CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world’s leading particle physics laboratory founded in 1954, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. CERN uses the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles, such as the now-famous Higgs particle. Higgs boson’s discovery was one of the major breakthroughs of modern physics, and this achievement was also acknowledged though Nobel Prize in physics.

There are about 2600 staff members at CERN, collaborating with thousands of visiting researchers and industry employees on a daily basis. Currently (2/2018) CERN has 22 Member States. Finland became CERN Member State on 1991. Finnish collaboration with CERN is coordinated by Helsinki Institute of Physics (HIP), a joint physics research institute run by five Finnish universities.

In addition to scientific endeavours, CERN is also a remarkable technology development and innovation hub. One of the best-known breakthrough innovations originating from CERN is the World Wide Web, which marked the beginning of the era of global digitalisation and thus paradigm shift towards the information society.

High energy particle research organization:
European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) – Geneva, Switzerland

CERN in numbers

Land and sites

  • 625 ha of land made available by the Host States (France 515 ha, Switzerland 110 ha
  • 16 fenced sites covering a surface area of 213 ha (France 163 ha, Switzerland 50 ha)
  • Meyrin site: 79 ha, Prevessin site: 83 ha
  • 23.3 km of fencing


  • About 700 buildings of all sizes covering a total footprint of 425 000 m2
  • About 274 barracks (huts, modular buildings and maritime containers)

Underground works

  • 325 underground structures including 50 shafts
  • 160 service galleries of total length 17 km
  • About 59 km of tunnel

Roads and green spaces

  • 30 km of roads covering a total area of 649 000 m2
  • 6 500 parking spaces of all types (including the Globe Car Park)
  • 117 ha of green spaces

Premises (rooms)

  • 1 900 floors
  • About 16 800 premises (excluding underground) covering a total surface of 613 000 m2