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IBM 709 computer being unloaded at Cointrin Airport, Geneva, Switzerland in November 1960. It is to be used in CERN. In 1954 CERN, the European particle physics laboratory was founded in Switzerland. Its work using high-energy particle accelerators has led to many key discoveries in the field of sub- atomic particles and high-energy physics. The IBM 709 was oriented specifically towards scientific work. It was introduced in 1958 and used a 36-bit instruction format, with a 3-bit prefix, 15-bit decrement, 3-bit tag and 15-bit address. Like its predecessor, the 704, it used floating-point arithmetic.
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