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world Updated: Sep 11, 2008 22:01 IST

1954 CERN was founded as one of Europe’s first joint ventures, partly as a way to share the rising costs of running nuclear physics facilities.

1957 The Synchrocyclotron, CERN’s first accelerator, was built to provide beams for particle and nuclear physics experiments. That machine accelerated protons for the first time in November 1959.

1968 Scientist Georges Charpak develops a box known as a “multiwire proportional chamber” that counted particles one thousand times better than previous detectors.

1971 The Intersecting Storage Rings, the world’s first proton-proton collider, produced the first-ever proton-proton collisions, a precursor to CERN’s colliding-beam projects.

1976 The Super Proton Synchrotron, with a circumference of 7 km is built, providing beams to large experimental areas of CERN. Scientists using those beams in 1983 discover the two charged particles, called W, and their neutral counterpart Z.

1990 Scientist Tim Berners-Lee invents the worldwide web to meet demands for information-sharing between scientists.

1994 CERN approves construction of the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator.

2002 Two experiments create and trap thousands of atoms of anti-matter in a “cold” state, meaning the atoms are slow-moving and can exist for long enough to be studied.

2008 The Large Hadron Collider starts up. Its experiments are expected to address questions such as what gives matter its mass, why nature prefers matter to anti-matter, and how matter evolved from the first instants of the universe’s exis