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The CERN Accelerator School celebrates 40 years

In 1983, when textbooks on accelerator physics were sparse, the CERN Accelerator School was born. See how its educational approach continues to make an impact


Aerial view of dozens of people forming the CAS40 logo

Marking the 40th anniversary of the CERN Accelerator School on the CERN lawn on 14 September 2023. (Image: CERN)

The CERN Accelerator School (CAS) celebrated its 40th anniversary in the sunshine last September and with its contributors this January.

Back in the 1980s, a group of CERN scientists and engineers saw the need for an educational training programme in the rapidly evolving field of accelerator physics and technology. Textbooks on accelerator physics were sparse at the time, and courses at universities were practically non-existent. As Herwig Schopper, then CERN Director-General, put it: “An enormous amount of expertise is stored in the brains of quite a number of people […]. However, very little of this knowledge has so far been documented or published in book form.” It was into this landscape that the CERN Accelerator School was born in 1983.

The success of CAS in Europe quickly caught the attention of the global accelerator community, leading to a surge in demand for its courses. To accommodate this growing interest, CAS began organising courses outside Europe, in Asia and the Americas, from 1985, in collaboration with other institutions and organisations working in accelerator physics.

Over its 40-year-long history, more than 6000 participants from across the globe have been trained.

Find out more about the history, impact and future of the CERN Accelerator School in the latest CERN Courier: https://cerncourier.com/a/40-years-of-accelerating-knowledge/