If you hear this name for the first time, you probably have no idea, what it might be. A new Rock-Band, or a new product, maybe in the chocolate industry? Or a new start-up firm in Berlin, Germany?
The initials CERN stand for: “Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire”
It was established in the year 1954. 12 Countries participated: France, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Yugoslavia, Italy, Greece, Germany and Switzerland.
In the beginning the idea was to build a laboratory for research in the area of atomic nuclei. But soon everybody thought it would be more interesting to study higher energy physics instead, mainly the interaction between subatomic particles. The site of CERN is near Geneva on the Swiss-French border. The experimental sites are located underground, some on Swiss territory, some on French one. The main site is Meyrin, Switzerland. The interesting thing is that the whole site is under Swiss jurisdiction.
CERN is responsible for several important achievements in particle physics. The latest back in July 2012, the long, sought Higgs-Besom. In one of the experimental sites, CERN was able to prove why some fundamental particles have mass, when they actually should be massless. In 1964 Peter Higgs and other physicists suggested the possibility of the existence of such a particle. In the year 2013 Higgs was then awarded with Francois Englert the Nobel Prize in Physics.
But there is something else, for what CERN is famous for. It is the birthplace of the World Wide Web. The main site at Meyrin had a large computer facility. Here a lot experimental – data analysis was collected. There was the need to make this information available for researches everywhere in the world – and today everyone can use this great platform to get information.
Today CERN has over 22 members with Israel as the only non European country with full membership. And in the future we can be sure that CERN will discovery more new things and help us to explain interesting aspects of physics.
By Dominik Daniel