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CERN to implement additional energy-saving measures for 2022–2023

Fri, 30/09/2022 - 16:02
CERN to implement additional energy-saving measures for 2022–2023


In light of the current global energy supply and cost crisis, and as part of its social responsibility, CERN will be implementing measures that will significantly reduce the Laboratory’s energy consumption in 2022 and 2023.

The 2022 year-end-technical stop (YETS) will start on 28 November, two weeks earlier than initially planned, and the operation of the accelerator complex will be reduced by 20% in 2023. Plans have also been developed with the French electricity supplier, Électricité de France (EDF), for reduced-power configurations to cope with possible load shedding in the coming months. In addition, various measures are being developed to save energy on the CERN sites. These include switching off the street lighting overnight, delaying by one week the start of building heating and optimising it during the entire winter season.

Since well before the current energy crisis, as part of its wider strategy to improve sustainability, CERN has been actively working to reduce its electricity consumption. The energy performance measures implemented over the past decade have already brought about a 10% reduction in the Laboratory’s energy consumption. These range from optimising cooling systems in CERN’s data centre to renovating beamline facilities for more efficient use of the equipment and reduced loss of beam and energy.

Several environmental projects have been approved and are in the pipeline. CERN’s new data centre, scheduled to come online in the final quarter of 2023, is being built with energy efficiency at its core, including the possibility of recovering heat from the centre to heat other buildings on the CERN site. The heat produced by one of the LHC facilities is already set to be used to heat buildings in the nearby town of Ferney-Voltaire. CERN has formed an innovation partnership with ABB with the aim of reducing energy consumption by optimising its cooling and ventilation systems. CERN is also investigating the potential for using renewable energy sources, in particular photovoltaic sources placed both on and off site.

At the end of 2021, CERN formally committed to establishing an energy management system in accordance with the ISO 50001 standard. To this end, it has submitted a five-year energy performance plan to the French authorities aimed at further optimising the Laboratory’s energy consumption.

katebrad Fri, 09/30/2022 - 15:02 Publication Date Fri, 09/30/2022 - 14:51

Happy 25th birthday, IPPOG!

Thu, 29/09/2022 - 12:01
Happy 25th birthday, IPPOG!

“The particle physics community has a moral obligation to inform the public on its activities. To do this well, experiences must be shared among countries in view of the need to optimise the use of resources.” With these words, former CERN Director-General Chris Llewellyn-Smith launched the European Particle Physics Outreach Group (EPOG) on 19 September 1997.

Little did he know at the time how much more we would accomplish. Today, the aptly renamed International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG) is a collaboration of particle physicists, communication experts and educators dedicated to disseminating the goals and accomplishments of our research to the public.

IPPOG audiences range from schoolchildren to college graduates and teachers, from the visiting public to heads of state, and we engage them in classrooms, laboratories, festivals and government offices across the planet. The activities we use to reach these diverse audiences include public lectures, visits, games, exhibits, books, online apps and pretty much anything else that can be used to demonstrate scientific methodology and instil appreciation for fundamental research.

The first meeting, chaired by Professor Frank Close of Oxford University, was attended by representatives of the CERN Member States, the LHC experiments, CERN and DESY. Their goal was to provide a forum for the sharing of effective material and best practices in particle physics education and outreach. Twice-annual meetings were set up at CERN and EPOG reported each year to the European Committee for Future Accelerators (ECFA) and the high-energy physics branch of the European Physical Society.

In the following decades, the group’s global reach expanded significantly. Key to this was the development of the International Masterclasses in Particle Physics (IMC), a programme in which students are invited to local institutions and given the chance to be scientists for a day. Lab visits and short lectures by active researchers are followed by hands-on courses allowing the students to analyse real data from current experiments. The day concludes with videoconferences between groups of participants to share their experiences and their results.

Masterclasses are one of our most effective tools for engaging with society. – Pedro Abreu, IPPOG co-chair

Other worldwide programmes, such as International Cosmic Day, International Muon Week and Worldwide Data Day, coordinated with partners that include DESY in Germany, INFN in Italy and QuarkNet in the USA, reach a wide variety of students and are growing every year. The Global Cosmics portal on the IPPOG website provides access to projects distributing cosmic ray detectors and/or data into classrooms.

These international programmes now reach tens of thousands of students and teachers located in classrooms around the world. To ensure support for their growth, IPPOG became an official international collaboration, complete with a memorandum of understanding (MoU), in 2016. Today, the collaboration comprises 39 members (32 countries, 6 experiments and CERN) and two associate members (DESY and GSI). Each member, by signing the MoU, commits to supporting particle physics outreach at home and worldwide.

Education and public engagement are essential tools to our field, not only because they make us better scientists, but because they are necessary to gain the public’s trust, train the next generation of scientists and secure the support we will need for our field’s future.

– Contributed by IPPOG co-chairs Pedro Abreu (LIP, IST) and Steven Goldfarb (U. Melbourne)

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anschaef Thu, 09/29/2022 - 11:01 Publication Date Thu, 09/29/2022 - 10:51

Thirty years of the TERA Foundation

Thu, 29/09/2022 - 11:58
Thirty years of the TERA Foundation

The Piazza Navona is home to one of Rome’s most famous landmarks: the fountain of the four rivers. As well as being a beautiful work of art, Bernini’s masterpiece has also served as a guiding light to me: I see science, in particular CERN science, at the centre, with the four rivers issuing from it representing the benefits that science brings to society in terms of knowledge, people, methods and technologies. Since the establishment of TERA we have endeavoured, in collaboration with CERN and INFN scientists and engineers, to keep all four streams flowing in the field of tumour radiation therapy, bringing benefits to society as a whole.

Among the guiding principles I brought to TERA, I owe one to my father. I was just beginning my physics studies in 1952 when he became Secretary-General of the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, charged with steering today’s CERN into being. I remember his profound conviction that the nascent laboratory should pursue two accelerator projects in parallel: one conservative in order to get a research programme under way quickly, the other altogether more innovative. Those two machines became the Synchrocyclotron and the Proton Synchrotron – in terms of what had gone before, the LHC of its day.

