Facilities and Laboratories

During iaps2CERN 2018, various facilities, collaborations, and laboratories will be visited in order to show the various research activities carried out at CERN!


ISOLDE  is a collaboration dedicated to studies of the properties of atomic nuclei, with further applications in fundamental studies, astrophysics, material, and life sciences.

The Isotope mass Separator On-Line facility (ISOLDE) is a unique source of low-energy beams of radioactive nuclides, that started working on 1967. It permits the study of the vast territory of atomic nuclei, including the most exotic species. The high intensity proton beam from the Proton Synchrotron Booster (PSB) is directed into specially developed thick targets, yielding a large variety of atomic fragments. Different devices are used to ionize, extract, and separate nuclei according to their mass, forming a low-energy beam. This beam is delivered to various experimental stations, where various topics are investigated, from material science to medical physics.



The Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment investigates the slight differences between matter and antimatter by studying a type of particle called the “beauty quark”, or “b quark”.

Instead of surrounding the entire collision point with an enclosed detector as do ATLAS and CMS, the other LHC experiments, LHCb uses a series of subdetectors to detect mainly forward particles – those thrown forwards by the collision in one direction. The first subdetector is mounted close to the collision point, with the others following one behind the other over a length of 20 metres. With this, how our universe came to be is being explained!

DELPHI was one of the four large detectors on the Large Electron-Positron collider (LEP), the predecessor of the LHC. It took 7 years to design and build, and it started taking data in 1989. In December 2000, DELPHI and LEP was shut down for the LHC and LHCb detector to take their places.

DELPHI consisted of a central cylinder filled with subdetectors, with two end-caps. It was 10 metres in length and diameter, and weighed 3500 tonnes. The detector consisted of 20 subdetectors and it now acts as an exhibit right outside the LHCb detector.




RD51 is a Research & Development Collaboration at CERN with the aim of advancing the technological development and application of Micropattern Gas Detectors.

It aims at facilitating the development of advanced gas-avalanche detector technologies and associated electronic-readout systems, for applications in basic and applied research. Several CERN collaborations, such as ATLAS and CMS, use the gaseous detectores developed and tested at the RD51 collaboration to take data coming from the LHC.