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November 12, 2013 4:44 pm

Israel May Become First Non-European Member of CERN Nuclear Research Facility

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A project at CERN, the European nuclear research facility. Photo: Wikimedia Commons – Israel may become the first non-European member of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

Located on the Swiss-French border, CERN is most famous for its 27-kilometer Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator, which scientists used to discover the famous Higgs Boson or “God particle” last year.

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CERN’s governing council of 20 European nations will vote on Israel’s membership when it meets Dec. 12.

“Scientists from around the world are aware of this and are very happy and excited,” Erez Etizion, a Tel Aviv University physicist who works at CERN, told Haaretz. “The lab is opening up to non-European countries and Israel was a natural candidate.”

More than 50 Israeli scientists and researchers from several top Israeli universities, including the Weizmann Institute, Tel Aviv University, and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, have helped design and work on projects at CERN over the years. Israel’s membership would give Israeli scientists and firms greater access to CERN projects.

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