CERN in a nutshell (taken from here)
CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the Universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of Nature.
The instruments used at CERN are particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before they are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions.
Founded in 1954, the CERN Laboratory sits astride the Franco–Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe’s first joint ventures and now has 20 Member States.
Getting to CERN
Take the tram number 14 or 16 to Avanchet. From Avanchet take the number 56 bus marked to its terminus at the CERN entrance. Ticket costs 3.00CHF (Ticket “Tout Genève” on the ticket machine). See Transport Publics Genevois (TPG) web site for full details.
CERN user registration
First-time users need to attend a safety training. You have 7 days starting from your arrival at CERN to follow the Safety Awareness courses (Levels 1, 2 and 3) and pass the tests. Objectives, etc. can be found here. If you have a CERN account you can access the courses on-line at the web page sir.cern.ch, from your computer, inside or outside CERN.
CERN portable registration
To access the CERN wireless network with your portable device you will have to register it in the CERN database. The online registration form is accessible at this link. Be aware that this link is only accessible from within the CERN network only.