Goodfellow Cambridge Ltd., known internationally for metals and metals used in science and industry, enters it fifth decade as a supplier to Geneva-based CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, at a time when activities at CERN are attracting worldwide attention. CERN’s £4 billion Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, whirred into life on September 10 and scientists hope to unravel some of particle physics’ biggest mysteries. Scientists believe that the collision of proton beams may recreate conditions that existed seconds after the Big Bang and so help to identify the Higgs boson particle, known as the ‘God’ particle, thought to cause mass to exist.
“Goodfellow has been supplying materials to CERN for over 40 years,” states Goodfellow Managing Director Stephen Aldersley. “In that time, our products have been used in many different areas of research, including activation foils used to measure high-energy hadron fluences.” Goodfellow foils have also been used at CERN in the production of getters – columns or cartridges containing an active metal that is sacrificed to protect some other metal in the system against galvanic corrosion. “CERN is currently in an especially exciting time in its history and we look forward to many more years of successful and exciting collaboration,” says Aldersley.
According to experts, it is likely to be 2010 before scientists can say whether they have found the ‘God’ particle – or perhaps the existence of a fifth, sixth, or seventh secret dimension of time and space.