CERN particle accelerator_311.
(photo credit: reuters)
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 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.
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
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.
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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