India recently became an associate member of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), the world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory. The agreement was signed by Sekhar Basu, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), and CERN Director General Dr Fabiola.

About CERN

• CERN began in the 1950s as the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

• Today it is also known as the European Laboratory for Particle Physics.

• It is one of the world’s most prestigious research centres.

• Its business is fundamental physics—finding out what makes our Universe work, where it came from and where it is going.

• 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, where scientists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the Universe using the most sophisticated scientific instruments and advanced computing systems.

• Presently CERN has 22 member states, four associate member states, and the observer status is given to four states and three International Organisations.