CERN is home to lots of experiments and collaborations. CLOUD is an experiment that uses a chamber to study the possible link between cosmic rays and cloud formation. The experiment is based at the Proton Synchrotron; this is the first time a high-energy physics accelerator has been used in the study of atmospheric and climate science. CLOUD's results could greatly modify our understanding of our planet's climate.Further links:
- Bulletin article: Happily CLOUDy
- Overview of the CLOUD experiment
- The Register: CERN's cosmic cloudmaker cranks up
- TRF: Cosmic rays will create clouds at CERN
- TRF: CLOUD on cloud number nine
The results will arrive "fairly quickly" and detailed quantitative summaries of the experiment will emerge in 2010.
If you have gotten to this point and listened to the interview, I actually recommend you the article at The Register, especially the graphs showing the extraordinary correlation of the cosmic rays with temperature in the last 2,000 and 550 million years, while the temperature and CO2 were pretty much uncorrelated.
Concerning the "really big" experiment, note that the LHC may start collisions as early as next week.