Carlo Rubbia

Director-General (January 1989 – January 1994)

The four LEP experiments produced their first scientific results under this Nobel-prize winner's mandate.

CERN Personalities
Carlo Rubbia in his office at CERN in August 1983 (Image: CERN)

Carlo Rubbia (born in 1934, Italian) worked at CERN as a senior physicist from 1961. In 1984, Rubbia shared the Nobel prize in physics with Simon van der Meer "for their decisive contributions to the large project, which led to the discovery of the field particles W and Z, communicators of weak interaction". Rubbia did this work as head of the UA1 collaboration.

From 1970 to 1988, Rubbia spent one semester per year at Harvard University as Higgins Professor of Physics. In January 1989, he was appointed Director-General of CERN. In November of his first year as Director-General, the inauguration of LEP, the Large Electron Positron Collider, took place after eight years of construction under his predecessor Herwig Schopper. During Rubbia's mandate as Director-General, the four LEP experiments (ALEPH, DELPHI, L3 and OPAL) gave their first important scientific results. The LHC project developed and its experimental programme was presented to CERN Council in December 1993. (The project was approved in December 1994.) In December 1992, the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to Georges Charpak for the invention and development of particle detectors, in particular the multi-wire proportional chamber. Carlo Rubbia was succeeded by Christopher Llewellyn Smith in January 1994.