Robert Aymar, director general of CERN, gave his talk on the forthcoming Large Hadron Collider with veteran poise. The particle accelerator, he said, will reveal the origin of mass, the nature of dark matter and the essence of the primordial plasma. The results will dictate the future course of high-energy physics. It will be a paradigm for future international collaborations. Thirty-eight countries, 2310 scientists, 15 million gigabytes of data.
We had to wait until the end of the symposium for questions, at which point several hands shot up, mine included. Is the accelerator’s repeatedly delayed start-up still on course for late May/early June? “We plan to have the beam running at injection energy in June, with data collecting in the summer time,” replied Aymar, somewhat tiredly. Well, what did you expect him to say?