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Definition: CERN from Philip's Encyclopedia

(European Laboratory for Particle Physics) Nuclear research centre located on the Franco-Swiss border W of Geneva. Founded in 1954 as an intergovernmental organization, it was called Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire. It is the main European centre for research into particle physics.


Summary Article: CERN
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Particle physics research organization founded in 1954 as a cooperative enterprise among European governments. It has laboratories at Meyrin, near Geneva, Switzerland. It houses the world's largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which successfully collided protons for the first time in November 2009.

CERN is the acronym of the organization's original name, Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, but there have been several name changes since then. CERN's official English name is the European Organization for Nuclear Research, though it is commonly called the European Laboratory for Particle Physics. In 1965, the original laboratory was doubled in size by extension across the border from Switzerland into France. In 1994, the 19 member nations of CERN approved the construction of the Large Hadron Collider. It is built in the tunnel previously occupied by the Large Electron Positron Collider(LEP), operational 1989–2000, with which notable advances were made in particle physics.

One of the major tasks of the LHC is to search for the Higgs boson (an elementary particle whose existence explains why particles have mass). A Higgs boson was indicated in March 2012 and observed in July 2012, with new data confirming its existence being presented in March 2013.

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