CERN includes Israel in particle accelerator project

Israelis were among the 50 scientists in CERN’s Large Hadron Collider's control room under the Swiss-French border.

September 19, 2011 01:56
1 minute read.
CERN Particle Accelerator

CERN particle accelerator_311. (photo credit: reuters)


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Israel last week officially became a formal associate member of the Center of European Nuclear Research (CERN) particle accelerator project, lending the country significant prestige in the global academic and research community despite ongoing boycott attempts of scientific cooperation with Israel.

Israel became an observer – alongside the United States, Russia, India and Japan – in 1991 and was granted special observer status in 2009. Then, Israelis were among the 50 scientists in the control room of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider project located under the Swiss-French border.

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As a result, Israel was named one of five countries recognized unanimously as “being worthy” of joining the project. CERN has even ordered parts from Israeli industry and sent experts to visit on a regular basis. It took two years for the final invitation to be received. Israel’s high level of theoretical and practical know-how – much greater than Israel’s proportionate size – was greatly appreciated at CERN and is responsible for Israel’s path toward recognition as a official member.

Considered the world’s largest experiment, the humongous particle accelerator’s historic launch in September 2008 was a collaboration of some of the world’s top scientists.

Although professors from Israeli universities were present at the launch and a few dozen other Israelis helped prepare for it, the country was not then an official member.

The particle accelerator involves some 6,500 scientists from over 80 countries – including half of the world’s particle physics researchers working on causing collisions of the tiny particles that make up the universe at mind-boggling speeds. This will enable scientists to observe the extreme energies, mini-black holes and other phenomena that occurred during the first millionths of a second after the Big Bang – the mother of all explosions that led to the creation of the universe. Their aim is to help explain the foundations of particle physics and shed light on the basic forces and building blocks of nature.

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