The Making Of Cern

Quentin Cooper explores the fifty-year history of CERN, the European particle physics laboratory in Switzerland.

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The institution was created to bring European scientists together after the shattering effects of the Second World War. Quentin talks to some of the founder members, who ended up working with colleagues who were enemies only a few years previously. But the teams would help CERN gain its status as one of the greatest physics laboratories in the world.

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He tracks the laboratory's development through the 1970s as it slowly drew alongside and then overtook rival institutions in both the Soviet Union and the United States. He talks to those involved in building the twenty-seven kilometre tunnel in which the latest experiment is to be conducted and discovers some of the additional benefits of CERN's pioneering work, including the development of the World Wide Web and the advancement of cancer treatments using particle beams.