CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is located along the Franco-Swiss border, near Geneva, Switzerland. CERN is home to the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest particle accelerator, where collisions of protons and other ions are observed and recorded.
In 2012, scientists at the LHC announced the discovery of the Higgs boson, a particle that scientists believe may act upon matter to transfer mass. The standard model of particle physics, developed in the 1970s, states that the universe is composed of 12 matter particles and four forces. Among the 12 particles, six are in the quark family, which makes up protons and neutrons, and six are in the lepton family, making up electrons and the electron neutrino. This model also includes four forces: gravity, electromagnetic, strong and weak.