DESY (Deutsche Elektronen- Synchrotron) Laboratory of Hamburg, Germany. Between 1984 and 1998, as a CERN staff member, Rolf-Dieter worked at OPAL (Omni-Purpose Apparatus for LEP – Large Electron Positron collider), where he was responsible for the coordination of design and construction of the tracking jet chamber. He was also the run coordinator during the start-up phase of LEP1 (1989–1992) and the OPAL spokesperson (1994–1998). Rolf-Dieter was appointed Professor at the University of Hamburg (1998) and Research Director at DESY (2004). He initiated the reconstruction and focus of German Particle Physics at the energy frontier, with particular emphasis on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Rolf-Dieter is a member of many scientific committees and advisory bodies.


Antony Jameson is the Thomas V. Jones Professor of Engineering in the Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, US. He graduated with first class honours in Engineering and went on to obtain a PhD in Magnetohydrodynamics from Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, UK. Subsequently, he worked as an Economist for the Trades Union Congress, and then became Chief Mathematician at Hawker Siddeley Dynamics, UK. In 1966, he joined the Aerodynamics Section of Grumman Aerospace, in 1974, he moved to the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, and in 1982, he joined Princeton University, US, where he was appointed James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Aerospace Engineering. Amongst his awards: Gold Medal (Royal Aeronautical Society), UK, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, Spirit of St. Louis Medal, Elmer A. Sperry Award, US; Fellow: Trinity Hall, Royal Society, Royal Aeronautical Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, UK, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Honorary Professor North Western Polytechnic University, Xian, China, Doctor Honoris Causa Paris VI University, France and Uppsala University, Sweden, and National Academy of Engineering Foreign Associate, US. Antony has authored and co-authored over 400 scientific papers in a wide range of areas including computational fluid dynamics, aerodynamics and control theory. Antony is the principal developer of the ‘flo’ and ‘syn’ codes series, widely used in the aerospace industry.


Bob Jones is head of the CERN openlab project which facilitates collaboration between CERN and its industrial partners to study and develop data-intensive solutions for scientists working at the next-generation Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Following a B.Sc. Honours Degree in Computer Science from Staffordshire University, UK, he joined CERN in 1986 as a software developer with the IT department providing support for the LEP (Large Electron Positron collider) experiments. Bob completed his PhD thesis in Computer Science at Sunderland University, UK, while working at CERN. He held the position of the online software system leader for the ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS) experiment. His experience in the distributed computing arena includes mandates as the technical and project director of the European Commission co-financed EGEE (Enabling Grids for E-sciencE) project, which operated a production Grid facility for e-Science spanning 300 sites across 48 countries for more than 12 000 researchers. The work of EGEE was preceded as deputy project leader for the European Union DataGrid project. He is a member of the advisory board for several Grid related European and national and ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) projects. Bob regularly acts as a reviewer for the IST (Information Societies Technology) programme and is a leader of the Helix Nebula, a public private partnership to explore the use of commercial Cloud services for science applications.


Cayetano Lopez is Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. He has lead several research projects and published numerous papers on Elementary Particles Physics, including rigorous properties, phenomenology, unified theories and supersymmetry, on energy issues and on accelerator driven systems for nuclear waste treatment and energy production. He was the Rector of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, from 1985 to 1994. He was member of the Council of CERN from 1983 to 1995 and Vice-president of this organism from 1987 to 1990. At present, Cayetano is the Director General of the Research Centre in Energy, Environment and Technology, CIEMAT (Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas), Madrid.