At TERA we also adopted conservative and innovative paths. To treat radioresistant tumours with carbon ions, we chose a conventional synchrotron. Our more ambitious goal was for proton therapy using a novel 3 GHz linear accelerator. Two more guidelines we adopted from the start were collaboration and documentation, whose value I learned as spokesperson of the DELPHI collaboration for 13 years.

As well CERN and INFN, we also worked with the GSI and PSI laboratories, and with many institutes, hospitals and learned societies. Over the years we distributed more than 200 TERA Reports and four books named for the colour of their covers: green, blue, red and white. To complete the series, the contributions to this year’s symposium will be published in a silver book.

The TERA story goes back to 1990, when I was invited by a young man called Gaudenzio Vanolo, a science communicator, to give a talk in Novara. With Giampiero Tosi, a medical physicist of great renown, we went on to publish a note entitled Per un Centro di Teleterapia con Adroni. That was in May 1991 and, in August, I had the chance to discuss the idea with Nicola Cabibbo, President of INFN, who was attending a conference in Geneva. As a result, a new INFN group called ATER was established in Milan, but with a budget only for travel, not for people. It was a start.

Vanolo went on to play a big part in TERA. He had the idea of creating a foundation to gather funds to pay the people who would do the research, and the founding document of the foundation bears his signature alongside those of Elio Borgonovi, Giampiero Tosi and myself. Vanolo took on the role of Secretary-General, and the board was later joined by Roberto Orecchia, an internationally known radiation oncologist and one of the keynote speakers at the anniversary symposium. The others were Manuela Cirilli, Marco Durante, Fabio Sauli and Maurizio Vretenar.

The network rapidly grew, with notable members including Börje Larsson of PSI. Together we organised the first International Conference on Hadrontherapy in Como in October 1993. I am pleased to say that the proceedings – edited by Larsson and myself and published in 1994 as Hadrontherapy in Oncology – are still a reference in the field.

Funding was always a challenge. Vanolo and I devoted much time to finding sponsors, in particular foundations and wealthy individuals. Our efforts were not in vain: in thirty years we have allocated some €30 million, mainly to support fellowships and salaries for over 150 young engineers and physicists. The first step came in 1992, thanks to Franco Bonnaudi and Romeo Perin, who convinced the Associazione per lo Sviluppo del Piemonte in Turin to give a fellowship to Gianluigi Arduini, who would go on to play a significant part – together with Marco Silari and Sandro Rossi, the first two Technical Directors – in the design of the Italian National Centre for Oncological Hadrontherapy (CNAO). A second important step came in 1995, when Meinhard Regler and I found sufficient support in the CERN Directorate, notably from Horst Wenninger and Kurt Hübner, for the Proton-Ion Medical Machine Study (PIMMS), to be launched under the direction of Phil Bryant. This proved transformative for the synchrotron part of TERA’s dual ambition, forming the basis of designs for CNAO, in Pavia, and for MedAustron in Austria.

CNAO was TERA’s main activity until 2000, when Umberto Veronesi, a famous oncologist from Milan, who had supported our efforts from the start, became science minister. He issued a decree establishing CNAO as a foundation, and made significant construction funds available. By 2003, TERA’s CNAO design was complete, and the TERA Foundation transferred 21 people to CNAO, providing the core of its technical construction and operations group.

The conservative part of TERA’s initial mission was complete, and it was time to focus on the more challenging part: 3 GHz linacs for both proton and carbon ion therapy. What makes a linac interesting for cancer therapy is that it’s possible to vary the energy of the beam every few milliseconds. This means that tumours can be rapidly scanned in depth as well as in breadth in a way that circular machines cannot do. I first had the idea of using linacs for therapy in 1993, but it was not until 2001 that a TERA-CERN-INFN collaboration, led by Mario Weiss, demonstrated the principle with the Linac Booster (LIBO) project.

Building on LIBO, a start-up company, ADAM, was established in 2007 by Alberto Colussi in Geneva, and taken over in 2013 by the UK company Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO). As for CNAO, TERA also provided people to form the core group of ADAM. Today, AVO is pursuing this technology by building the dedicated Linac for Image-Guided Hadron Therapy (LIGHT), based on a prototype tested at CERN, at the UK’s Daresbury Laboratory. On 27 September, LIGHT achieved a full-energy 230 MeV beam, and the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust is now preparing a treatment room to receive its first patients next year.

Further ahead, there are many developments on the horizon. The facilities we were designing for cancer therapy can also be used for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia. In 2010, when I thought of this idea, I discovered that I was not the first: Douglas Packer of the Mayo Clinic had been talking about it for some time. Collaboration ensued, and today in Geneva another start-up, EBAMed – partnered with the Mayo Clinic – is developing technologies to treat its first arrhythmia patients in 2024. Adriano Garonna, TERA Technical Director from 2016 to 2018, is the Chief Technical Officer of this initiative. In the meantime, CNAO is the first centre in the world to have treated an arrhythmia patient with protons. I’m convinced that in another 30 years, there will be more proton machines for arrhythmia than for cancer therapy.

A new PIMMS, called NIMMS – the N stands for New – has recently been launched under the leadership of Maurizio Vretenar. And there are plans to build a centre for hadron research and therapy, SEEIIST, in south-east Europe, based on the CERN model of international collaboration – TERA has contributed greatly to its conceptual design. All in all, I am happy with TERA’s legacy so far, and I look forward to much more still to come.

Full details of the symposium can be found here: https://indico.cern.ch/event/1184432/.

thortala Thu, 09/29/2022 - 10:58 Byline Ugo Amaldi Publication Date Thu, 09/29/2022 - 10:55

2022 Beamline for Schools winners at CERN and DESY

Wed, 28/09/2022 - 15:45
2022 Beamline for Schools winners at CERN and DESY The STA team from the Elsewedy Technical Academy (Egypt) on their arrival at CERN. (Image: CERN)

On 21 September, the winners of the 2022 Beamline for Schools competition arrived at CERN and DESY to start their experiments. This group of brilliant high-school students is spending two full weeks at test-beam facilities to perform the experiments that they designed for the competition.

