Why does CERN's name include the world 'nuclear'?

CERN was founded in 1954, when the main goal of fundamental physics research was to understand the centre of the atom, i.e. the nucleus, which is where the word ‘nuclear’ comes from. CERN's research, though, has nothing to do with nuclear energy or its applications. Today, since our understanding of matter goes beyond the nucleus of the atom, CERN can more accurately be described as the “European Laboratory for Particle Physics” – a name that we do sometimes use. More information >>

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