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What is CERN, what does CERN stand for and where is CERN?

Kind of like the SETI institute, CERN is an organization of extraordinary people that work tirelessly on Nuclear Research.

CERN stands for the:

European Organization for Nuclear Research



CERN is based just outside of Geneva in Switzerland, on the border with France.


CERN was founded in 1954 and has 22 member states. CERN is home to half of the worlds particle physicists, so there is great work taking place by a many scientists all working together on nuclear research from different countries. These countries are:

  1. Austria.
  2. Belgium.
  3. Bulgaria.
  4. Czech Republic.
  5. Denmark.
  6. Finland.
  7. France.
  8. Germany.
  9. Greece.
  10. Hungary.
  11. Israel.
  12. Italy.
  13. Netherlands.
  14. Norway.
  15. Poland.
  16. Portugal.
  17. Romania.
  18. Slovakia.
  19. Spain.
  20. Sweden.
  21. Switzerland.
  22. United Kingdom.


These countries are dedicated to nuclear research, but what type of nuclear research is happening at CERN?

A. Firstly CERN has a number of facilities dedicated to various experiments.

B. Next CERN has a number of particle accelerators that collide beams of particles together at close to the speed of light to try and understand further the laws of nature and of the universe.

C. CERN also has an antiproton decelerator that studies antimatter by creating antiatoms.

But, the most famous machine to be invented at CERN is the:

The Large Hadron Collider

The large hadron collider is the most powerful particle accelerator on earth, and is the largest machine in the world.



The above picture is a picture of only a small part of the collider. The machine is massive in size, is built underground and it has taken a lot of people many years to complete and built this great and very important machine.

The aim of this machine is to continue to research and to try and re create the conditions in the universe at the time of the big bang.


Kids Fun Facts Corner

# 1. The World Wide Web was founded at CERN.

# 2. The large hadron collider is the largest machine in the world.

# 3. CERN generates heat that is hotter than the sun.


Q&A Corner

Q. When was CERN founded?

Q. How many member states does CERN have?

Q. What is the most famous machine at CERN? 

Q. Where is the large hadron collider on site at CERN?

Q. Where was the World Wide Web founded? 

Download questions about CERN here: CERN (answers are on this page)

For further reading and more information on CERN visit

  Key Vocabulary Universe. Antimatter. Earth. Nuclear. Research.


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