September 10, 2008 06:00 ET

The European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN activates the world's largest particle accelerator featuring a Linde cooling system

MUNCHEN, GERMANY--(Marketwire - September 10, 2008) -

Munich/Geneva, 10 September 2008 - When protons are accelerated to almost light speed in CERN's LHC - or Large Hadron Collider's underground circuit near Geneva for the first time today, the Linde cooling systems installed there will also experience their first assignment.

"We are pleased to be able to contribute our expertise to this unique, fundamental research project" said Dr. Aldo Belloni, member of the Executive Board of Linde AG. "Just like the LHC as a whole, the technology we have implemented sets new standards. After years of planning and preparation, we are now glad that we can make our contribution toward the attainment of new scientific insights."

Extremely strong magnetic fields are required to keep the high-energy protons on their 27km circuit. These magnets and the accelerator's cavities are cooled by eight high-performance cooling systems distributed on the circuit's periphery. Each of the eight cooling systems is allocated one multi-stage cold compression system, each of which is installed in a separate cold box, and which reduces the temperature of the magnets to 1.8 degrees Kelvin (-271 degrees Celsius). Only helium - the coldest liquid in the world - is capable of achieving this. Only the superconductivity that occurs in the magnetic coils at such an extremely low temperature makes generation of the necessary magnetic field strength possible.

The helium chilling system was designed, constructed and installed by the Linde subsidiary, Linde Kryotechnik AG - whose headquarters are in Pfungen, Switzerland. Linde Kryotechnik AG was already awarded the 'Golden Hadron Award' by CERN in 2003 for its outstanding achievements. Operation and maintenance of the systems will be carried out by the Swiss cryogenic temperature experts in cooperation with two other companies in the consortium. Our specialist producers of the coldest liquids in the world provide a range of services, including systems for liquefying helium, hydrogen and neon - which are used in research, industry and medicine.

The actual experiments in the LHC consist of controlled proton collisions. Two clustered particle beams circulating in opposite directions are pushed toward each other in one of the four large detectors. By documenting the fission products thus generated, researchers hope to make fundamental new insights into the physical processes that took place during the big bang. They would also like to find evidence to support the currently only theoretical existence of exotic elementary particles, such as the Higgs boson, which allegedly gives matter its gravity.

For picture download, see the Linde Media Base online at:

The Linde Group is a world leading gases and engineering company with more than 50,000 employees working in around 100 countries worldwide. In the 2007 financial year it achieved sales of EUR 12.3 billion. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards sustainable earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment - in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. Linde is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development. For more information, see The Linde Group web site at

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. At present, its member states are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. India, Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have observer status. More information about CERN can be found online at

For more information:

Press                        Investor Relations
Dr Thomas Hagn               Thomas Eisenlohr
Telephone: +49.89.35757-1323 Telephone: +49.89.35757-1330

Press Release as PDF:

Copyright © Hugin AS 2008. All rights reserved.

Contact Information