The Supercooling team from the École du Sacré-Coeur (France) on their arrival at DESY. (Image: CERN)

Following the successful collaboration between CERN and DESY during the long shutdown of the CERN accelerator complex, in 2022 it has been possible to expand the competition and to invite two teams to Switzerland and one to Germany.

The Fermi team from the Enrico Fermi Physics Club (Spain) during a visit to Geneva. (Image: CERN)

The teams performing their experiments at CERN come from the Elsewedy Technical Academy in Cairo, Egypt, and the Enrico Fermi Physics Club in Vigo, Spain. The team invited to DESY comes from the École du Sacré-Coeur in Reims, France.

Beamline for Schools is an education and outreach project funded by the CERN & Society Foundation and supported by individual donors, foundations and companies.

anschaef Wed, 09/28/2022 - 14:45 Publication Date Wed, 09/28/2022 - 14:41

Nuclear physics at CERN: a hub for interdisciplinary research

Wed, 28/09/2022 - 13:33
Nuclear physics at CERN: a hub for interdisciplinary research

For a week at the beginning of September, a surprisingly wide variety of physicists gathered in CERN’s Main Auditorium. The tenth edition of the Nuclear Physics in Astrophysics Conference (NPA-X), which takes place every two years, brought together experimental and theoretical nuclear physicists, astronomers, astrophysicists and cosmo chemists from all over the world to benefit from each other’s expertise. Each NPA is hosted by different collaborations, and this year it was hosted by ISOLDE (Isotope mass Separator On-Line facility) and n_TOF (Neutron Time of Flight). Based at CERN, these nuclear physics collaborations are at the core of CERN’s interdisciplinary research, with applications far beyond particle physics.

The many topics addressed at NPA-X included the evolution of stars, the formation of elements in the cosmos and nuclear processes involving exotic objects such as black holes.

One interesting example of interdisciplinary activities highlighted at NPA-X was piecing together clues about the Milky Way: astrophysicists had observed gamma rays radiating from its centre. Together with the nuclear physics community, they were able to determine what caused this, using their respective expertise.

“When stars explode, they produce aluminium-26, and you want to understand why and how much is produced,” said Alberto Mengoni, co-organiser of the conference and spokesperson for n_TOF. “This depends on the nuclear reactions that form and destroy Aluminium-26, which we study at n_TOF and ISOLDE.”

The n_TOF facility (Image: CERN)

Using a lead target, n_TOF takes a pulsed proton beam from the Proton Synchotron (PS) and creates neutron beams with a range of energies. These beams are then directed towards a target, which allows scientists to determine the nuclear properties of a sample placed there.

ISOLDE operates in a similar way. A beam from the PS Booster is directed towards thick targets, causing it to disintegrate and produce a range of different isotopes. A low-energy beam from these isotopes can then be used to probe, for example, nuclear masses and decays. HIE-ISOLDE provides a higher-energy beam that can “mimic” reactions that occur in stars.

The fundamental research at these two facilities is essential for developing an understanding of the properties of elements in the periodic table, as well as the many different isotopes that exist.

Because of this, they attract more than 1000 users from a wide variety of areas. “I think this is probably one of the most scientifically diverse parts of CERN,” said Sean Freeman, spokesperson for the ISOLDE collaboration and conference co-organiser “with research across nuclear physics, fundamental interactions, atomic and molecular physics through to material science, medicine and biology.”

The ISOLDE facility (Image: CERN)

As well as in astrophysics, ISOLDE and n_TOF’s research has particularly useful applications in medicine. For example, the collaborations are sometimes approached with a list of requirements for an isotope used in cancer diagnosis. Freeman explained: “The nuclear physicists will answer questions like: “which isotope?”, “can we manufacture it?” and “what reactions and what targets can be used?” It’s a process of hearing what one side wants, and figuring out the nuclear physics input.”

Another highly relevant contribution  is to the development of nuclear energy. “We’re not for or against nuclear energy, but we are interested in the physics aspects of advanced nuclear technologies,” said Mengoni. “Managing waste is a huge issue for the acceptance of nuclear energy, and so n_TOF was initiated to help develop systems that reduce it.” The facilities also contribute to developing advanced nuclear reactors, with innovative solutions for improving reactor safety and efficiency.

Other areas of research range from condensed matter physics, such as probing the internal structure of solids and probing materials with potential use in quantum computing, to using nuclear magnetic resonance to help understand biological processes such as protein folding. And these examples just scratch the surface.

Similar conferences to NPA-X exist for these other applications of nuclear physics, where fruitful research and dialogue between disciplines is established.

“I think it is really important to build dialogue with scientists from other areas because it is then possible to understand the deep bond between different lines of research,” said Alice Manna, one of the NPA-X participants. “Moreover, these kinds of interactions allow us to explore what’s going on outside our own research field and feel part of a wider scientific community.”   

ndinmore Wed, 09/28/2022 - 12:33 Byline Naomi Dinmore Publication Date Wed, 09/28/2022 - 12:32

LHCf continues to investigate cosmic rays

Wed, 28/09/2022 - 13:24
LHCf continues to investigate cosmic rays

Millions of cosmic rays bombard the Earth’s atmosphere every second. These are naturally-occurring particles from outer space, which are extremely difficult to detect and measure. When they collide with nuclei in the upper atmosphere, these so-called primary cosmic rays produce showers of secondary cosmic rays that go on to reach the ground. The Large Hadron Collider forward (LHCf) experiment, one of the smallest of the LHC experiments, was set up to thoroughly investigate these elusive particles when LHC operation first began. This week, it resumed its studies of the properties of cosmic rays, in a five-day data-taking run, following the completion of upgrades to the detector during the second long shutdown of the machine.

“When page one of the LHC showed that the LHC was being filled for the LHCf data taking, we were very excited,” says Oscar Adriani, deputy spokesperson for LHCf.

This is LHCf’s first data-taking run at the LHC’s record collision energy of 13.6 TeV. The run also coincided with the record time that the LHC has been able to keep a fill without restarting, namely a total period of 57 hours. Running for longer means more efficient periods of data-taking for the experiments.

