UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – CERN – European Organisation for Nuclear Research
CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research as an organization is world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory. It is also known as the European Laboratory for Particle Physics. It was established in 1954 and is situated in North West suburbs of Geneva on France-Swiss Border.
Members of CERN:
The CERN convention was signed in 1953 by the 12 founding states Belgium, Denmark, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Yugoslavia, and entered into force on 29 September 1954. Currently, CERN has 22 member states, four associate members (including India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Ukraine) and three International Organisations with observer status.
Functions of the organization:
- The fundamental structure of the Universe is being probed in the laboratory using the most advanced computing systems and sophisticated scientific instruments.
- It provides the necessary infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research including particle accelerators.
- By colliding these minute particles of matter physicists unravel the basic laws of nature.
- Over 600 institutes and universities around the world use CERN’s facilities.
- Funding agencies from both member and non-member states are responsible for the financing, construction, and operation of the experiments on which they collaborate.
- CERN spends much of its budget on building machines such as the Large Hadron Collider and it only partially contributes to the cost of the experiments.
- 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.
India and CERN:
- India has been actively involved in CERN’s activities for over 50 years. Indian physicists. engineers and technicians have made substantial contributions to various projects of CERN.
- In 1991, India and CERN had signed a Cooperation Agreement, setting priorities for scientific cooperation. Since then India and CERN have signed many other protocols.
- Indian scientists have actively participated in the construction of LHC. They also had a significant role to play in the Compact Muon Experiment (CMN) – one of the two experiments that led to the discovery of God particle.
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