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CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research
World's largest particle physics laboratory.

CERN is the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The name is derived from the acronym for the French Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, or European Council for Nuclear Research, a provisional body founded in 1952 with the mandate of establishing a world-class fundamental physics research organization in Europe. At that time, pure physics research concentrated on understanding the inside of the atom, hence the word ‘nuclear’.

When the Organization officially came into being in 1954, the Council was dissolved, and the new organization was given the title European Organization for Nuclear Research, although the name CERN was retained.

Today, our understanding of matter goes much deeper than the nucleus, and CERN’s main area of research is particle physics — the study of the fundamental constituents of matter and the forces acting between them. Because of this, the laboratory operated by CERN is commonly referred to as the European Laboratory for Particle Physics.


LHC: Large Hadron Collider
Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is built in a circular tunnel 27 km in circumference. The tunnel is buried around 50 to 175 m. underground. It straddles the Swiss and French borders on the outskirts of Geneva.

Its purpose is to smash protons moving at 99.999999% of the speed of light into each other and so recreate conditions a fraction of a second after the formation of the Universe. The LHC experiments try and work out what happened.


SNOLAB: Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Laboratory
Canada's leading edge astroparticle physics research facility located 2 km underground in the Vale Inco Creighton Mine.

Subatomic Physics in Canada
Subatomic particle studies links and information.

TRIUMF - Canada's National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics
TRIUMF is a world-class subatomic physics research laboratory located on the campus of the University of British Columbia, a twenty-minute drive from downtown Vancouver. TRIUMF is one of three subatomic research facilities in the world that specialize in producing extremely intense beams of particles. The heart of the facility is the world's biggest cyclotron, which is used to accelerate 1000 trillion particles each second!

TRIUMF is also home to the TISOL (TRIUMF Isotope Separator On-Line) which can create and isolate many short-lived nuclei of intermediate mass. In nature, these particles are formed in stars, through the gradual accretion of alpha particles to form increasingly massive nuclei, or by the rapid, multiple capture of protons, neutrons, etc. by more medium-sized nuclei - quite often unstable, radioactive ones. These kinds of interactions lead to the production of heavy elements.


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