Primary cosmic rays can have very high energies – above 1017 eV – similar to those of the high-energy collisions that are produced in the LHC. Located 140 m from the ATLAS collision point of the LHC and measuring only 20cm by 40cm by 10cm, LHCf analyses neutral particles that have been thrown forward by collisions, mimicking the production of secondary cosmic rays in the Earth’s atmosphere. The experiment is able to analyse neutral particles because they are not deflected by the LHC’s strong magnetic field, and can measure their properties with extremely high precision.

This five-day run is likely to be the final LHCf run involving proton-proton collisions, because in the next data-taking period of Run 3 the collaboration hopes to study proton-oxygen collisions that better emulate the interaction of primary cosmic rays with the Earth’s atmosphere.

With the higher energy and higher statistics that Run 3 provides, LHCf is particularly looking out for particles called neutral kaons and neutral eta mesons. These are made up of a quark and an antiquark pair, including a strange quark. “The models that predict interaction with the atmosphere predict a certain number of secondary muons, but there is a mismatch between the expected and the detected numbers of muons,” explains Adriani. “By measuring the strange component produced at the LHC, we may be able to solve this muon puzzle.”

The LHC, with its high energy and controlled environment, provides the perfect place to simulate and study the hadronic interactions of cosmic rays. “High energy cosmic rays are still a mystery. They are very difficult to measure. You need huge detectors, and you cannot perform direct measurements while they are in orbit because the flux is too small,” continues Adriani. “So, LHCf is really the only experiment in the world that can shed some light on these interactions at very, very high energy. This is a critical element for cosmic ray physicists.”

ndinmore Wed, 09/28/2022 - 12:24 Byline Naomi Dinmore Publication Date Wed, 09/28/2022 - 09:52

CERN supports the La nuit est belle! initiative for the third year running

Wed, 28/09/2022 - 09:42
CERN supports the La nuit est belle! initiative for the third year running

On 23 September, for the third year running, CERN joined Greater Geneva in turning off its public lighting as part of the La nuit est belle! initiative.

Friday night’s cloudy skies forced the CERN astronomy club to cancel the event it had planned to mark La nuit est belle au CERN. However, CERN still played its part in the initiative by switching off the lights of the Globe, the Esplanade des Particules, Gates A, B, C and E and the roads and carparks of the Meyrin, Prévessin, LHC and SPS sites. The lights remained switched off throughout the evening and night.  

The aim of La nuit est belle! is to educate the public about the impact of light pollution caused by excessive artificial lighting. 187 of Greater Geneva’s 209 communes took part in this third edition of the event, which was on the theme of energy saving. Residents, shopkeepers and companies followed suit.

 

thortala Wed, 09/28/2022 - 08:42 Publication Date Wed, 09/28/2022 - 08:40

Computer Security: Push & pain

Fri, 23/09/2022 - 13:50
Computer Security: Push & pain

With the demise and tighter regulation of cookies as a result of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), more and more websites are moving to alternative methods to get at your data. For curiosity, for spamming, for selling, for promoting – based on the principle of “if it’s for free, you pay in data”. Browser notification spam is increasingly becoming the new method to promote unwanted extensions, fake software, adware bundles, adult sites and scam sites. Don’t fall for it! Tame your curiosity. And follow the general mantra of “STOP – THINK – DON’T CLICK”.

Browser notifications are becoming the new spam of the web, presenting you with a kind of paywall before you can access a webpage, video or web functionality. But you don’t pay with money, you pay with your data – location data, activity tracking – or by installing unwanted extensions. For example, the French bank Crédit Agricole asks for location data when it is not even clear what the purpose of such a request is. Ideally, you should just decline unless you see a benefit for your usage of that webpage (e.g. finding an ATM in your vicinity).

Similarly, we have seen an increased number of devices running Omnatuor – mainly unsolicited, unwantedly and maliciously. Omnatuor.com is part of an advertising service that website publishers can use to generate revenue on their sites. Unfortunately, there are malicious programs that are redirecting users to these Omnatuor.com ads without the permission of the publisher in order to generate revenue. Your data, your clicks, their money.

It goes without saying that installing additional extensions, programs or software from untrusted third-party websites must be avoided. Just. Don’t. Do. It. You never know what you’ll get. Adware? A hidden VPN gateway (see our Bulletin article on “Tunnel Madness”)? Malware? With any installation, you put your device, your digital life and, probably, also the operation and reputation of the Organization at risk. Avoid that pain. Avoid push notifications via your browser. Once again: “STOP – THINK – DON’T CLICK”.

So, if a webpage acts in weird ways, doesn’t display properly, hosts ads in places where they shouldn’t be, triggers pop-ups of other webpages, asks to install additional software or redirects you to websites you didn’t expect, the time has come to be vigilant and check your device. Consider installing an ad-blocker from your favourite browser’s app store (like Privacy Badger, uBlock or Ghostery, to name just a few). And feel free to contact us at Computer.Security@cern.ch for advice and help.

____

Do you want to learn more about computer security incidents and issues at CERN? Follow our Monthly Report. For further information, questions or help, check our website or contact us at Computer.Security@cern.ch.

anschaef Fri, 09/23/2022 - 12:50 Byline Computer Security team Publication Date Fri, 09/23/2022 - 12:34

CERN openlab trains next generation of computing experts

Fri, 23/09/2022 - 12:02
CERN openlab trains next generation of computing experts

In July and August, 32 students came to CERN to work hands-on with cutting-edge computing technologies through the CERN openlab Summer Student programme. Last week, the students presented their projects in a series of five-minute “lightning talks”.

CERN openlab is a unique public–private partnership, through which CERN collaborates with leading technology companies – including Intel, Oracle, Siemens, Micron, Google and IBM – to accelerate innovation in the computing technologies needed by its research community. Today, over 30 joint R&D projects are being carried out at CERN through CERN openlab.

Education and training are important parts of CERN openlab’s mission. Thus, each year, the companies participating in CERN openlab sponsor a nine-week summer-student programme. The selected students participate in a series of lectures (available free and online here), visit different parts of the Laboratory and work on projects guided by IT experts at CERN. This year, projects addressed technologies such as quantum computing, supercomputing, machine learning and open data.

“During their stay at CERN, the students are immersed in an environment of cutting-edge technology and innovative thinking,” says Enrica Porcari, head of the CERN IT department. “They also bring fresh ideas and approaches to the teams they work with at CERN.”

