The European Organization for Nuclear Research , known as CERN , is the world's largest particle physics laboratory, situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco-Swiss border. The organization has twenty European member states, and is currently the workplace of approximately 2600 full-time employees, as well as some 7931 scientists and engineers (representing 500 universities and 80 nationalities). CERN's main function is to provide the particle accelerators and other infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research. Numerous experiments have been constructed at CERN by international collaborations to make use of them. The main site at Meyrin also has a large computer centre containing very powerful data processing facilities primarily for experimental data analysis, and because of the need to make them available to researchers elsewhere, has historically been (and continues to be) a major wide area networking hub.
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