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Willem Klein, CERN computer, 1966

Willem Klein, CERN computer, 1966


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Willem Klein (1912-1986) calculating in 1966 at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. Klein, who was born in the Netherlands, was called a human calculator. He could perform complicated mathematical calculations with great accuracy and at great speed. He worked at CERN for 18 years, starting in 1958. In the early days, electronic computers were not very efficient and needed skilful programming, so Klein could often produce results faster. He set several world records for calculating integer roots for numbers of several hundred digits. Many key discoveries in particle physics have been made at CERN, which was founded in 1954.

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