CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research) is an international collaboration of scientists and engineers seeking to understand the fundamental nature of matter by using the world’s largest accelerator (the Large Hadron Collider or LHC) to create beams of high-energy particles travelling at close to the speed of light, and using gigantic detectors such as ATLAS to examine the results of colliding these particles together.
According to the convention which founded the organisation, the purpose was to conduct
nuclear research of a pure scientific and fundamental character, and in research essentially related thereto.
And it is important to note that
The Organization shall have no concern with work for military requirements and the results of its experimental and theoretical work shall be published or otherwise made generally available.
About 11000 scientists from 645 universities around the world use CERN’s facilities. In addition, CERN employs about 2500 physicists, engineers, programmers, technicians, craftsmen, firefighters and administrators.
Many technologies have been developed at CERN including the World Wide Web, cancer therapy, medical and industrial imaging, radiation processing, electronics, measuring instruments, new manufacturing processes and materials.
When it was founded in 1952, its name was originally “Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire”. It soon changed “Conseil” to “Organisation”, but retained the acronym CERN because it was easy to pronounce.
CERN main website: http://cern.ch
CERN Convention: http://council.web.cern.ch/council/en/governance/Convention.html