Just a quick word about my visit to CERN over the weekend: not what I expected.
The CERN website is a bit ambiguous when it comes to defining expectations for visitors. I, for one, expected to visit at least one of the experiments and the Large Hadron Collider itself (that is, some section of it, not circle the whole 27km and go through passport control twice).
However, on arrival, we were shown a (very bad quality) introductory video, dated 2004 if I remember correctly, followed by a few words by a PhD student and a particle physics professor -our guides for the day.
We then split into two groups and went for a tour of the visitor centre -how exciting! A visitor centre! I always wanted to see how one of these looked like…
Another out-dated presentation followed, before we were allowed a sneak peek into the ATLAS control centre, where a few engineers were checking some monitors -even though the LHC was shut down, just like every winter due to high electricity costs.
And that was as close we would get to the magnets for the day. Nothing else. Nada. Not even a view from the shaft. Only a fake magnet section where we could take some photos (and, evidently, fool some of our friends on facebook ;-))
Some photos and maybe more details to follow in a subsequent post. For now, I will keep this item on my list, contrary to other, similarly misled CERN visitors…