The antimatter factory and other wonders of CERN

On May 7, 3rd year bachelor students visited CERN, or the European Organization for Nuclear Research

CERN is the world’s largest particle physics laboratory. It is located in Geneva and was established in 1954. The main purpose of CERN is to conduct fundamental research in physics, including the study of the structure and interactions of elementary particles.

The tour for students began with a lecture on the organization’s activities and a tour of the data storage facility. This is where huge amounts of data are collected from particle experiments in gas pedals such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). During its operation, the LHC generates about 40 terabytes per second, and in an hour, a fantastic amount of information is accumulated that can barely fit on 72,000 average hard disks! Even CERN cannot fully record this information, so it is initially processed and left to be stored either at CERN itself or sent to other data centers that are located in France, the UK, the Netherlands, and other countries. The students were amazed by the huge server farms that process the data with incredible speed and accuracy.

The next stop was a visit to the antimatter factory at CERN, a place where science meets science fiction. Students were able to see the devices that create and hold antimatter, the rarest substance in the universe. This impressive feat of science opens the door to potentially revolutionary technologies in the future, including space drives, cancer-fighting therapies, and many others. One of the scientists’ major achievements was to conduct an experiment confirming that antihydrogen atoms fall to Earth in the same way as their material equivalent, the hydrogen atom. It took scientists 30 years to learn how to create an anti-atom, hold it and control it enough to perform such an experiment.

A visit to CERN is a meeting with the greatest scientific discoveries and the most advanced technologies, which can not leave anyone indifferent, because it is here we can briefly touch a miracle.