CERN Accelerating science

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From theory to experiment

Why fundamental science?

Some areas of scientific research, such as particle physics and cosmology, seem remote from everyday life and unlikely to bring immediate practical applications. Are they worth the effort in human and material resources?

This research may take us far away from the conditions of everyday life, but because it continually pushes at boundaries in thinking and in technology it is a springboard for many new developments.

Fundamental science is where new ideas and methods begin that later become commonplace - from the electric light, which originated in 19-century curiosity about electricity, to the World Wide Web, invented at CERN to allow international teams of particle physicists to communicate more easily. No amount of applied research on the candle would have brought us the electric light; no amount of R&D on the telephone would have brought about the Web. Science needs the space for curiosity and imagination.