Peter Jenni

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.

Peter Jenni
Peter Jenni
Born (1948-04-17) 17 April 1948 (age 72)
Known forFormer Spokesperson of the ATLAS Collaboration
Awards1998 Swiss Greinacher Prize
1999 Slovak gold medal Comenius University in Bratislava
2001 Czech Charles University in Prague memorial silver medal
2012 Czech Academy of Sciences Ernst Mach Honorary Medal
2012 Julius Wess Award Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
2012 Special Fundamental Physics Prize
2013 EPS HEPP Prize
2017 APS Panofsky Prize
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 Tbilisi State University, and the Weizmann Institute of Science
Scientific career
FieldsPhysics (Particle physics)
InstitutionsCERN, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Early life and educationEdit

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.[citation needed]

Research careerEdit

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. He is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, China.

In 2014 he has been elected as corresponding member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and in 2019 as a Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences EurASc.[10]

Advisory roles - Major physics committee involvementEdit

- 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, U.S. (1989 – 1991)
- Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) Dubna Scientific Council (2008 - 2018)
- 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 outreachEdit

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.[11] 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.[12][13] 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.[14] 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.[15]



  1. ^ "CERN official website".
  2. ^ "Monica Dunford and Peter Jenni (2014) The ATLAS experiment. Scholarpedia, 9(10):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 (2012)1558-1559".
  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 66(6),(38) 2013". Physics Today.
  9. ^ "CERN Courier Article: Towards a Higgs boson: first steps in an incredible journey". CERN Courier. 22 May 2013.
  10. ^ "European Academy of Sciences, A.I.S.B.L (EurASc)".
  11. ^ "CERN Courier Article: The strength of worldwide collaboration". CERN Courier. 23 July 2014.
  12. ^ "The LegacyProject Interview 499".
  13. ^ "PH Newsletter: Interview with Peter Jenni". PH newsletter. 3 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Fundamental Physics Prize - News".
  15. ^ "CERN and Society Foundation".
  16. ^ "Greinacher Stiftung".
  17. ^ "Julius Wess Award".
  18. ^ "European Physical Society High Energy Physics Prize".
  19. ^ "APS Panofsky Prize".
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-07-20. Retrieved 2019-03-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit