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N° 23–2000: ESA and CERN examine future Fundamental Physics Research in Space

4 April 2000

A special workshop on Fundamental Physics in Space and related topics will be held at CERN in Geneva from 5 to 7 April 2000. Remarkable advances in technology and progress made in reliability and cost effectiveness of European space missions in recent years have opened up exciting new directions for such research. Moreover, recent technical advances in accelerator-based research can find promising applications in space research.

The workshop is organised by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), and was initiated by the Board of the Joint Astrophysics Division of the European Physical Society and the European Astronomical Society. It is one of the concrete results of the decision in May 1998 by ESA and CERN Directors-General to create Working Groups to study and propose systematic joint activities.

The programme of the workshop is divided in two parts. On 5-6 April specialised parallel sessions will serve to review and discuss new developments in cosmology and astroparticle physics in the context of space technology possibilities. One such subject is LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna), an approved cornerstone at ESA, which will detect and observe gravitational waves from galactic and cosmological sources. The detection and measurement of gravitational waves will open an entirely new window on the Universe. The LISA mission may be launched by the end of this decade as a joint venture between the European and US space agencies.

On 7 April, Antonio Rodotà and Luciano Maiani, Directors-General of ESA and CERN, will open a one-day symposium addressed to a wide scientific audience, to examine the perspectives for fundamental physics in space. The talks, which will summarise the outcomes of the parallel sessions, will focus on gravitation, astroparticle physics and the enabling technologies. For full information you can access the following web site:

For further information, please contact :

Franco Bonacina

Head of Media Relations Office

ESA Communications Department

Tel: +33(0)

Fax : +33(0)

Neil Calder

Head of Press and Publications

CERN - European Laboratory for Particle Physics

1211 Geneva 23


Tel. + 41.22.767.4101

Fax. + 41.22.785.0247