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'Huge benefits' from Cyprus' accession to CERN.

Byline: Athena Arsalidou

CYPRUS HAS submitted an application to become a full member of CERN, the world's largest particle physics laboratory.

In an interview with CNA, Professor of Physics at the University of Cyprus, Panos Razis, talked about the importance of Cyprus' membership, as well as the re-launch of the world famous experiment with the first attempt to circulate a beam in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The experiment would offer a series of data for understanding the law of nature right after the Big Bang that created the universe 13.7 billion years ago.

Thousands of scientists from all over the world participate in the experiment that is to be re-launched in November, among them a team of scientists under Professor Razis.

The scientific community of Cyprus deems that the benefits from Cyprus' full membership will be huge, since the knowhow and the knowledge of CERN will be applied in various areas in Cyprus as well.

In his interview, the Cypriot scientist talked about another experiment in which his team participates, which envisages to allow the examination of very distant areas of the universe by using a "neutrinos' telescope".

Regarding Cyprus' application to become a full member of CERN, Razis said the application would be examined in December 2010.

"The importance of Cyprus' upcoming accession to CERN as full member of the family is huge. Apart from the scientific benefits, one must bear in mind that CERN is the world's largest research centre," Razis explained.

He went on to add that "through the physics experiments and other programmes of CERN, in the areas of education and medicine for instance, a large number of Cypriots who are interested in those fields, will be benefited".

"Moreover, through various international conferences and summer schools organized in CERN, the knowhow will eventually pass to Cyprus in many areas of application since physics is the mother and inspiration of all applied sciences", Razis told CNA.

Founded in 1954, the CERN Laboratory, which is situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva astride the Franco-Swiss border, was one of Europe's first joint ventures and now has 20 member states.

Regarding the CERN experiment, which is to be restarted this autumn, he said that Cyprus has been actively participating in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments through the High Energy Physics Laboratory of the University of Cyprus.

He explained that the CERN experiment would address questions such as what gives matter its mass, of what the invisible 96 per cent of the Universe is made, why nature prefers matter to antimatter and how matter evolved from the first instants of the Universe's existence.

"One other fascinating scenario is to discover that there are more than four dimensions which could explain why gravity is weaker that the other three powers of the universe," Razis said.

The Cypriot Professor was also asked about an ongoing experiment, with the participation of Cyprus, concerning neutrinos, the elementary particles that often travel close to the speed of light.

Razis said that for three years now his team has been participating in a European partnership of 24 universities, to create an under-sea neutrino telescope of an overall volume of 1-2 cubic kilometres.

"By examining neutrinos we can draw conclusions and study very distant areas in the universe", he said, adding that distant stars, pulsars or supernovae could be better studied with a neutrino telescope. (CNA)

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Jul 31, 2009
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