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President Patil lauds scientists trying to unlock the secrets of the universe

October 1, 2011 - Geneva

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Saturday visited the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which operates the world's largest particle physics laboratory, in Geneva, Switzerland, and interacted with a number of scientists.

Patil, who is on five-day state visit, was given a presentation about CERN and the work at the premier institute, which recently made a startling discovery that particles move faster than light. If proved true, it could unsettle Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

Interacting with the scientists, the President said that she appreciates the cutting edge research, which they were doing at CERN.

"It was inspiring to visit this prestigious research institute and to interact with the scientists. I am deeply impressed with the research being conducted here on Particle Physics which would help in defining the Laws of Nature," President Patil said.

She also engaged CERN's Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer with many questions which left him searching for answers many a time.

She also went 60 metres below the ground into the 27 kilometre long tunnel, which is a part of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment.he LHC aims to recreate the conditions when the universe is believed to have exploded into existence after a Big Bang, about 13 billion years ago.

The work on the project was temporarily shutdown on Friday night to make the center radiation free ahead of the Presidential visit.

"It is a great pleasure to learn that the world wide web, which has had an impact in everyone's life today, was invented in this very institute....India which is already collaborating with various research missions, looks forward to further expanding its cooperation with CERN," President Patil wrote in the visitor's book of the institute.

Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla and the Indian Ambassador to Switzerland, Chitra Narayanan, were also present at the meeting.

India is closely associated with CERN and its research activities, while a large number of Indian scientists are working in different projects of the institute.

A number of Indian universities and institutes are also a part of ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment), one of the largest experiments in the world devoted to the research in the physics of matter at an infinitely small scale.

Some 118 institutes from 33 countries are collaborating in ALICE. Tier 2 dedicated center for data monitoring and analysis has been set up in Kolkata as a part of the ALICE project.

A number of Indian firms have also been involved in the manufacturing of some of the high precision instruments.

An 8,000 tonne magnet used here has been made by an Indian company. By Sanjay Mohan


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