Entries - N


Use the full name on first mention, just the surname thereafter. Do not use titles:

John Smith is leading the particle-acclerator team. "I hope to accelerate lots of particles," says Smith.

For middle initials add a full stop and a space after each capital letter:

E. O. Wilson is a famous evolutionary biologist.



Use a capital letter when you are writing the names of places, and words relating to them:

Africa, African
China, Chinese
England, Englishman
France, He speaks French

See capital letters



Lower case.



Use "ndashes" – like these – to separate clauses in sentences. The HTML code to use is – Use hyphens elsewhere (compound adjectives, for example). 

The particle detector – housed in a custom-built cavern 100 metres below ground – is made up of concentric subdetectors. 

grammar, style


One word, whether adjective or adverb: the pub nearby; the nearby pub

spelling, style


Plural: neutrinos.

A neutral subatomic particle with a mass close to zero and half-integral spin, which rarely reacts with normal matter. Three kinds of neutrinos are known, associated with the electron, muon, and tau particle.



A subatomic particle of about the same mass as a proton but without an electric charge, present in all atomic nuclei except those of ordinary hydrogen.


Nobel prize

Nobel prize in physics, Nobel prize in literature, Nobel peace prize etc.

See nobelprize.org for detailed information about Nobel laureates including biographies and full transcriptions of their acceptance speeches. 


non-discriminatory language

As an international organization, CERN has to take care in its texts to avoid any impression of discrimination with regard to gender, race, culture, nationality, religion, etc.

Sometimes, offence may be caused inadvertently where the reader and the author have different sensitivities. The most frequent example of this, and one which is being addressed throughout the United Nations system of organizations, is gender bias.

See gender



It is a (persistent) myth that "none" has to take a singular verb: plural is acceptable and often sounds more natural, eg "none of the current squad are good enough to play in the Premiership", "none of the issues have been resolved"



A proton or neutron.




When applied to countable objects, spell out numbers below 10:

  • There are four large detectors at the LHC.
  • The LHC construction project had three phases.

For 10 and above, use digits. Numbers up to 9999 do not take a comma. Numbers with five digits take a comma every three digits. So it’s:

One, nine, 10, 100, 1001 and 9999, but 10,000 or 564,381 or 1,057,983.

Try to avoid putting numbers at the start of a sentence, but if it’s unavoidable, spell them out.


You are here