CERN Turns 50

Five decades of breakthroughs, from the W particle to the World Wide Web

2 min read

On 29 September, the particle physics laboratory in Geneva known as CERN--the European Organization for Nuclear Research--celebrated its 50th birthday. In the past half century, CERN has emerged as the world's preeminent laboratory for the study of elementary particles, and it serves today as a focal point of European pride.

At present, CERN is building the most powerful particle accelerator yet, the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, which is set to switch on in 2007 and put the finishing touches on what physicists call the Standard Model--the basic theory of how the fundamental forces and particles interact [see photo, " Tunnel to the Future"]. Two decades ago, CERN scientists were honored with a Nobel Prize for their discovery of the W and Z particles, a major milestone along the way to achieving a unified view of the physical world.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
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A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
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You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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