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The Center of European Nuclear Research (CERN) to vote on Israeli membership
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH
11/12/2013
Joining European body would be significant step for Israel science says Science, Technology and Space minister Peri.
 
The Center of European Nuclear Research (CERN), which operates the Large Hadron Collider under the Swiss-French border, will vote on whether to add Israel as a fully fledged member, on Thursday.

Israel has had the status of an associate member since 2011.

Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri said full membership, which will result only from a unanimous vote of the 20 CERN council members, will be a significant step towards full scientific participation with European countries.

His ministry has been the leading force behind Israel’s request to be a full member.

If accepted, Israel will be the first member that is geographically located outside of Europe.

During the past year Israel carried out a number of changes, demanded of all states that request full membership, such as passing legislation that activates the organization’s protocol and gives legal status to CERN in Israel as well as special rights to its officials and representatives of other states.

“This is a significant step for Israeli science, and a fruitful continuation of cooperation between Israel and European states,” Peri said.

“Israeli scientists will gain from accessibility to know-how and advanced scientific infrastructure in CERN, and the organization will benefit from the brilliant Israeli scientists who will advance its research.

“We hope that the global scientific interest that results from Israel’s membership will overcome political interests,” he concluded.

CERN is the largest center in the world for the study of atomic participles and is run with a huge budget.

Leading physicists, engineers and technicians from around the world work at its facilities.

Israel became an observer state way back in 1991, and since October 2011 Israel has been an associate member, in the preliminary stage to a CERN membership of a minimum period of 24 months.

Two years ago, Israelis were among the 50 scientists in CERN’s Large Hadron Collider’s control room.

CERN has even ordered parts from Israeli industry and sent experts to visit on a regular basis.

Considered the world’s largest experiment, the huge particle accelerator’s historic launch in September 2008 was a collaboration of some of the world’s top scientists.

Some 6,500 scientists from over 80 countries, including half of the world’s particle physics researchers, have been working on causing collisions of the tiny particles that make up the universe at mind-boggling speeds.

This will enable scientists to observe the extreme energies, mini-black holes and other phenomena that occurred during the first millionths of a second after the Big Bang – the mother of all explosions that led to the creation of the universe.

Their aim is to help explain the foundations of particle physics and shed light on the basic forces, and building blocks, of nature.
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