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Peter Jenni

peter jennings, peter jennings death
Peter Jenni, born 17 April 1948 is an experimental particle physicist working at CERN[1] He is best known as one of the "founding fathers" of the ATLAS experiment[2] at the CERN Large Hadron Collider together with a few other colleagues He acted as spokesperson project leader of the ATLAS Collaboration until 2009[3] ATLAS is a world-wide collaboration which started in 1992[4] involving roughly 3,000 physicists at 183 institutions in 38 countries[5] Jenni was directly involved in the experimental work leading to the discoveries of the W and Z bosons in the 1980s and the Higgs boson in 2012[6][7] He is co-author of about 900 publications in scientific journals


  • 1 Early life and education
  • 2 Research career
  • 3 Advisory roles - Major physics committee involvement
  • 4 Invited lectures and outreach
  • 5 Awards
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Early life and education

Peter Jenni, Swiss, born in 1948, obtained his Diploma for Physics at the University of Bern in 1973 and his Doctorate at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich ETHZ in 1976 His thesis examined very small angle elastic scattering in the Coulomb-nuclear interference region Peter Jenni is married and has two adult children

Research career

Peter Jenni participated in CERN experiments at the Synchrocyclotron 1972/3, at the Proton Synchrotron 1974/6, and as ETHZ Research Associate at the Intersecting Storage Rings ISR 1976/7, the first high-energy hadron collider From 1974 to summer 1976 he worked as a CERN Fellow in the group of M Ferro-Luzzi The group measured the Coulomb nuclear interference scattering of π±, K± and p± on hydrogen and deuterium in two experiments at the CERN PS The measured real parts of the forward scattering amplitudes were used in dispersion relations One of these measurements was the subject of the doctoral thesis H Hofer

From 1976 to 1977 Research Associate at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich ETHZ working in the CERN-ETH-Saclay collaboration R702 at the CERN Intersecting Storage Rings P Darriulat, B Richter The experiment covered studies on electron pair production, on e μ events as a signature for charmed particles, and on very high transverse momentum π0 production in pp reactions

During 1978 and 1979, Research Associate at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre SLAC, Stanford, USA, in B Richter's group Participated in the MARK II SLAC-LBL Berkeley experiment at the e+e– storage ring SPEAR Mainly involved in the following physics analyses: two-photon reactions, meson form factors, and search for the charmed mesons

The first measurement of the two-photon widths of the η prime was giving further direct support to the quark model In SLAC he also worked on operating the liquid-argon calorimeter for the MARK II experiment where his interest in high-performance calorimetry was developed

He became a CERN staff member in 1980 working with the UA2 experiment at the Super Proton Synchrotron collider major involvement in the discoveries of jets and the W and Z bosons Worked on the design for the UA2 upgrade since 1984, with special motivation for missing transverse energy signatures Project leader of the new end cap calorimeter constructed for the upgraded UA2 experiment As from March 1987, also group leader of the CERN UA2 group Coordinated calorimeter and trigger work for the upgraded UA2 experiment

Already during the UA2 time, strong interest in the physics and instrumentation at future colliders, in particular LHC Early involvement as convener of the jet study group at the ECFA-CERN LHC workshop 1984 Lausanne, Geneva, member of the advisory panel on the physics potential and the feasibility of experiments at the multi-TeV energies La Thuile workshop 1987, and calorimetry overview at the ECFA study week on instrumentation technology for high-luminosity hadron colliders Barcelona 1989

He more and more shifted[8] to the Large Hadron Collider LHC From 1991 the main activities concentrated on tasks related to the informal spokespersonship first of a proto-Collaboration Peter Jenni was involved in the early phases of the calorimeter R&D projects RD1 and RD3, during 1990–1992 In 1995, after formal approval of the ATLAS project, he was elected Spokesperson of the experiment, which today comprises some 3000 scientists representing 183 Institutions from 38 countries He was re-elected several times and retired from this duty in February 2009, with Fabiola Gianotti as his successor He retained however a strong involvement in the operation and physics of the experiment[9]

After his retirement as a CERN Senior Research Staff end of April 2013, Peter Jenni has become a Guest Scientist and Honorary Professor with the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, keeping his full engagement with the ATLAS experiment

In 2014 he has been elected as corresponding member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences

