SCK•CEN develops infrastructures along the lines of the work of Brout, Englert and Higgs

Belgium’s entire scientific community is extremely proud of the Nobel Prize awarded to our compatriot François Englert.

The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN) wishes to congratulate him for bringing to light the world of research and its researchers, who work on time scales that bear no resemblance to normal daily lives. Professor Englert has made a contribution to our understanding of the origins of the universe through mere curiosity, in a society that appreciates only immediate results.

Professor François Englert and colleague Robert Brout drew up the “God particle” or X-boson hypothesis fifty years ago. Last year in Geneva thousands of researchers, engineers and technicians at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) pooled their efforts to demonstrate the particle he had imagined.

Recognition of his work can only inspire the scientific community in our country, and also its decision-makers. Belgium must at all costs preserve centres of excellence with international infrastructures in a bid to attract exceptional researchers and make its contribution to the progress of science and innovation. It is crucial to pursue investment in new research infrastructures and technologies enabling us to test and confirm fundamental theories such as the Brout-Englert-Higgs hypothesis.

As part of the MYRRHA project on a multi-purpose hybrid research reactor for high-tech applications, SCK•CEN is developing an infrastructure for the production of radioactive ion beams with unprecedented intensities, opening new research avenues in fundamental sciences. The ISOL@MYRRHA facility will focus on experimental programs requiring extended measurement periods with stable operation, being of interest for several fields of science: fundamental interactions, nuclear and atomic physics, condensed matter, biology and medical applications.

The facility will be up and running in more than ten years, but  the project already raises great interest in various research communities worldwide. SCK•CEN researchers are collaborating with internationally renowned scientists on detailing the applications catalogue for ISOL@MYRRHA and finalizing the technical design of the facility. The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre is also collaborating with CERN on this project.