Niels Madsen, Professor in Experimental Physics at Swansea University, UK, studied Physics at Aarhus University in Denmark from where he was also awarded a PhD He moved on to work on antihydrogen at CERN, securing a Danish Steno Fellowship before he finally took up a position at Swansea University in 2005. Niels is co-founder and group leader in the ALPHA (Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus) Collaboration that was the first to trap antihydrogen and observe quantum transitions in it. He is now pursuing precision comparisons with hydrogen. Niels has been actively involved in antihydrogen research since 2001, playing a substantial role in the ATHENA (Antihydrogen Apparatus) team that first formed low energy antihydrogen in 2002. He plays a leading role in the ALPHA experiment, and led the effort to implement several key techniques leading to the first antihydrogen trapping. Niels has furthermore conceptualized, designed and built significant parts of the ALPHA apparatus. For this work he and his colleagues were awarded the 2011 James Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research. Niels has recently held a Royal Society Senior Leverhulme research fellowship and is a fellow of the Institute of Physics, UK.


Edwin Morley-Fletcher is President of Lynkeus Consultancy and former Professor of Administration Science of the Faculty of Politics, University La Sapienza (Rome, Italy). Member of the Italian CNEL (Consiglio Nazionale dell'Economia e del Lavoro) and chairman of the CNEL Working Group on the Social Market from 1995 to 2000, Senior Fellow at the School of Public Policy (University of California, Los Angeles, US) in 1999, and Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI) in 1989. A member of the Scientific Committee of the MedChild Foundation, Edwin has been advisor of the Gaslini Foundation for several years now, and has led the ‘Healthcare Governance and Technology’ working group of ASTRID (Analisi, Studi e Ricerche sulla Riforma delle Istituzioni Democratiche) in Italy. He is currently advisor of the Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome in the area of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for Health. He operated as Project Manager within Health-e-Child (2006–2010), the FP6 IP (6th Framework Programme Integrated Project) Sim-e-Child, and the FP7 STReP (Specific Targeted Research Project, 2010–2012). He is currently Project Manager of the FP7 IP MD-Paedigree (Model-Driven European Paediatric Digital Repository) and Co-ordinator of the FP7 STReP Cardioproof (Proof of Concept of Model-based Cardiovascular Prediction). Edwin is the author of over 100 publications of which the most recent one is: Modelli sanitari a confronto: nuovi assetti istituzionali europei evidenziati dal dibattito sull'Obamacare, in R. Nania (Ed.), Attuazione e sostenibilità del diritto alla salute, Chapter 5, Sapienza Università Editrice, 2013.


Marilena Streit-Bianchi obtained a degree in Biological Sciences at La Sapienza University (Rome, Italy). She has been working at CERN for 40 years, and has carried out research on biomedical applications and biological effects of high-energy radiations and on economic benefits from big-science collaboration with industry and in particular technological learning, innovation acquisition, market opening and knowledge transfer. Marilena is the co-author and author of more than 55 publications in international science journals, conferences and proceedings and has been the organizer of thematic conferences on fundamental science-industry relations, representing CERN at innovation day exhibitions. She has been the supervisor of many students and occupied managerial positions. She was the Deputy Group Leader of the Technology Transfer Group at CERN and Responsible for the Technology Promotion Section until 2007 and of Technology Promotion events in Latin-America carried out within the HELEN (High Energy Physics Latinamerican-European Network) project. Since 2014, Marilena is curator of exhibitions and educational activities for the arSciencia Association (Santiago de Compostela, Spain), a sociocultural entity dedicated to the world of Science and Art. As Honorary Staff Member, she is leading a CERN Oral History project.


Bent Stumpe, after several years in the Danish Air Force as Radio/Radar engineer and in the Danish television industry, came to CERN in 1961 working on flying-spot cathode-ray tube scanners for analysing bubble chamber films and cutting-edge techniques which later came into widespread use that is in the newspaper industry. Recruited into the design team for the control centre of the new 400 GeV CERN proton generator, Bent made important contributions such as the Capacitive Transparent Touch Screen, Micro Computer controlled stand alone Touch Terminals, graphical colour display drivers, pointing devices (Tracker Ball) and the Computer Controlled Knob. He was consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO) for which he developed an instrument for the early detection of Leprosy. After leaving CERN in 2003, he started the East West Trade Development company and, invited by the Danish Ministry of Research, became the CERN Danish ILO (Industrial Liaison Officer), creating the Danish DENCERN network. Bent received a Danish industrial prize for his technical developments at CERN and for his collaboration with industry.


