CERN Accelerating science

Here you will find a series of articles and photos bringing you the latest news on the 60th anniversary celebrations.

CERN 60 Public Computing Challenge

Over 5000 people have participated so far in the CERN 60 Public Computing Challenge, an event that invites the public to download a virtual atom smasher into their computer and help scientists simulate the sorts of particle collisions that occur in CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and other important accelerators from CERN’s 60-year history.

The challenge tests out a new browser-based approach to volunteer computing, and also helps to populate a database of simulations that will be used in a new particle physics game developed as part of the EC Citizen Cyberlab project. At peak performance, the global network of volunteer computers contributing to the challenge is able to simulate particle collisions at rates rivalling those of the LHC’s detectors.

Challenge Accomplished!

The CERN 60 Public Computing Challenge was a 12-day event that ran in December 2014, as part of CERN’s 60th anniversary celebrations. We invited volunteers around the world to help us compute simulations of particle collisions in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and other particle accelerators that have been active during the 60 years of CERN's history.
Thanks to your efforts, we’ve been able to simulate over 19 billion particle collisions, more than half of all the data we need for the game. And thanks to the many of you who provided detailed feedback in the forum, we’ve also been able to fix quite a few bugs with the software, making it easier to install and run. Some of you went all out to help, providing hundreds of hours of processing power. As of 10am CET Saturday 20 December, the official end of the challenge, we’ve made a top 10 ranking and a “ volunteer cloud” that celebrates everyone who logged in. Whatever your ranking, we are really grateful for all your help.

What you accomplished ?

Although the challenge is officially over, if you want to keep your virtual machine connected, we’ll keep sending out jobs, and your progress and ranking will continue to be updated. The data you produce will still go towards the database for the game. If you want to remove the virtual machine at this point, follow the instructions in the FAQ section below. In the coming days and weeks, we are going to analyse the challenge results, to understand what worked and what needs to be improved, and will share our insights on the Citizen Cyberlab website.
We plan to make a similar challenge next year, based on the lessons learned this time. So we would sincerely welcome your feedback on the challenge. In particular, we’d like to hear what you feel you have learned from participating in this challenge: about science, about technology or about anything else. Also, please let us know what you would like to have learned more about. Email your feedback to Thanks!


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60 more years of science for peace: carrying the message forward

At the end of 2013, we were just about to embark on a year of celebrations marking 60 years of science for peace at CERN. Our message was that science is an inescapable driver of peaceful relations among cultures and nations, a force for sustainability and a necessity in confronting the major challenges facing society today. Twelve months on, we can safely say that we’ve been successful in delivering that message. 

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