APS News

United States and CERN Boost Cooperation

In a ceremony at the White House, representatives from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and CERN signed a new accord on May 7, 2015.

May 12, 2015

The agreement replaces an existing arrangement which expires in 2017 and covers U.S. involvement in experiments at CERN. The new accord introduces reciprocity so that CERN can participate more extensively in U.S.-based particle physics experiments, and will renew automatically every five years.

"I am delighted to sign this agreement," CERN Director General Rolf Heuer said in a press release. "It allows us to look forward to a fruitful, long-term collaboration with the United States, in particular in guiding the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to its full potential over many years through a series of planned upgrades. This agreement is also historic since it formalizes CERN's participation in U.S.-based programs such as prospective future neutrino facilities for the first time."

This new level of cooperation signals a change for the United States in large international science collaborations. Past projects such as the troubled Superconducting Super Collider, which was cancelled by Congress in 1993, highlighted the problems of a go-it-alone strategy. CERN’s European multi-national structure paved the way for the discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider, according to historians and policymakers.

In a statement, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said “As we’ve seen, international collaboration between the United States and CERN helps provide a foundation for groundbreaking discoveries that push crucial scientific frontiers and expand our understanding of the universe.”

Related Information

Gray arrow U.S.-CERN Agreement Paves Way for New Era of Discovery, CERN, May 7, 2015
Gray arrow U.S.-CERN Agreement Paves Way for New Era of Scientific Discovery, DOE Office of Science, May 7, 2015 
Gray arrow Partnership for Finding Particles, NSF, Press Release 15-051, May 7, 2015