Maltese scientist helps recreate the Big Bang
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Maltese scientist helps recreate the Big Bang

As the world’s most powerful particle accelerator at the European physics laboratory, Cern, was switched on, Maltese researcher Gianluca Valentino was on the front line of this historic event.

A computer scientist who obtained a PhD from the University of Malta, 25-year-old Dr Valentino has been working at the massive laboratory located in the Swiss-French border for five years.

“It is one of the most exciting and diverse places in the world to work. You can learn from and collaborate with world class scientists in the fields of physics, engineering and computing. The challenges are great but the rewards are greater,” he said.

Dr Valentino has been working on the LHC collimation project since July 2010. A collimator is a device that narrows a beam of particles or waves. Just two years ago, he obtained his PhD for developing a fast technique to automatically align the 100 collimators to the LHC beam with the accuracy of less than the width of a human hair. This saved hundreds of hours in beam time in the experiments and the control software he developed is regularly used at the Cern control centre.

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