This post is also available in: Ukrainian

This post has been translated for my English speaking friends and especially to Mary and her husband from Florida. Enjoy 🙂

    The morning started with a dead camera battery, which yesterday I’ve put in charger, setting it previously to zero. It appears that I’ve plugged it in the wrong socket. And today we have to go to CERN: a trip to the superconducting magnets factory and a descent to the Large Hadron Collider tunnel. Thank God it was 7 am and I managed to get both batteries charged. In the morning we went for a walk in Gex and buy ingredients for a pizza dinner. We had to be at CERN by 13.30.

Background: When the trip was planned and a list of places to visit in Geneva was charted, I asked my girl-friend Olga, what is interesting to see in the city.

    – CERN, she answered. Previously I heard about collider, but was never deep inside this topic. I’ve began to read blogs, it interesting to find out who else was there. Alexander Cheban adviced me to write to an insider: Andriy, originally from Kharkov, a Ukrainian city, who worked at CERN for three previous years. He had organized an excursion for Alexander and his friends in 2013. The answer to my letter came after a week, though I had no hope. By a happy coincidence in the days when we had to be in Geneva Andriy had time and opportunity to meet us and promised to organize a tour to the Large Hadron Collider. Just a day before the departure from Warsaw we had learned that the excursion will take place. Such a possibility cannot be missed because now the Collider is stopped for repairs for several years and the tunnel visits are allowed. When the Collider will start to work again – in 2015 – visiting it will be impossible. So, at 12 o’clock on 5th June we took the bus “F” Gex to Geneva. As always – no tickets J At a final stop on the Geneva railway station Gare Cornavin we changed to tram number 18, which finally took us to the CERN Globe (the Visitors center).

1. Exhibition “Universe of particles”.CERN

2. Humanity’s eternal questions.CERN

3. A magnificent hall. Here you can listen to and watch presentations in different languages.CERN

It is in the globe where we met at last with with Andriy. He told us about CERN, that here they focus on small things: atoms, molecules, neutrons, protons. I remembered the school course of physics and realized what the world around us is and how little we know about it. Except for the Higgs boson, as it turned out, CERN explores the clouds as they are formed, how antiparticles are created etc. Here the WWW was invented. Now the Proton Mail, the most protected mail system with dual triptofanom, is developed. I have already signed up to be a tester and I’m waiting for a prompt. And many other interesting things about which we cannot even guess.

CERN (the acronym from french “Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire”, the European Council for Nuclear Research) – the international research centre of the European Community, the world’s largest physics laboratory of high energies. It is located on the West of Geneva, on the border between France and Switzerland, at the foot of the mountain massif of Jura. The local geological and seismic conditions allow construction of the particle accelerators without any fears.

4.                     CERN

Our tour was as follows: first, Andriy showed us the territory of CERN as we had time, then at 15 o’clock he added us to a group with students from India 🙂 en route to the magnet factory and then down to the Large Hadron Collider.

5. A Museum under the open sky. Previously these items were active and accelerated protons or fixed them 🙂CERN

6.               CERN

7.             CERN

8. And this is where the web was invented. First the project, proposed by its “father” Tim Berners-Lee, was intended for internal use at CERN, but then it grew to immense proportions.CERN

9. The corridors and offices.CERN

10. Andrey shows the old archives. Nothing is secret. Everything is available!CERN

11.                                    CERN

12. Cemetery of computers, take them if you want. So many of them though are too old; only good for some museum of digital technologies.CERN

14. Next we went by bus to the magnet factory. There was a group of students from India, a married couple Mary and Don from Florida, a dad with daughter from Chicago, a guy from Texas and Vika from Ukraine. All the way on the bus I talked to Mary.CERN

15. SM18 (the so-called “magnet factory”, but actually it is not a factory), a unique facility at CERN for testing magnets and devices at very low temperatures (the lowest being 1.9 K) and at high current (20 kA). It is equipped with 10 stands for testing superconducting magnets in horizontal or vertical position.SM18

16. Our guide at the magnet factory was Erich Bracke. I have photographed him with the flash, he looked like Einstein J Furthermore I decided not to use the flash, though specially bought batteries already for 9 euros (30 UAH) 🙂Erich Bracke

17. He talked about the production of magnets and conductors and what they are.Erich Bracke

18. About the cooling, temperature, voltage, and much more. This student from India was the most curious (and we were probably the least 🙂Erich Bracke

19. Place for testing and “training” magnets at low temperatures.SM18

20.                             SM18

21. A section of accelerator parts.SM18

22.                                   SM18

   Next we went to Large Hadron Collider (LHC) (actually down to one of its detectors, the mighty CMS), the world’s largest accelerator of elementary particles. The accelerator lies in the tunnel (in the form of torus of length 27 km) at a depth of up to 175 metres (570 ft) below ground on the border of France and Switzerland near Geneva. As its name suggests, it is intended for acceleration of hadrons, in particular of protons and heavy ions. (Wikipedia). The task of the LHC is the study of the Higgs mechanism, search symmetry, the study of quark-gluon plasma, of the top quarks.

