Most of the cool stuff of Cern’s museum are not inside Globe but at the other side of the road at the Microcosm which is housed inside the Reception building. It is a museum dedicated to particle physics and usually there are guided tours but you can easily go around on your own and check slowly the exhibits although I guess a minimum of knowledge of physics will help you to enjoy more the exhibition.
I started by watching the 10’ long video about the LHC and dark matter and then checked almost every exhibit, obviously those who like accelerators, detectors and such stuff will get excited but I guess some people don’t really care about antiprotons, quarks and other phenomena with weird names :) There are some (a bit outdated) multimedia kiosks and panels where you can get info or/and play games on specific subjects. There are also many models but also equipment of old experiments that took place in CERN. I liked the IBM 3090 mainframe that was used from 1986 to 1991 to carry out simulations for experiments of that era, today’s PCs calculate 18 times faster!
Apart from particle physics there are many boards with info about the history of CERN, it’s interesting to know a bit about this place where thousands of scientists from all over the world work together. What’s more if you check the garden you will notice lot of large components of those old experiments (pic 5)
At the entrance of the reception there’s a small gift store while a small kiosk for coffee/snucks is located 30m away from the reception.
Monday to Saturday 9.00-17.00
Inside the Reception building of CERN, 50m from the parking lot
- Museum Visits
This giant wooden sphere is the landmark of CERN. It has several levels but in march 2013 only the ground level was open where you can see the exhibition called Universe of Particules. The last years the tram line 18 ends just in front of the entrance so it’s an easy 20’ ride from Geneva city center.
The Globe of Science and Innovation is 27 metres high and 40 metres in diameter made entirely of wood and has the shape of the planet.
Although not so interesting as the Microcosm at the other side of the road (also free) it was nice enough to spend an hour. Younger people will get excited with the setting, luminous spheres that work as kiosks with information, some of them are just chairs, there are sudden lights etc There’s a small 3D video about the history of universe, a bit outdated but it was nice to see. The area was full of school kids that were part of an organized tour so I decided to check Microcosm first then I returned, there were only 2-3 other people inside. According to the official site the purpose of the "Universe of particles" exhibition is for visitors to confront the great questions of contemporary physics, currently being explored by the CERN via the LHC and other accelerators.
Entrance is free
Monday to Saturday 10.00-17.00
- Museum Visits
This is something one sees only if he/she:
a) works at CERN himself/herself
b) has friends or relatives working there.
Mine’s case (b) so I was able to enter into buildings that are closed to general public. For example, into East Hall. This is where equipment for experiments is located and where experiments are actually conducted. My parents’ experiment, DIRAC, takes place in East Hall.
Apart from roaming around and looking at all kinds of funny equipment, the building offers another attractive feature in hot summers - it is almost invariably chilly inside.
Aquarium - 2
Once again an aquarium scene - and again it completely beats me. OK, I have never been that good in biology (despite getting top marks), but I can not figure out what precisely this thing (or any other one, for that matter) means. Still, you can spend your breakfast/lunch/dinner time in a pleasant conversation over what those things actually are.
Did not I tell you that you might find many strange and funny things lurking at CERN? Apart from scientists, that is:)))) Joking:)))
This one, for example, is a colorful aquarium, of a somewhat tropical nature. I confess to having difficulties identifying what is what inside what looks more like a colorful mess than anything else:)) But it is fun to look at anyway - and anyone visiting CERN can see it, because it is actually situated in the restaurant.
CERN honors scientists no matter when they lived. What better proof of the fact can there be than this - along the ones named after Isaac Newton, Gauss, Oppenheimer and many others, there?s a street dedicated to Democritus.
I shall add more details as soon as I can return to building this page!
Grapes and Wine
CERN is famous for science, but, if you notice just how many grapes grow nearby you would be surprised why all the scientists just do not drop science and do no start growing grapes and making a fortune in wine production:)))
Route I. Newton
CERN might be justly famous for its scientific achievements, but it should be no less so... for its originality. In fact, I do not remember a single street there that's not named after a famed scientist...
My hometown is a bit like that, but we do have other streets. This is Isaak Newton street - and he was named the most famous Briton ever lived!
Route C.F. Gauss
This is another of the CERN's science streets, this time named after C.F. Gauss.
I shall add more info here as soon as I can!