Archives of Nuclear Physics Research Committee, NPRC

Identity Statement [Top]

Reference code(s)



Archives of Nuclear Physics Research Committee, NPRC


1961 to 1975

Level of description


Extent of the unit of description

37 Items, 17 boxes, 2 linear metres

Context [Top]

Name of creator

Nuclear Physics Research Committee (NPRC)

Administrative history

In 1961 the Nuclear Physics Research Committee (NPRC) was aimed to define and arrange the experimental nuclear physics research programme of CERN on the Proton Synchrotron (PS) and the Synchro-Cyclotron (SC) machines.

The NPRC was formed from representatives of three committees :

  • Electronic Experiment Committee (EEC) : Commonly called the Physics I Committee, considered and chose proposals for experiments using electronic counters and spark chambers.
  • Track Chamber Committee (TCC) : Commonly called the Physics II Committee, considered and selected proposals for experiments using the bubble chambers at CERN : the 2 m hydrogen chamber (HBC-200), the 81 cm hydrogen chamber (HBC-81) and the heavy liquid chamber (HLBC).
  • Emulsion Experiments Committee (EmC) : Commonly called the Physics III Committee, which groups the former Emulsion Experiments Committee and Nuclear Structure Committee considered and selected proposals for experiments using nuclear emulsions and experiments into nuclear structure.

The members of the NPRC were the chairmen of the three committees mentioned above, and representative of the CERN Departments concerned, Physics I, Physics II, Theoretical studies (TH) and the Proton Synchrotron Department (PS). The NPRC meetings were also attended by the PS co-ordinator and, when his presence was needed, by the SC co-ordinator.

Once the NPRC had approved an experiment or a test aimed at establishing the feasibility of an experiment, the team (generally consisting of physicists from National laboratories, European universities and CERN, working in collaboration), could begin the preparatory work in conjunction with the PS staff responsible for beam lay-outs and other technical facilities. In addition to approving new proposals, the physics committee and the NPRC regularly reviewed the status and needs of the various experiments in progress. At all stages, the committees sought to further the collaboration between CERN and physicists throughout Europe.

During the first meeting of the NPRC on the 21 November 1960, Victor Weiksskopf, the chairman, proposed that two kinds of meeting be held. One to take place bi-annually, was to assemble a very large number of people ; its purpose was to elaborate a research policy for CERN. The other, smaller type would meet every two or three months, and would concern itself with the immediate programme.

These ideas were widely debated between November 1960 and February 1961. John Adams, the CERN Director-General, took up a third position, he proposed that the four committees be kept and that they meet each month. On 6 February the Directorate rallied to his opinion and settled the final composition of the NPRC. It was to comprise the four scientific members of the Directorate (Adams, Hine, Van Hove, Weisskopf), the chairmen of the three specialist committees (Gregory, Powell and Salvini) and seven CERN Senior Staff, essentially the divisional leaders. The NPRC met for the first time on 8 and 9 March 1961.

The last meeting of the NPRC was held on the 3 December 1975. The NPRC became the Research Board, whose first meeting was held on 15 December 1975.

* Source:

- CERN Courier 1967, Volume 7, No 3
- NPRC Documents on CERN Library Database

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Received from the Nuclear Physics Research Committee

Content & Structure [Top]

Scope and content

This collection contains minutes of the

  • Nuclear Physics Research Committee (NPRC),
  • Electronic Experiment Committee (EEC) and Physics I Committee (PH-I),
  • Track Chamber Committee (TCC) and Physics II Committee (PH-II),
  • Intersecting Storage Rings Committee (ISRC),
  • Super Proton Synchrotron Committee (SPSC).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Nothing was destroyed.


No further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

The original order has been preserved.

Conditions of access and use [Top]

Conditions governing access

See file level description and the CERN operational circular No 3: rules applicable to archival material and archiving at CERN. In general, records on any subject that are over 30 years old, and all records of a purely scientific nature, may be consulted.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright is retained by CERN, no reproduction without permission.

Language / scripts of material

Most of the material is written in English.

Finding aids

Listed to file level in the CERN Archives Database.

Description control [Top]

Archivist's note

Description prepared by Sandrine Reyes

Date(s) of description

Geneva, the 24 October 2005, Revised 2007.