32 students from 19 countries were selected for the 2022 CERN openlab Summer Student programme, from 1770 applications. Their five-minute “lightning talks” summarising their projects can be accessed here: http://cern.ch/go/n9Mr and http://cern.ch/go/t6fX. A panel of judges scored the talks, with the top three students receiving prizes from CERN. The top three were as follows:

1st place: Kane Bruce (USA), ‘EOS continuous integration improvements (ARM64, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE)’.

2nd place: Jay Patel (India), ‘Generative models using Continuous Variable Quantum Computing’.

3rd place: Leyla Naz Candogan (Turkey), ‘Boosting online recalibration of physics objects for the 40 MHz scouting demonstrator system at CMS’.

This year’s summer students were also joined by the winners of two recent competitions. Jay Patel, a computer-engineering student from India, was awarded a place in the programme as a prize for having won the QHACK quantum machine-learning hackathon in February. Three other prize winners from the QHACK also came to CERN for a special week-long visit in July. “I was amazed by the work environment at CERN,” says Patel. “I really felt welcomed and, after doing a master’s in quantum computing, I would love to go back and work at CERN.”

Eugenio Marinelli came to CERN after winning the oneAPI Great Cross-Architecture Challenge, organised by Intel with support from CERN and Argonne National Laboratory in the US. He used the set of cross-architecture libraries found in the oneAPI toolkit to develop a new application for quickly and accurately decoding digital data stored in synthetic DNA. “My experience at CERN was very good,” says Marinelli, who is now studying for a PhD at EURECOM in France. “I particularly enjoyed being exposed to the international environment at the Laboratory.”

Applications for the 2023 CERN openlab Summer Student programme will open in November.

anschaef Fri, 09/23/2022 - 11:02 Byline Andrew Purcell Publication Date Fri, 09/23/2022 - 10:52

ALICE pins down hypermatter properties

Tue, 20/09/2022 - 17:51
ALICE pins down hypermatter properties

The international ALICE collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has just released the most precise measurements to date of two properties of a hypernucleus that may exist in the cores of neutron stars.

Atomic nuclei and their antimatter counterparts, known as antinuclei, are frequently produced at the LHC in high-energy collisions between heavy ions or protons. On a less frequent but still regular basis, unstable nuclei called hypernuclei are also formed. In contrast to normal nuclei, which comprise just protons and neutrons (that is, nucleons), hypernuclei are also made up of hyperons – unstable particles containing quarks of the strange type.

Almost 70 years since they were first observed in cosmic rays, hypernuclei continue to fascinate physicists because they are rarely produced in the natural world and, although they are traditionally made and studied in low-energy nuclear-physics experiments, it’s extremely challenging to measure their properties.

At the LHC, hypernuclei are created in significant quantities in heavy-ion collisions, but the only hypernucleus observed at the collider so far is the lightest hypernucleus, the hypertriton, which is composed of a proton, a neutron and a Lambda – a hyperon containing one strange quark.

In their new study, the ALICE team examined a sample of about one thousand hypertritons produced in lead–lead collisions that occurred in the LHC during its second run. Once formed in these collisions, the hypertritons fly for a few centimetres inside the ALICE experiment before decaying into two particles, a helium-3 nucleus and a charged pion, which the ALICE detectors can catch and identify. The ALICE team investigated these daughter particles and the tracks they leave in the detectors.

By analysing this sample of hypertritons, one of the largest available for these “strange” nuclei, the ALICE researchers were able to obtain the most precise measurements yet of two of the hypertriton’s properties: its lifetime (how long it takes to decay) and the energy required to separate its hyperon, the Lambda, from the remaining constituents.

These two properties are fundamental to understanding the internal structure of this hypernucleus and, as a consequence, the nature of the strong force that binds nucleons and hyperons together. The study of this force is not only interesting in its own right but can also offer valuable insight into the particle interactions that may take place in the inner cores of neutron stars. These cores, which are very dense, are predicted to favour the creation of hyperons over purely nucleonic matter.

Measurements of the hypertriton’s lifetime performed with different techniques over time, including ALICE’s new measurement (red). The horizontal lines and boxes denote the statistical and systematic uncertainties, respectively. The dashed-dotted lines represent different theoretical predictions. (Image: ALICE collaboration)

 

The new ALICE measurements indicate that the interaction between the hypertriton’s hyperon and its two nucleons is extremely weak: the Lambda separation energy is just a few tens of kiloelectronvolts, similar to the energy of X-rays used in medical imaging, and the hypertriton’s lifetime is compatible with that of the free Lambda.

In addition, since matter and antimatter are produced in nearly equal amounts at the LHC, the ALICE collaboration was also able to study antihypertritons and determine their lifetime. The team found that, within the experimental uncertainty of the measurements, antihypertriton and hypertriton have the same lifetime. Finding even a slight difference between the two lifetimes could signal the breaking of a fundamental symmetry of nature, CPT symmetry.

With data from the third run of the LHC, which started in earnest this July, ALICE will not only further investigate the properties of the hypetriton but will also extend its studies to include heavier hypernuclei.

ndinmore Tue, 09/20/2022 - 16:51 Byline ALICE collaboration Publication Date Tue, 09/20/2022 - 17:00

CERN and Solvay launch STEM education programme for high school students

Mon, 19/09/2022 - 15:31
CERN and Solvay launch STEM education programme for high school students

CERN and Solvay, a Belgian science company, today announced the launch of the CERN-Solvay education programme. The three-year partnership, developed by these two leading scientific organisations, aims to inspire young people around the world to get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and aspire to related careers. It will form part of the education portfolio of Science Gateway, CERN's new flagship project for science education and outreach due to open in summer 2023.

The programme combines remote and onsite learning, allowing students to engage with the field of particle physics and explore its link to understanding the universe. Operating under the slogan “Discover your inner scientist: there are no limits to what you can explore,” the programme includes hands-on online experiments intended to demonstrate that science is accessible to anyone, no matter their age or academic experience. Students will also have the opportunity to explore scientific topics connected with CERN’s research and to work on a research project in an authentic STEM workplace at one the world's leading centres for scientific research.