23.                                      Large Hadron Collider

24. We got the passes.We are at CERN

Large Hadron Collider accelerates the protons at relativistic speeds and collides them, so they can reproduce the conditions that existed in a fraction of a second after the Big Bang. According to the statistics, with 10^13 protons per beam, there 456’000’000 collisions (well, almost 500 million) per second: 2000 (beams) x 11400 (cycles per second) x 20 (the average number of collisions of the beams). And from all this, according to the working theory, for every trillion collisions only several Higgs bosons are produced. These particles are very unstable and quickly decay. It is assumed that the traces of their decay prove the existence of the Higgs boson.

25. Now accelerator has been stopped for maintenance. This is the CMS detector control room, manned 24×7.Large Hadron Collider

26.                    Large Hadron Collider

27. On the map You are here 🙂Large Hadron Collider

29.                    Large Hadron Collider

30. Here is our group, and not only ours, and an elevator behind, which takes us down to the tunnel with the detector.Large Hadron Collider

31. Such beautiful cabling!Large Hadron Collider

32. And this is our guide Alexander, he is a native of Georgia, studied in Moscow, and now works here.Large Hadron Collider

33. The work goes on everywhere.Large Hadron Collider

34. StairwellLarge Hadron Collider

35.           Large Hadron Collider

36. Servers of CMS.Large Hadron Collider

37. He is telling us about HLC.Large Hadron Collider

38. But I went away to take photos.Large Hadron Collider

39. CMS works with DELL servers.DELL

40. Here cables are not finalized. I hope it will be corrected. 🙂Large Hadron Collider

41. Retina eye scan for access. Here they filmed an episode of the “Angels and Demons”.Large Hadron Collider

42. And this is the door into the holy of holies….Large Hadron Collider

43. Wow!… The CMS detector. Actually 1 of 4 detectors: also there are Atlas, ALICE and LHCb (we did not get to the rest).Large Hadron Collider - CMS

44. Us 🙂We are at CERN

45.                    Large Hadron Collider - CMS

46.                  Large Hadron Collider - CMS

47.                           Large Hadron Collider - CMS

48.                            Large Hadron Collider - CMS

49. Attention,…radiation.Large Hadron Collider - CMS

50. Oh, and here too.Large Hadron Collider - CMS

51. Internal and emergency telephones.Large Hadron Collider - CMS

52. Defibrillator.Large Hadron Collider - CMS

53.                       Large Hadron Collider - CMS

54. A scale model of the CMS.Large Hadron Collider - CMS

55. Time to go up, time to return to the main campus.Large Hadron Collider - CMS

56. Some territory near LHC.Large Hadron Collider - CMS

   When we got back, Andriy was waiting for us with his wife, Daria. And we together with them continue a tour of CERN.

57. One of the buildings of the CERN campus. CERN

58. And how it looks on the inside..CERN

59. Mont Blanc was visible; it is the highest point of Europe.Mont Blanc

60. The restaurant is downstairs, the employees of CERN eat there. We also had a snack later.CERN dining room

61. But sometimes it looks like this (2013).CERN dining room

62. Before dinner we walked around the offices of the main building 500.CERN

63. A meeting room.CERN

64. Pictures of Nobel laureates on the walls.CERN

65. Daria, Vika, Andriy.CERN

66. Yarosh’s business card instead of radiation protection 🙂CERN

67. The main auditorium.CERN

68.                  CERN

69. Such places here.CERN

70.                     CERN

71. We decided to have a snack in the Restaurant 1. It is strange that they do not accept bank cards, only cash (franks and euros). The euros have a bad exchange rate and the change is given in franks. We both ate for 25 euros: 2 dishes of potatoes and vegetables, salad, tea and a glass of wine.CERN

72. We’re fed and happy. Yarosh’s business card is also happy. 😀CERN

73. Another control room: CLIC Test Facility (CTF).CERN

74.                     CERN

75. Prototype parts of the linear accelerator CLIC.CERN

76.                 CERN

77. This is the CLIC model which is planned, but unlikely to be built. If I am not mistaken, its length is to be 80 km.CERN

78. Scale model printed on a 3D-printer. 80 kilometers of this…CERN CLIC

79. A cut of the CLIC detector.CERN

80. Looking into other open offices.CERN

81.             CERN

82.                        CERN

83. Another control room.CERN

84. Low Energy Ion Ring (LEIR)b accelerator which uses ions of lead.CERN

85. Key switches.CERN

86. We liked the fact that that all TSN services are displayed on a big screen in the reception area. You can see their health stats. It would be interesting to communicate with the system administrators of CERN.CERN

87. And this is the web cluster.CERN

88. Bikes. Take it and goCERN

We walked around until dark, until the last bus home. The day was very interesting, positive, and full of new impressions, acquaintances, emotions and knowledge.

Many thanks to Andriy and his wife Daria for the tour, spent time and a wonderful mood! Hope to see you in Barcelona ; )


P.S. Thanks for the edits and tips snoop58 Winking smile

Stay tuned!

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