It is a domain name registered by CERN, a research organization based in Switzerland.
CERN stands for the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire which translates to European Council for Nuclear Research.
The acronym "CERN" was originally used as an abbreviation meaning "accelerating existing nuclei" but is now also understood to mean "cern" or "see neutron".
The domain name was registered in 1993.
CERN, short for European Organization for Nuclear Research, is a particle physics laboratory. It was the birthplace of the World Wide Web, and it's still going strong.
Why do we need .cern?
There are a number of interesting facts associated with CERN:
It is a cultural landmark in Geneva. Almost everyone who uses the World Wide Web knows about CERN and the World Wide Web.
It has an interesting history (e.g., it partly runs on a custom operating system called Anthurium.
It has a strong community of users, which means that it is better to have a domain name that can support them.
What we didn't know until recently is that there's also a physics lab in China named after CERN: The Chinese Academy of Science CERN REsource Center.
It's a logical domain name to register for a physics lab, and the Chinese settled for cern.ch.
I don't think it's a dangerous decision since namespaces are orthogonal, but it feels special because .cern is shorter and sounds better than .ch. We can decide whether we want to use it for the CERN physics lab, the CERN itself, or any other entity associated with CERN by setting up DNS records.
Who uses .cern?
There are many reasons to use the CERN TLD:
To market CERN-related products and services.
To show your affiliation with CERN.
To communicate with researchers at CERN.
To host CERN-related names.
In other words, many people can benefit from using .cern, including:
Physics labs that want to be associated with the original birthplace of the World Wide Web -- a physics lab in Switzerland where they do experiments involving beams of particles which they accelerate to nearly the speed of light and smash together.
Measuring equipment manufacturers who want to identify their products with the best of particle physics technologies, while also associating themselves with CERN, the birthplace of the World Wide Web.
Physics companies want to show that they provide services or investment opportunities in cutting-edge research.
What is some restriction?
The .cern domain name is restricted to non-commercial use so individuals cannot register a .cern domain name.
Private persons must not use the CERN TLD as part of their domain names, email addresses, or web pages.
Hence private persons are advised to avoid registering CERN-related domains, but certain commercial entities e.g., CERN partners, may register a .cern domain name.
The CERN TLD can be used in new domains or domain names that are already registered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Third-level domain names must not directly imply any association with CERN unless the registrant is duly authorized by CERN to do so.
Does this mean that .cern is not open for anyone?
No, not exactly. Any legal entity may register a .cern domain name.
For example, CERN itself has registered cern.ch in order to support its partners in Switzerland who are interested in registering their machines with the .cern domain name rather than registering them under .ch.
There are some legal entities, however, that are NOT allowed to register their names under the .cern domain name, e.g., individuals and private companies.
Request password reset
Please fill out your email. A link to reset password will be sent there.