- Issue date: 19/10/2004
- Printing Process: Huecograbado
- Paper: estucado engomado fosforescente
- Size of stamp: 40,9 x 28,8 mm.(horizontal)
- Sheet effects: 50
- Postal value of the stamps: 1,90 €
- Print run: 1.000.000
- Dented: 13 3/4
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its foundation and philately is commemorating this with the issue of a stamp.
CERN was established in 1954 with 12 countries initially participating. Today, it is the world's largest laboratory in the field of particle research. It currently has 20 member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The organisation has around 3,000 employees, including a large number of physicists, engineers, technicians, administrators and craftsmen, as well as various other workers. Every year, the centre is visited by thousands of scientists from 500 universities in 80 different countries, which use its modern facilities to perform their own experiments. The CERN laboratory undertakes research into extremely small subatomic particles by using accelerators - large machines capable of accelerating particles to very high speeds - so that they collide with other particles, and can thus be observed. By accelerating and colliding particles, scientists can identify their components and create new particles, revealing the reason for their interaction. Since the CERN was created, its scientists have made major discoveries and have received several Nobel Prizes. In 1984, Carlo Rubia and Simon Van der Meer received the Nobel Physics Prize for the discovery of the field particles W and Z; in 1992, Georges Charpak received the Nobel Physics Prize for 'his invention and development of particle detectors, in particular the multiwire proportional chamber', a specific type of particle detector. In the field of computers, one of its discoveries was the WWW (World Wide Web), designed to accelerate the exchange of information between physicists, which is today used in all imaginable areas.