The home of the Large Hadron Collider outside of Geneva, Switzerland is striving to help physicists answer some seriously mind-bending questions. For example, what happened in the three seconds between the Big Bang and the creation of the Universe?
Getting to the bottom of these questions involves taking pictures of tiny particles smashing into eachother at extremely high speeds. The sub-atomic events that occur under these conditions give physicists around the world information about why the Universe is the way it is... and tells us that a lot of our theories are quite wrong.
The CERN tech team is instrumental in making this happen. Not only do they have to make sure that all of the data from experiments is stored properly, but it must also be accesible to users around the world at any time.
As many of you may know, the Internet was born at CERN when Tim Berners-Lee saw a need for sharing information in an interactive form so that ideas could be connected and researchers could build upon eachothers discoveries. While the mission of CERN is to do pure fundamental research, the technology required to perform this research often results in innovations that have applications that alter everyday life (like the web).
We got to see some of the machinery at CERN and pay a visit to the server room (which is massive and very hot).
Thanks so much to Francois and CERN for the excellent tour and presentation.We're going to apply to be interns next summer!