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CERN, a global laboratory for particle physics

Blackboard CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s most important centres for scientific research. Its mission is fundamental physics. CERN’s physicists use the most highly complex scientific instruments to study the fundamental constituents of matter.

Their goal is to gain new insights into the vastness of the Universe by studying the infinitesimally small world of particles. The Laboratory is a hub for theorists who generate new ideas, experimentalists who test these theories with experiments, and physicists, engineers and technicians who design the accelerators and detectors.

Founded in 1954, CERN sits astride the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva. One of the first European organizations ever created, it has 20 Member States but countries from all over the world are involved in its activities. Its facilities are used by 9000 scientists, representing almost half the world’s particle physicists, from a total of 580 universities and 85 different countries. CERN has a staff of 2500 people involved in constructing and operating the Laboratory’s scientific equipment as well as running the Organization, which is the size of a small town.