Science Bringing Nations Together

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Making Moves

Vive la Difference !

Following the 1967 accord with the USSR and a tripartite agreement between CERN, France's Saclay laboratory, and the Soviet Institute of High Energy Physics, IHEP, at Serpukhov, a unique exchange of people took place.

Despite the intense mistrust and international tension from 1967 to 1969, groups of Soviet physicists nevertheless came with their families to live in Geneva and Paris to gain experience with equipment destined to be used at IHEP, which for four years had the largest energy accelerator in the world (76 GeV).

A group of CERN & Serpukhov physicists seen, in 1968, in the Serpukhov control room during the first joint experiment.

Between 1968 and 1975, when experiments were installed at IHEP, Western physicists travelled eastwards. About 100 CERN physicists and engineers spent long periods at Serpukhov, frequently with their families, and around 150 Saclay staff were permanently based there. A French school was even established for their children.

These exchanges showed the Soviet people that co-operation and friendship with foreigners was possible. Confidence between physicists from East and West led to permanent links between CERN, Saclay, and IHEP.

Mr. A. Giraud, Director of the CEA, in 1970, seen in the classroom of the French School at Serpukhov with the schoolteacher and some of her pupils.

To be continued

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