Brazil Could Become an Official Member of CERN

Hello reader!

It follows one article published day (11/14) in the english website of the Agência FAPESP highlighting that Brazil could become an Official Member of CERN.

Duda Falcão


Brazil Could Become an
Official Member of CERN

By Elton Alisson
November 14, 2012

The European Organization
for Nuclear Research visits
FAPESP during mission to
evaluate country’s request
to join the institution as
an associate member 
Agência FAPESP – On October 18, FAPESP received a visit from a committee of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). The visit is part of a scientific mission to Brazil conducted by representatives of the European center for elementary particle physics to evaluate whether the country meets the conditions to become an associate member of the institution, which is responsible for building the largest particle accelerator in the world – the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – where, just months ago, scientists found indications of the existence of the Higgs boson.

To date, 20 European countries are official members of CERN, which was founded in 1954. In addition, more than 40 countries that are not official members, including Brazil, have researchers participating in experiments conducted at the institution, which requires large, expensive instruments and collaboration from countless researchers.

As of 2010, due to the decreased contributions from its member countries given the European economic crisis, the organization began to accept membership from countries that are not European. Brazil and Russia, among other nations, have shown interest in being a part of the group.

For a country to become a member, it is necessary for representatives of CERN to evaluate whether the community of physicists, in addition to universities, research institutions and companies, meets the conditions required to benefit from activities related to particle physics conducted in the institution and the associated technology generated from these activities.

“During the visit to Brazil, we saw that there is interest in the country in benefiting from both research in the area of particle physics and the technology associated with our work at CERN,” said José Salicio Diaz, CERN’s coordinator of relations with Latin American countries, in an interview with Agência FAPESP.

“The research foundations that we met with show much interest in investing resources for development of technologies that we are interested in seeking in Brazil and that could benefit the country’s entire industry,” evaluates Dias.

According to him, if Brazil is accepted as a member of CERN, it will have to contribute an annual fee (which depends on the national GDP) that would have been 1.165 billion Swiss francs in 2011.

In exchange, Brazilian industries can register to participate in contracts that the institution offers to supply technology for LHC updates and experiments conducted at the institution.

In addition, the country would be able to participate in post-doctoral programs, training for engineers and sabbaticals offered by CERN, as well as being a member of the institution’s council.

As an official member of the research center, Brazil would also have the power to vote on collaboration committees, which decide how experiments will be conducted and funded, and to participate in the analysis generated by these committees.

“There is a broad array of opportunities offered by CERN that Brazil still doesn’t have and could have access to as soon as it becomes an associate member,” comments Diaz.

Brazil’s Participation in CERN

According to Diaz, Brazil has a long tradition of collaboration and currently is the Latin American country with the largest number of researchers participating in CERN experiments.

A group of researchers at Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), for example, participates through a FAPESP-funded Thematic Project for the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) collaboration, one of the projects responsible for discovering indications of the existence of the Higgs boson through the use of the A Toroidal LHC Apparatus (Atlas). This project brings together more than 3,000 scientists from 40 different nationalities and more than 180 universities and research institutions worldwide.

UNESP researchers are part of the São Paulo Research and Analysis Center (SPRACE) created in 2002 through FAPESP funding.

SPRACE participated actively in the DZero experiment conducted by Fermilab in the United States, which operated through September 2011 and has published more than 130 scientific articles based on studies conducted in collaboration with CMS.

The SPRACE cluster is also part of the LHC’s Worldwide Computing Grid (WLCG), which, through FAPESP funding, added 64 processing knots and increased storage capacity to 1 Petabyte.

In addition to the group of UNESP researchers, coordinated by Sérgio Novaes, scientists from Universidade de São Paulo (USP) and Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) also participated in the ALICE collaboration in CERN, which brought together 1,200 scientists from 36 countries and 132 different research institutions.

“In Brazil, groups of the most important physicists are concentrated in the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro,” comments Diaz.

Mission to Brazil

In its travels through Brazil, the CERN delegation visited universities, research institutions and companies in the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Campinas and Brasília.

The information that the mission participants collected included a broad perspective on high energy physics in the country and the funding mechanisms for research in the existing areas of study  in the country.

Based on their observations, the group that participated in the trip will prepare a report to be submitted to the institution’s council, consisting of 20 founding members, who will decide on Brazil’s request to be accepted as a new member of the organization.

“The main message that we gave the groups of Brazilian physicists that we met during the visit was that they should not concentrate solely on particle physics problems but also look around them to see what engineering could be used to help them. In this manner, certain engineering areas or industries in the country could benefit from developments in this area,” Diaz estimates.

Celso Lafer, FAPESP president, José Arana Varela, director of the foundation’s technical board, and Hernan Chaimovich, special aide to FAPESP’s scientific area, received the delegation at FAPESP’s headquarters.

Source: English WebSite of the Agência FAPESP


  1. Já me estava perguntando sobre isso. Como será que as coisas vão andando?

  2. Olá Israel!

    As últimas notícias que tenho são essas que estão nessa matéria. Teremos de aguardar por novas informações.


    Duda Falcão
    (Blog Brazilian Space)


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