CERN Accelerating science

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Apple Computer Quiz
The Winners

1. Andrea Petri (from Udine Italy, b.1987)
won a 2GHz G5+ 20' display offered by Apple Computer

"I'm finishing high school this year and the next I think I'll go to university and take physics! "

2. Richard Jego (from Herbignac France, b.1989)
won a iMac 17' offered by Apple Computer

"I'm very very happy, it was a nice christmas present."

3.Diane Giorgis (from la Baule France, b.1989)
won a Powerbook G4, 15' offered by Apple Computer

"I'm very glad to have won this prize, I really didn't expect to!!"

Special Prize for the 1st participant to send answers

Tushant Jha
(from Delhi India, 1993)
won a special prize from CERN and a surprise package offered by Apple Computer

Ipod video drawn among all participants under 19

Benoit Gougaud (from le Pouliguen France, b.1989)
Ipod video offered by Apple Computer

"Thanks a lot for this prize."

1. We asked 10 Physics Nobel Prize winners what is today’s most puzzling and enigmatic mystery of the Universe left unsolved by Einstein's theories. Can you tell us what that mystery is?

answers: the accelerating expansion of the universe, or the acceleration of the expansion of the universe or dark energy or Einstein’s cosmological constant
Dark energy. There is strong evidence from observations of distant exploding stars ("supernovae") and of the cosmic background radiation that the expansion of our Universe has been accelerating over the last few billion years. It is widely believed that "dark energy" - a mysterious form of energy contained in the vacuum - is responsible for this accelerated expansion. Dark energy represents approximately 70% of all energy in the Universe - much more than the 4.5 % that are due to 'our' ordinary kind of matter. The effects of dark energy are related to the "cosmological constant", which was introduced by Einstein to allow a static Universe by acting against the self-gravitation of the Universe. One of the most puzzling questions surrounding "vacuum energy" is the fact that straightforward theoretical estimates of this quantity (which are based on experimental observations of vacuum fluctuations) predict a vacuum energy which is almost 120 orders of magnitude above the observed value.
2. One of Einstein's predictions of general relativity was not proved during his lifetime. About 30 years ago, it was observed in an indirect way thanks to the observation of the behaviour of a binary star. This result earned the Physics Nobel Prize to the 2 scientists who obtained it. Today, many special antennas are deployed on our planet's surface, to confirm this observation in a direct way and accurately study the phenomenon. What is this phenomenon?

answer: gravitational waves
Gravitational waves. Similar to the emission of electromagnetic waves by accelerated electric charges, the acceleration of masses leads to the emission of gravitational waves, consisting of 'ripples' propagating through the space-time continuum. Several existing and planned experiments are trying to observe these ripples directly, by looking for (extremely small) changes of the lengths of 'measuring rods' (e.g. length of a solid cylinder, or distance between two mirrors). 
3. The answer to the last question concerns one of the most important objectives of the LHC programme: 2 of the detectors will try to discover a new type of particle. Many of these particles may have been produced during the Big Bang and could be responsible holding together the galaxies in the Universe. What name has been given to this type of matter?

Dark matter
. Galaxies are made of billions of stars, rotating around the galactic centre. It is a well-known fact that most galaxies  rotate much faster than allowed by their observed mass distribution (derived from the brightness and colour of the stars contained in this galaxy). A spherical halo of slow-moving 'dark matter'  surrounding and stabilizing the galaxies would provide a natural explanation. The origin of this halo  mayconsist of yet unknown ('supersymmetric') particles, which were produced during the Big Bang but  only interact very weakly with ordinary matter. The search for such particles is one important goal of the LHC programme. 
Higgs particle. The search for the 'Higgs particle', which is believed to play a crucial role in shaping our Universe, is another important objective of the LHC programme. 

Higgs particle. The search for the 'Higgs particle', which is believed to play a crucial role in shaping our Universe, is another important objective of the LHC programm
Cisco Quiz
The Winner

Jozef Krenicky (from Lipany Slovakia, b.1991)
won a complete home wireless network solution offered by Cisco

"I am happy, really very very happy! This is my first prize!"

1. Which country built the world's first real Internet?

answer: France
The first real Internet was in France. Most people said the USA, which is understandable since the first continent-wide network was the ARPANET in the USA, and the Internet was also created in the US later on. However, in between ARPANET and Internet came Cyclades in France. Its inventor, Louis Pouzin, called it a concatenated network - or catenet. He had a slide saying 'network + network + network = network' - and that's as good a definition of an internet as you can have - a network of networks.

The early history of networking is a great story of international collaboration - Pouzin's team learned from the ARPANET, and one of Pouzin's students then went back to the US to share the Cyclades experience with those who built the Internet.

2. What was the World Wide Web called in 1990, when it was no more than two computers?

answer: WWW
Amazingly enough, Tim Berners-Lee gave the World Wide Web its name even when it was no more than a project running on two computers at CERN.
3. What technology provided the key to bring the Internet to CERN?

answer: Cisco router
This was a difficult one, and nobody gave the right answer. The winner gave the answer TCP/IP, which is effectively correct. What happened is that CERN took delivery of a Cray supercomputer subject to US export restrictions. The Cray was equipped with the TCP/IP protocol, and one of the conditions for export was that it be securely networked. The only router on the market capable of doing this was a Cisco product.