“As a centre of scientific excellence and a cradle of technology and innovation, CERN is a source of inspiration for physicists and aspiring-physicists around the world, no matter their age, gender or culture,” said Fabiola Gianotti, Director-General of CERN. ”This partnership with Solvay will encourage young people to pursue careers in STEM, by giving them the chance to engage more deeply with the work we are doing at CERN and enjoy a unique learning experience that could profoundly shape their future careers.”

“At Solvay, we believe that STEM education has a crucial role to play in reinventing progress. It is by encouraging students’ enthusiasm for science and technology today that we can create the great researchers of the future”, said Solvay CEO Ilham Kadri. “Through working with a leading science organisation like CERN, which shares our passion for STEM education, we aim to inspire the next generation of scientists by giving them knowledge, confidence and hands-on experience in the exciting field of particle physics.”

For CERN, as the largest accelerator-based particle physics laboratory in the world, the programme is a means to inspire and train future generations of scientists and engineers. Similarly, for Solvay, the partnership is another new venture in the company’s extensive Corporate Citizenship programme, a key pillar of which focuses on fostering education.

 

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About CERN

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world's leading laboratories for particle physics. The Organization is located on the French-Swiss border, with its headquarters in Geneva. Its Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Cyprus, Estonia and Slovenia are Associate Member States in the pre-stage to Membership. Croatia, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Pakistan, Türkiye and Ukraine are Associate Member States. Japan and the United States of America currently have Observer status, as do the European Union and UNESCO. The Observer status of the Russian Federation and of JINR is suspended in accordance with the CERN Council Resolutions of 8 March 2022 and 25 March 2022, respectively.

www.home.cern

About Solvay

Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 21 000 employees in 63 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared values for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet roadmap crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering a better life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, planes, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world’s top three companies for the vast majority of its activities and delivered net sales of 10.1 billion euros in 2021. Solvay is listed on the Euronext Brussels and Paris (SOLB) stock markets.

Learn more at www.solvay.com

mailys Mon, 09/19/2022 - 14:31 Publication Date Tue, 09/20/2022 - 09:00

Microcosm, 30 years telling CERN’s story

Wed, 14/09/2022 - 11:43
Microcosm, 30 years telling CERN’s story

Microcosm has been a CERN exhibition space and outreach centre for the last 32 years. On 18 September, it will permanently close its doors in preparation for CERN's new flagship Science Gateway project, opening in 2023.

Microcosm first opened to the public in 1990, motivated by CERN’s duty – as a publicly funded organisation – to share its research openly, and also in recognition of the fact that there was a benefit for CERN in doing so. This was CERN’s first on-site permanent exhibition, offering a glimpse behind the scenes of the Laboratory to both tourists and schools alike. “The exhibitions in many ways bridge the gap between scientists working at CERN and members of the public,” says Emma Sanders, Head of Exhibitions at CERN. “They are a place to explore at one’s own rhythm all the exciting science and technology.” Over the years, the exhibitions have evolved considerably. The venue has also played a role in the life of the lab, such as by hosting the New Year ceremony for local dignitaries and presidential visits.

The inauguration of the "new" Microcosm is the subject of an article in the CERN Bulletin in September 1997. See this issue of the Bulletin at: https://cds.cern.ch/record/1726990. (Image: CERN)

The first version of Microcosm included an exhibition by the European Space Agency, highlighting the strong ties between CERN and other European research organisations, which continue today through the EIROforum network.

In 1997, CERN Director-General Chris Llewellyn Smith inaugurated a newly revamped exhibition with content in four languages and stories of new projects such as the LHC. Two years later, a new exhibition was added to Microcosm’s portfolio, telling the story of research on the weak force at CERN, with large pieces of the AA (antiproton accumulator) and of the UA1 and UA2 detectors.

The UA1 detector is installed in Microcosm in 1999. (Image: CERN)

The 2000s brought another revamp, bringing in hands-on experimentation for the first time and a demo area for science shows. “‘Drôle de physique ! was born, as well as the series of Lundi découverte events, running for four years and very popular with locals,” recalls Sanders. In 2014, S’Cool LAB arrived, home to the expanding programme of experimentation for high-school students and teachers. And in 2015, the latest version of Microcosm opened. The new exhibitions recreated a behind-the-scenes tour of the lab, together with realistic audiovisual content of scientists and engineers. The experience was a success, leading to an increase in visitor numbers and reaching a greater proportion of non-experts.

"What are we made of?", first hands-on exhibition in Microcosm, opened in 2000. (Image: CERN)

In recent years, Microcosm has also made great strides towards improving accessibility, with wheelchair-accessible design, signing and subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing, and tactile content for the blind and visually impaired – an effort that will be continued and strengthened at Science Gateway.

“Microcosm has been strongly supported by many at CERN over the years,” adds Sanders. “I suspect I won’t be the only one to feel a little emotional on its closure, but we all look forward to the next step, with the opening of Science Gateway next June.”

_____

Read also the "Word from Charlotte Lindberg Warakaulle" on the closure of Microcosm.

anschaef Wed, 09/14/2022 - 10:43 Publication Date Wed, 09/14/2022 - 10:29

Microcosm, 30 years telling CERN’s story

Wed, 14/09/2022 - 11:43
Microcosm, 30 years telling CERN’s story

Microcosm has been a CERN exhibition space and outreach centre for the last 32 years. On 18 September, it will permanently close its doors in preparation for CERN's new flagship Science Gateway project, opening in 2023.

Microcosm first opened to the public in 1990, motivated by CERN’s duty – as a publicly funded organisation – to share its research openly, and also in recognition of the fact that there was a benefit for CERN in doing so. This was CERN’s first on-site permanent exhibition, offering a glimpse behind the scenes of the Laboratory to both tourists and schools alike. “The exhibitions in many ways bridge the gap between scientists working at CERN and members of the public,” says Emma Sanders, Head of Exhibitions at CERN. “They are a place to explore at one’s own rhythm all the exciting science and technology.” Over the years, the exhibitions have evolved considerably. The venue has also played a role in the life of the lab, such as by hosting the New Year ceremony for local dignitaries and presidential visits.

