European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) | IAS Target IAS Target

European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)

The European Organization for Nuclear Research known as CERN, is a European research organization that operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. Israel is the only non-European country granted full membership. CERN is an official United Nations observer. It is one of the world’s most prestigious research centres. At CERN, some of the world’s biggest and most complex machines are used to study nature’s tiniest building blocks, the fundamental particles. By colliding these minute particles of matter physicists unravel the basic laws of nature. The organisation is the world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory.

Established in 1954
Headquarters Meyrin, Canton of Geneva, Switzerland
Member States 23
Associate Member Four (India also associate member of the (CERN))
Observer Status four (including 3 international organisations)
Official languages English and French
Nobel Prize for Physics in 1992

Founding Members

Belgium Denmark France Germany
Greece Italy Netherlands Norway
Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom Yugoslavia


  • To provide the particle accelerators and other infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research – as a result, numerous experiments have been constructed at CERN through international collaborations. The main site at Meyrin hosts a large computing facility, which is primarily used to store and analyse data from experiments, as well as simulate events. Researchers need remote access to these facilities, so the lab has historically been a major wide area network hub. CERN is also the birthplace of the World Wide Web.
  • The laboratory helps scientists and engineers probing the fundamental structure of Universe using the most sophisticated scientific instruments and advanced computing systems

Achievements of CERN:

  • CERN operates the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) which is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.
  • It is associated with the discovery of the Higgs Boson which is popularly known as the God particle.
  • Indian scientists has been active in construction of the LHC in the areas of design, development and supply of hardware accelerator components, software development and deployment in the machine.
  • They also had played significant role in the CMS (Compact Muon Experiment), one of the two large experiments that led to discovery of God particle.

Importance of CERN to India

  • Becoming Associate Member of CERN will enhance participation of young scientists and engineers in various CERN projects and bring back knowledge for deployment in the domestic programmes.
  • It will also open opportunities for Indian industries to participate directly in the CERN project.
  • Through the Teachers programme, teachers teaching in the higher secondary schools would also be able to participate in the programme and pass on the knowledge and quest for high-end science to their students, thereby encouraging large number of students to pursue their career in science.
  • As an Associate Member of CERN, India will be a part of the huge scientific and technological endeavour.