Fernando Quevedo is Director of the Abdus Salam ICTP (International Centre for Theoretical Physics) of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge, UK. He is a theoretical particle physicist with wide-ranging research interests in string theory, phenomenology and cosmology. A Guatemalan citizen born in Costa Rica, was educated in Guatemala before obtaining a PhD from the University of Texas, US, under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg. A string of research appointments followed at CERN, McGill University in Canada, the Institut de Physique at Neuchatel University in Switzerland and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US, as well as a brief term as Professor of Physics at the Mexican National Autonomous University. Fernando joined the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge in 1998, where he is currently Professor of Theoretical Physics and Fellow of Gonville and Caius College. He has received several honours and awards, including honorary degrees from two Guatemalan universities, the 1998 ICTP prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Royal Society Wolfson award. Fernando is also a fellow of TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries).


Martin Woerter, PhD in Economics and Social Sciences, joined the KOF (Konjunkturforschungsstelle) Swiss Economic Institute at the ETH (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) Zurich, Switzerland as senior researcher in 2002. He is experienced in applied research in the field of Economics, with a strong emphasis on empirical studies. Martin worked as a researcher at the Scientific Institute of Communication Services (WIK, Wissenschaftliches Institut für Kommunikationsdienste, Bad Honnef, Germany), where he carried out and lead projects in the field of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). During his work as a research assistant in Economics at the University of Innsbruck, Martin was part of a research team at the Austrian Academy of Sciences focusing on policies for media and ICT. He also was carrying out parts of his PhD at SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit, now Science and Technology Policy Research, Brighton, UK). He has been a member of national and international expert groups evaluating national innovation promotion policies and policies related to ICT. His research mainly focuses on applied economics and industrial organization. Currently, he is conducting research in the field of economics of innovation, diffusion of new technologies, knowledge and technology transfer between universities and firms, innovation and competition. In Austria Martin was Lecturer at Innsbruck and Vienna Universities and now he teaches at the ETH.



As we advance further into the 21st century, we realise more and more that international scientific organisations such as CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, are concrete examples of science uniting people around common goals across national and cultural boundaries. Back in the 1940s and 50s, this intention to connect was prominent in the minds of those who came together to create at CERN an environment in which fundamental science has flourished. Their vision has resulted in 60 years of discoveries, 60 years of science in the service of peace.

CERN's commitment to streamlining the transfer of knowledge to different fields has strengthened during recent years. Forgetting for a moment our most cited example, the World Wide Web, and its role in globalization, there are many other success stories linked, for example, to medicine.

As is to be expected with any research centre, we are always content, but never satisfied. Therefore, in order to establish CERN as an important facilitator for medical physics in Europe, we have recently created a new Office for Medical Applications. This will provide an environment in which medical practitioners and members of the physics community can come together to pursue common goals.

Of course this is not something peculiar to CERN. Similar initiatives can be found at other research infrastructures, many of which have produced brilliant breakthrough innovations, demonstrating the subtle ways in which knowledge transforms from novel idea into novel application.

Knowledge travels mainly with people. Information dissemination, education and training are therefore key elements in connecting research to society. This constant osmosis between research facilities and society at large enables the translation of ideas into innovation.

This book provides a stimulating reflection on the growing role of knowledge as a strategic asset in responding to the epochal challenges in front of us. It exposes the crucial role that curiosity driven research plays in the long-term sustainability of our society. And it intrinsically expresses a message of hope: a common thread in the motivations that moved the contributing authors to pursue their ideas.

By improving our quality of life, they have at the same time contributed to the realization of a more equitable society. Might this not be the best vehicle to enable sustainable peace?

Rolf-Dieter Heuer


July 2014