The inauguration of the "new" Microcosm is the subject of an article in the CERN Bulletin in September 1997. See this issue of the Bulletin at: https://cds.cern.ch/record/1726990. (Image: CERN)

The first version of Microcosm included an exhibition by the European Space Agency, highlighting the strong ties between CERN and other European research organisations, which continue today through the EIROforum network.

In 1997, CERN Director-General Chris Llewellyn Smith inaugurated a newly revamped exhibition with content in four languages and stories of new projects such as the LHC. Two years later, a new exhibition was added to Microcosm’s portfolio, telling the story of research on the weak force at CERN, with large pieces of the AA (antiproton accumulator) and of the UA1 and UA2 detectors.

The UA1 detector is installed in Microcosm in 1999. (Image: CERN)

The 2000s brought another revamp, bringing in hands-on experimentation for the first time and a demo area for science shows. “‘Drôle de physique ! was born, as well as the series of Lundi découverte events, running for four years and very popular with locals,” recalls Sanders. In 2014, S’Cool LAB arrived, home to the expanding programme of experimentation for high-school students and teachers. And in 2015, the latest version of Microcosm opened. The new exhibitions recreated a behind-the-scenes tour of the lab, together with realistic audiovisual content of scientists and engineers. The experience was a success, leading to an increase in visitor numbers and reaching a greater proportion of non-experts.

"What are we made of?", first hands-on exhibition in Microcosm, opened in 2000. (Image: CERN)

In recent years, Microcosm has also made great strides towards improving accessibility, with wheelchair-accessible design, signing and subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing, and tactile content for the blind and visually impaired – an effort that will be continued and strengthened at Science Gateway.

“Microcosm has been strongly supported by many at CERN over the years,” adds Sanders. “I suspect I won’t be the only one to feel a little emotional on its closure, but we all look forward to the next step, with the opening of Science Gateway next June.”

anschaef Wed, 09/14/2022 - 10:43 Publication Date Wed, 09/14/2022 - 10:29

Data privacy: emails = postcards

Tue, 13/09/2022 - 18:25
Data privacy: emails = postcards

 

Would you send your credit card details on a postcard? Probably not! It wouldn’t be secure as the postcard would, of course, pass through a number of hands before reaching its recipient and could be read by anyone.

Transmitting personal data by email may run similar risks depending on the mail client used by the recipient and their mail forwarding behaviours, an issue previously covered in the computer security article series (see Forwarding can spoil privacy or Email equals letters).

So, what’s the solution?

An easy way of reducing security risks with personal data is to use CERNBox, regardless of whether you’re sending data to recipients inside or outside CERN. Not familiar with CERNBox? Check out the CERNBox user manual and the related training course in the CERN Learning Hub.

As a reminder, CERN takes the processing of your personal data very seriously and applies the principles of its Data Privacy Protection Policy through Operational Circular no. 11, “The Processing of Personal Data at CERN”.

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Download the poster of this awareness campaign on: https://cds.cern.ch/record/2826925/files/Email-Postcard%20Campaign.pdf.

More information on data privacy at CERN can be found on the ODP website or obtained from your Departmental Data Privacy Coordinator.

anschaef Tue, 09/13/2022 - 17:25 Byline Office of Data Privacy Publication Date Tue, 09/27/2022 - 17:09

Computer Security: Forwarding can spoil privacy

Tue, 13/09/2022 - 13:58
Computer Security: Forwarding can spoil privacy

We have discussed the lack of security of the email protocol (“Email equals letter”), the risk of receiving emails (“I love you”) and the dangers of opening attachments (“The truth lies in the URL”) in many previous Bulletin articles. But have you ever considered the risks for your privacy when you send an email?

The email protocol was never designed to be secure nor to preserve people’s privacy. Modules for adding encryption, like PGP, GPG or GnuPG, work rather badly and require that your recipient have the means to read your encrypted email. Instant messengers like Threema or Signal are much better in that respect and guarantee full confidentiality of your peer-to-peer communication (note that Telegram doesn’t provide E2E encryption), with the small risk that some nation states (e.g. the US with regards to Signal and Switzerland with regards to Threema) might still use their power to intercept that communication. But email offers no such guarantees. It is, by default, not encrypted, so your email service provider can eavesdrop on your emails stored in their service (in fact, this is the gmail business model – as it’s for free, your data is the payment). And if your email communication does not use any of the “S” protocols like HTTPS, IMAPS, POPS – note the “S” at the end of each – your email in transit is also not encrypted. For CERN, email between CERN email addresses and emails transiting through CERN’s network can be considered reasonably secure. The email service is currently hosted on site and will in the future be transferred to a cloud service contractually bound to privacy, which means that your emails sitting in your inbox are well protected. And email communication uses HTTPS, IMAPS and POPS by default. So, you are fine here, security-wise and privacy-wise. But note that you are less fine when your recipient forwards your email to an external email address or when your recipient is an e-group containing external email addresses.

Therefore, if you regularly receive sensitive emails, make sure that you do not automatically forward them to an external email address (you can check your settings here). This is particularly true if you are CERN staff. Also, if your service receives sensitive emails, make sure that its mailing list contains only CERN email addresses and no external forwards. It’s always best to use CERNBox for transferring or sharing sensitive material. CERNBox is hosted at CERN, transfer contents are encrypted, and all data is physically protected by the CERN Data Centre in Meyrin (“Don’t let your mail leak”). Be vigilant and help us protect the Organization: don’t let forwards spoil your privacy.

_____

Do you want to learn more about computer security incidents and issues at CERN? Follow our Monthly Report. For further information, questions or help, check our website or contact us at Computer.Security@cern.ch.

anschaef Tue, 09/13/2022 - 12:58 Byline Computer Security team Publication Date Tue, 09/13/2022 - 12:38

Computer Security: Forwarding can spoil privacy

Tue, 13/09/2022 - 13:58
Computer Security: Forwarding can spoil privacy

We have discussed the lack of security of the email protocol (“Email equals letter”), the risk of receiving emails (“I love you”) and the dangers of opening attachments (“The truth lies in the URL”) in many previous Bulletin articles. But have you ever considered the risks for your privacy when you send an email?

