This week, our new section dedicated the local cultural scene in Geneva took us to the amazing world of particles. We went to an event organised by CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research): Researchers’ Night at CERN

It is a universe made of atoms and particles where design, projections and robotics workshops come together. Ladies and gentlemen,  fasten your seatbelt, we are taking off shortly!

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Robotics Workshop at CERN

To start off, we went to the Robotics Workshop. Into small groups, we worked on programming a small robot called Poppy, an amazing “toy” which kept us dreaming about endless possibilities.

With the help of computers and CERN scientists, we were able to </code> some simple tasks. Throwing a ball, writing or catching an object were the orders Poppy received from us. That was a great introduction to the robotics world, with guidance from committed and passionate staff.

Visiting the Globe

CERN Globe

Off to the Globe! Designed by T. Büchi et H. Dessimoz, both from Geneva, the Globe showcased Swiss carpenters’ art and pushes the boundaries of wooden construction.

Previously known as “Palais de l’Equilibre”, built on Neuchatel lake shore for Expo.02, the Science and Innovation Globe was given its final location in 2004 when the Swiss Confederation donated it to CERN.

On the ground floor you may find “Univers des Particules”, a permanent spectacular and interactive exhibition. This surreal room transported us to the particles’ world and the laboratories’ activities.

Plunged into darkness and intrigued by colour variations, ranging from blue to green, we could see fluorescent objects taking shape in front of us. Atoms and particles were mixing around exquisite playful and digital tools. The atmosphere and different modules were the perfect introduction to the particles’ universe.

Off to the 1st floor, we discovered a dome-shaped auditorium seating 250. It really gives visitors a unique and unforgettable feeling. We were able to attend two projections: “Ten Things to Know about Body Tech” and “David Attenborough’s Light on Earth”.

We could not leave without trying out the virtual reality goggles, they were waiting for us! After putting them on, we were immersed in all symbolic CERN places – and felt like a proper researcher!

 

Visiting the CERN’s Atlas

We made a group visit of the huge Atlas with a scientist and guide from CERN. After passing by the control room, we landed in the 3D screening room where we were able to use our goggles again.

Unfortunately the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) was being used at the time, so we had a partial view of the place. Oh well, we’ll save it for next time: we enjoyed the experience so much that we’ll definitely be back to go underground to pay a visit to the technology giant.

 

Pancakes, workshops, off we go

Event CERN

CERN had it all planned: some nice food trucks escorted us on our way out! What better way to end such an evening than eating warm pancakes under a starry night, with the Globe’s enchanting atmosphere nearby!

We ended our adventure by visiting a few tents which surrounded the Globe.

And that was the end! We really enjoyed talking to researchers, testing machines and using scientific tools. It was great to visit the Globe and its stylish room, try out VR and learn to program our new friend, Poppy.

Kudos to the organisers, we can’t wait for the next event! If you enjoyed reading about our visit and would like to join us on our next one, give us a shout!

Photo univers des particules Genève Architecture