Advisory roles - Major physics committee involvement

- Final two years of the ISRC, CERN 1982 and 1983
- Four years LEPC, CERN 1986 – 1990
- Almost five years PRC of DESY as referee on the HERA experiment calorimetry, DESY, Hamburg, Germany 1984 – 1989
- First few years of SSC PAC, Dallas, US 1989 – 1991
- Joint Institute for Nuclear Research JINR Dubna Scientific Council since 2008
- Served, and still serves, in numerous advisory boards at institute, national, and international levels, in particular for the future HEP projects
- During 2012 and 2013 he was strongly involved in shaping the scientific input with the Preparatory Group for the Update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics, personally motivated to promote CERN’s future at the high energy frontier

Invited lectures and outreach

Peter Jenni is frequently invited to give public lectures on experimental particle physics at the LHC Jenni is well known for his efforts to involve also physicists from countries that are not CERN member states in the construction of the ATLAS experiment As a Spokesperson he frequently interacted with scientists from all five continents as well as with many funding agencies and science authorities Thanks to his efforts many universities and institutes from a wide variety of countries became members of the ATLAS Collaboration making it a truly international experiment[10] He often says that the biggest reward for him is to see how enthusiastic and motivated young people are about physics and he constantly tries to help future generations to get the same or even more opportunities in high energy physics[11] [12] It is in this spirit that he, together with his ATLAS co-laureat of the Special Fundamental Physics Prize, Fabiola Gianotti, donated all prize money for educational and humanitarian purposes, and created the ATLAS PhD Award sponsoring PhD students[13] He is also a founding member of the CERN and Society Foundation, an independent non-profit organization to support and promote the dissemination of the benefits of CERN through education and outreach, innovation and knowledge exchange, and culture and art[14]


  • In 1998 the Swiss Greinacher Prize[15]
  • In 1999 the Slovak gold medal of the Comenius University in Bratislava
  • In 2001 the Czech Charles University in Prague memorial silver medal
  • In 2012 the Czech Academy of Sciences Ernst Mach Honorary Medal
  • In 2012 he was awarded the Julius Wess Award[16] from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology together with Michel Della Negra
  • In 2012 he was awarded a share of the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
  • In 2013 he was awarded a share of the European Physical Society High Energy Physics Prize[17]
  • In 2017 received together with Michel Della Negra and Tejinder Virdee the American Physical Society Panofsky Prize for experimental particle physics[18]
  • He was awarded honorary degrees from the University of Stockholm, the University of Copenhagen, the ETHZ, the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, the University of Nova Gorica, the University of Bern, the Aix-Marseille University, the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, and the Weizmann Institute of Science


  1. ^ "CERN official website" 
  2. ^ "Monica Dunford and Peter Jenni 2014 The ATLAS experiment Scholarpedia, 910:32147" 
  3. ^ del Rosso, Antonella May 2009 "ATLAS makes a smooth changeover at the top" CERN Courier 49 4: 31–32 
  4. ^ del Rosso, Antonella September 2008 "ATLAS: the making of a giant" CERN Courier 
  5. ^ "ATLAS collaboration records" CERN Scientific Information Service ATLAS collaboration Archived from the original on 6 July 2011 Retrieved 2011-06-15 
  6. ^ "The Higgs Boson 338 20121558-1559" 
  7. ^ "M Della Negra, P Jenni, and T S Virdee, Journey in the Search for the Higgs Boson: The ATLAS and CMS Experiments at the Large Hadron Collider, Science 338 2012 1560-1568" Science 
  8. ^ "P Grannis and P Jenni, The evolution of hadron-collider experiments, Physics Today 666,38 2013" Physics Today 
  9. ^ "CERN Courier Article: Towards a Higgs boson: first steps in an incredible journey" CERN Courier 22 May 2013 
  10. ^ "CERN Courier Article: The strength of worldwide collaboration" CERN Courier 23 July 2014 
  11. ^ "The LegacyProject Interview 499" 
  12. ^ "PH Newsletter: Interview with Peter Jenni" PH newsletter 3 June 2013 
  13. ^ "Fundamental Physics Prize - News" 
  14. ^ "CERN and Society Foundation" 
  15. ^ "Greinacher Stiftung" 
  16. ^ "Julius Wess Award" 
  17. ^ "European Physical Society High Energy Physics Prize" 
  18. ^ "APS Panofsky Prize" 

External links

  • Scientific publications of Peter Jenni on INSPIRE-HEP
  • Peter Jenni on IMDb

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