Today's Memory

Vladimir Pecha‘s Today’s Memory

Vladimir Pecha‘s Today’s Memory

Vladimir Pecha‘s Today’s Memory

Simon van der Meer’s birthday

Originally shared by Vladimir Pecha

Today is the birthday of particle accelerator physicist Simon van der Meer, who was born in The Hague, Netherlands, in 1925. Van der Meer invented the technique of stochastic cooling of particle beams. The technique was used to accumulate intense beams of antiprotons for head-on collision with counter-rotating proton beams at 500 GeV in the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) at CERN. Years earlier, before SPS was built, theorists had predicted that two bosons, W and Z, could be seen at these energy collision levels. In 1983, in a scientific coup for CERN, Carlo Rubbia announced that the UA1 experiment had discovered evidence of W and Z bosons. The discovery led to Rubbia and van der Meer sharing the 1985 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Photo credit: Alchetron, CC BY-SA 4.0

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