Research Infrastructure for Experiments at CERN (CERN-CZ)


Background description

The CERN-CZ organizes and promotes the participation of the Czech research community in the international particle physics laboratory CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) in Geneva. The CERN, with the world’s largest collider LHC (Large Hadron Collider), plays the leading role in experiments on the energy frontier. Following one of its principal roles, the CERN also organizes the European research in particle physics. The CERN-CZ aims to support the Czech contribution to developing, construction, maintenance and operating of scientific instruments in CERN experiments, including the infrastructure located in the Czech Republic necessary for R&D, detector construction, and for processing data collected by the CERN experiments. The CERN-CZ promotes new technologies for particle physics detectors and their applications and provides the expertise in the area of particle physics instrumentation, in calorimetry, tracking detectors based on semiconductors (including R&D of radiation hard detectors), detector construction, cooling, cryogenics, vacuum, electrical design, mechanical design, and data processing. The portfolio of services covers operating and maintenance of scientific devices, many of them built partially in the Czech Republic; upgrade of existing detectors and construction of new ones; operation of a computer centre, which serves as the national Tier2 centre in the CERN computer network; coordination of CERN projects through the Committee for Cooperation of the Czech Republic with CERN, and representation of the Czech Republic in CERN governing and advisory bodies, Committees and Boards of the CERN Experiments. Unique experimental devices built with the contribution of the Czech research organisations constitute the core of CERN-CZ and they allow the Czech research community to contribute adequately to the world-class results in particle and nuclear physics produced by the CERN experiments.

Future development

Development plans of the CERN-CZ closely follow the plans of the main CERN facilities, in particular the plans for the LHC high luminosity upgrade foreseen for the years 2022–2025, which will lead to a  tenfold increase in the frequency of precipitation. The Czech research organisations are involved in 2 major LHC experiments: ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) and ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) and several smaller experiments. The LHC experiments have to build new detectors able to operate in the harsh environment of high intensity beams. Significant resources of the CERN-CZ will be devoted to developing and construction of these new detectors. Upgraded LHC and the experiments are foreseen to be in operation until 2035 with the goal to collect luminosity of 3000 fb-1.

Socio-economic impact

The CERN-CZ serves as a communication point, which enables knowhow and innovation transfer to and out of the Czech research community. The ambitious CERN scientific program together with the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technologies attracts many experts not only from the field of particle physics. The participation in CERN projects increases the visibility and attractiveness of Czech research organisations. Deliveries and successful operation of numerous instruments built in the Czech Republic for CERN present technically demanding contracts for companies, which further stimulate innovation skills.