With Yandex at CERN, Search and Science Collide

A Russian search engine helps CERN hunt for elusive particles
CERN's Large Hadron Collider Photograph by Martial Trezzini/Corbis

As a physicist for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, Andrei Golutvin spends his days smashing subatomic particles into one another at the Large Hadron Collider, a ­16.8-mile ring of superconducting magnets buried 328 feet under Switzerland and France. The high-energy collisions of his experiment, one of four currently under way at the LHC, hint at the answers to some of nature’s greatest mysteries—and generate about 20 billion data points each year. Searching the enormous archive for collisions that match specific criteria can take hours.

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