Monday, February 15, 2010

Visit to CERN

One of my primary motivations of going to Geneva was being invited to tour the CERN facility. The Organisation Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire straddles the French and Swiss border and is home to the Large Hadron Collider, a giant particle accelerator deep underground.

Were you guys aware that I'm a major geek?

The visitor's centre plays host to an interactive and informative museum, accessible to different levels of student ability.

We are all made of stars!

Layout of the site

Model of the ALICE experiment

While visitors are no longer allowed access to the detectors underground, we were escorted to the ATLAS experiment control room to discover the particle detector. The magnitude of this experiment, both physically and in terms of data acquisition, is mind-blowing. A triumphant feat of civil engineering to install 7000 tonnes of equipment 100 metres underground.

Scientists hard at work on a Saturday in the ATLAS control room.

I'd like to thank the Visits Service of CERN for such an informative and exciting morning touring the facility.


  1. Wow, nerdy! ;)
    Seriously, great idea to pay a visit to the CERN, really; most people would simply go buy chocolate, clocks and bank accounts :) But no, you chose to pay a visit to the birthplace of the World Wide Web, and far that you deserve very many credits!
    Now, did you get a chance to witness a performance of the LHC Rap? :)

  2. I'm very glad I went! Even spent a few Swiss Francs in the gift shop...