The email protocol was never designed to be secure nor to preserve people’s privacy. Modules for adding encryption, like PGP, GPG or GnuPG, work rather badly and require that your recipient have the means to read your encrypted email. Instant messengers like Threema or Signal are much better in that respect and guarantee full confidentiality of your peer-to-peer communication (note that Telegram doesn’t provide E2E encryption), with the small risk that some nation states (e.g. the US with regards to Signal and Switzerland with regards to Threema) might still use their power to intercept that communication. But email offers no such guarantees. It is, by default, not encrypted, so your email service provider can eavesdrop on your emails stored in their service (in fact, this is the gmail business model – as it’s for free, your data is the payment). And if your email communication does not use any of the “S” protocols like HTTPS, IMAPS, POPS – note the “S” at the end of each – your email in transit is also not encrypted. For CERN, email between CERN email addresses and emails transiting through CERN’s network can be considered reasonably secure. The email service is currently hosted on site and will in the future be transferred to a cloud service contractually bound to privacy, which means that your emails sitting in your inbox are well protected. And email communication uses HTTPS, IMAPS and POPS by default. So, you are fine here, security-wise and privacy-wise. But note that you are less fine when your recipient forwards your email to an external email address or when your recipient is an e-group containing external email addresses.

Therefore, if you regularly receive sensitive emails, make sure that you do not automatically forward them to an external email address (you can check your settings here). This is particularly true if you are CERN staff. Also, if your service receives sensitive emails, make sure that its mailing list contains only CERN email addresses and no external forwards. It’s always best to use CERNBox for transferring or sharing sensitive material. CERNBox is hosted at CERN, transfer contents are encrypted, and all data is physically protected by the CERN Data Centre in Meyrin (“Don’t let your mail leak”). Be vigilant and help us protect the Organization: don’t let forwards spoil your privacy.

_____

Do you want to learn more about computer security incidents and issues at CERN? Follow our Monthly Report. For further information, questions or help, check our website or contact us at Computer.Security@cern.ch.

anschaef Tue, 09/13/2022 - 12:58 Byline Computer Security team Publication Date Tue, 09/13/2022 - 12:38

The International Geneva Welcome Centre’s (CAGI) cultural kiosk will open for business at CERN on 19 September

Tue, 13/09/2022 - 13:22
The International Geneva Welcome Centre’s (CAGI) cultural kiosk will open for business at CERN on 19 September

What better way to get to know a new city than by immersing oneself in the local culture? The International Geneva Welcome Centre (CAGI), which is dedicated to this mission, is joining forces with CERN to open a cultural kiosk on the premises of the Organization.

More than twenty years ago, a cultural kiosk was set up at the heart of the Palais des Nations to build and strengthen cultural links between the international organisations, the city of Geneva, and Switzerland as a whole. Building on that success, a similar stand will be set up in Building 500 at CERN, located between the new post office premises and the bank.

CAGI’s new cultural kiosk will offer CERN personnel and visitors the chance to buy show tickets at discounted prices and receive top tips on the best sights and attractions in the area.

This first-rate new service will be launched in the afternoon of 19 September, with events and special offers organised to celebrate its opening. Don’t miss this opportunity to familiarise yourself with the CAGI and its cultural kiosk!

Also note that the CAGI’s diary of cultural events will henceforth appear in every issue of the CERN Bulletin, so don’t miss out on all the good deals!

For more information, click here.

Weekly news and offers in the spotlight on https://www.cagi.ch/en/cultural-kiosk-agenda/

anschaef Tue, 09/13/2022 - 12:22 Publication Date Tue, 09/13/2022 - 12:19

The International Geneva Welcome Centre’s (CAGI) cultural kiosk will open for business at CERN on 19 September

Tue, 13/09/2022 - 13:22
The International Geneva Welcome Centre’s (CAGI) cultural kiosk will open for business at CERN on 19 September

What better way to get to know a new city than by immersing oneself in the local culture? The International Geneva Welcome Centre (CAGI), which is dedicated to this mission, is joining forces with CERN to open a cultural kiosk on the premises of the Organization.

More than twenty years ago, a cultural kiosk was set up at the heart of the Palais des Nations to build and strengthen cultural links between the international organisations, the city of Geneva, and Switzerland as a whole. Building on that success, a similar stand will be set up in Building 500 at CERN, located between the new post office premises and the bank.

CAGI’s new cultural kiosk will offer CERN personnel and visitors the chance to buy show tickets at discounted prices and receive top tips on the best sights and attractions in the area.

This first-rate new service will be launched in the afternoon of 19 September, with events and special offers organised to celebrate its opening. Don’t miss this opportunity to familiarise yourself with the CAGI and its cultural kiosk!

Also note that the CAGI’s diary of cultural events will henceforth appear in every issue of the CERN Bulletin, so don’t miss out on all the good deals!

For more information, click here.

Weekly news and offers in the spotlight on https://www.cagi.ch/en/cultural-kiosk-agenda/

anschaef Tue, 09/13/2022 - 12:22 Publication Date Tue, 09/13/2022 - 12:19

CERN condolences on the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Fri, 09/09/2022 - 17:38
CERN condolences on the death of Queen Elizabeth II

The CERN flag is flying at half-mast on the Esplanade des Particules today, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II yesterday, at the age of 96.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is one of CERN’s 12 founding Member States. Queen Elizabeth II became its Head of State in February 1952, three months before the first meeting of the CERN Council and one year before the signing of the CERN Convention.

CERN extends its condolences to the Queen’s family and to the people and government of the United Kingdom at this sad time.

abelchio Fri, 09/09/2022 - 16:38 Publication Date Fri, 09/09/2022 - 16:34

CERN condolences on the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Fri, 09/09/2022 - 17:38
CERN condolences on the death of Queen Elizabeth II

The CERN flag is flying at half-mast on the Esplanade des Particules today, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II yesterday, at the age of 96.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is one of CERN’s 12 founding Member States. Queen Elizabeth II became its Head of State in February 1952, three months before the first meeting of the CERN Council and one year before the signing of the CERN Convention.

CERN extends its condolences to the Queen’s family and to the people and government of the United Kingdom at this sad time.

abelchio Fri, 09/09/2022 - 16:38 Publication Date Fri, 09/09/2022 - 16:34