Archives of Lucien Montanet

Identity Statement [Top]

Reference code(s)



Archives of Lucien Montanet


May 1975 to September 1995

Level of description


Extent of the unit of description

19 boxes, 2 linear metres, 50 items

Context [Top]

Name of creator

Lucien Montanet

Biographical history

As a young graduate from the Arts et Métiers engineering school in Paris, Lucien Montanet extended his knowledge of physics at Paris University, then worked during his national service at France’s ZOE nuclear reactor. He started his career at CERN in 1957 analysing cosmic ray interactions (~100 GeV) at the Wilson chamber on the summit of the Jungfraujoch in Switzerland. This work was the subject of his PhD.

Later he worked on images from a propane bubble chamber at CERN’s synchrotron, then began his career with liquid hydrogen bubble chambers by on a 20cm chamber at Saclay’s Saturne accelerator. He joined the CERN bubble chamber group run by Charles Peyrou to work on CERN’s 32cm liquid hydrogen chamber and in 1961, with Raphaël Armenteros, analysed proton-antiproton annihilations on photos taken in the new 81-cm bubble chamber.

He co-signed the discovery of the first meson resonance found at CERN and in Europe, the E meson. This was the start of a long career devoted to meson and baryon spectroscopy, a field in which he became one of the leading specialists. Montanet played a major role in the construction of the present scheme of elementary particles. He was a key member of the Particle Data Group (PDG), organising and leading numerous workshops and conferences on hadron spectroscopy.

In his experimental activities, he initiated and coordinated several experiments of central importance at CERN. One of the most illustrious was the EHS (European Hybrid Spectrometer).

He played a major role in the development of high-energy physics in Spain which, although not yet a CERN Member State, was an important contributor to EHS.

In 1973 he became the editor of Physics Letters, a role he continued after his retirement in 1995.

In 1985 he was appointed coordinator of the CERN-USSR (later CERN-Russia) Committee.

In 1989 he participated in the “Crystal Barrel” experiment, which studied proton-antiproton and deuterium-antiproton annihilations, with the LEAR (Low Energy Antiproton Ring) machine.

In 1990 he became a member of the Scientific Council of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) at Dubna, and played a key role in defining JINR's scientific policy.

He retired in 1995 and died in 2003.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gibon Claire, Experimental Physics Department (EP) in April 2016

Content & Structure [Top]

Scope and content

The Lucien Montanet collection covers the period of May 1975 to September 1995 and contains documents concerning,

  • CERN committees: Scientific Policy Committee (SPC), Committee of Council (CC), CERN Russia Committee (CRC).
  • LEP (Large Electron Positron collider), the SPS (Super Proton Synchrotron) and LEAR (The Low Energy Antiproton Ring), European Hybrid Spectrometer (EHS).
  • CERN experimental committees: Super Proton Synchrotron Committee (SPSC), Experimental Programme Advisory Committee (EPAC).
  • Relations with Non-Member States, and the Russian institute, Joint Institute Nuclear Research (JINR).
  • And also reports of visits, memoranda and cooperation agreements between CERN and USSR.
  • Correspondence with Walter Hoogland (Director of Research 1989-1993), Frans Heyn (Director of Administration (1981-1988), (Head of Administrative Support Division (AS) 1990-1992) and Horst Wenninger (Divisional Leader of Accelerator Technologies (AT) 1990-1993), Research and Technical Director (1994 – 1998).

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, some in French and in Russian.

Finding aids

Listed to file level in the CERN Archives Database.

Allied materials [Top]

Related units of description

Rapid Cycling Bubble Chamber, RCBC - European hybrid Spectrometer, EHS (Archives) - Archival Description


EHS was started as a project by Lucien Montanet in 1975. He was senior physicist and spokesperson for the whole EHS collaboration.

Description control [Top]

Archivist's note

Description prepared by Céline Strub

Date(s) of description

Geneva, the 20th February 2019