LHC 'Big Questions'
3) CERN stands for 'Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire' (or European Council for Nuclear Research); does that mean that CERN is studying nuclear power and nuclear weapons?
At the time that CERN was established (1952 – 1954) physics research was exploring the inside of the atom, hence the word ‘nuclear’ in its title. CERN has never been involved in research on nuclear power or nuclear weapons, but has done much to increase our understanding of the fundamental structure of the atom.
The title CERN is actually an historical remnant. It comes from the name of the council that was founded to establish a European organisation for world-class physics research. The Council was dissolved once the new organisation (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) was formed, but the name CERN remained.
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