CERN - Geneva
Case Study CERN - Geneva

Getting the Measure of the Universe

European particle physics laboratory CERN uses Leica Geosystems’ state-of-the-art laser tracker system to measure key components of the world’s largest-ever particle accelerator.

The European organisation for nuclear research, CERN, is the world’s largest particle physics centre. Based near Geneva, the laboratory was founded in 1954 as one of Europe’s first joint ventures, and has grown over the years into a foremost example of international scientific collaboration, now bringing together 20 member countries.

To put it simply, CERN explores what matter is made of, and what holds it together. The laboratory provides state-of-the-art scientific facilities for researchers to use – accelerators, which speed up minute particles to just under the speed of light, and detectors, to make the particles visible.

The laboratory, which has already pushed back the limits of scientific knowledge on many occasions over the last 50 years, is now busily preparing for the start of its biggest and most ambitious venture yet. The Large Hadron Collider, which is scheduled to open in 2007, will be the largest accelerator ever built. It will use an existing circular tunnel some 27 kilometres in length and 100m underground, which straddles the French-Swiss border and was previously home to the LHC’s predecessor, the LEP. . . . .

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