CERN — The European Organization for Nuclear Research
Founded in 1954, CERN is the world’s leading particle physics research centre. By studying the behaviour of nature’s fundamental particles, CERN aims to find out what our Universe is made of and how it works. CERN’s biggest accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), became operational in Sept. 2008. One of the beneficial byproducts of CERN activity is the Worldwide Web, developed at CERN to give particle physicists easy access to shared data. One of Europe’s first joint ventures, CERN now has a membership of 20 member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom. Some 6,500 scientists, half of the world’s particle physicists, use CERN’s facilities. They represent 500 institutions and 85 nationalities.