The United Kingdom was one of the founding members of CERN in 1954. UK engineer John Adams led the construction of the CERN PS and SPS accelerators; he served as Director General 1960-1961 and again from 1971-1980. Tim Berners-Lee developed the World Wide Web while working at CERN in the late 1980s, and Christopher Llewellyn-Smith oversaw the start of the LHC project as Director General from 1994 until 1998.
CERN has been the major laboratory for UK particle physicists who have been involved in all the major experiments and discoveries at CERN: discovery of neutral currents at the Gargamelle bubble chamber, the discovery of the W and Z particles at the proton-antiproton collider, and the rich harvest of results from the Large Electron Positron (LEP) collider. Today, nineteen Universities in the UK are active in experimental particle physics, supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Rutherford Appleton and Daresbury Laboratories. The experimental activities are complemented by a thriving community in theoretical physics.
Almost all of the UK institutes are involved in at least one of the major LHC experiments, ATLAS, CMS, LHCband ALICE. The UK has been at the forefront of the emerging Grid computing technologies through its national “e-science” programmes and strong involvement in the international Grid activities.