Visit to CERN
I am currently in Switzerland on a business trip. In between work, I managed to get some time over the Swiss national holiday to visit the CERN. CERN is world famous for the invention of WWW and of course most recently, the almost certainty that the Higgs Boson (aka. “The God Particle”) - the particle that gives energy mass - exists.
The CERN tour is completely free and highly recommended. I visited the Atlas experiment with a colleague (who just so happened to have a Phd. in Physics) and questions were encouraged at every turn. What impressed me the most was the fact that there was no stupid questions. You can be a Phd weilding Physicist or a child and each question was handled the same by the staff. The guide (an active researcher at CERN) even expressed disappointment at the Higgs:
“We would have liked to have learned something we didn’t already know”
The tour itself has a video on CERN’s mission and then we had a video of the ATLAS experiment, along with seeing the ATLAS control room. The Globe was closed for renovation unfortunately, but the Microcosm exhibit with a lot of the technology pioneered by CERN was on display. I have to admit as a computer scientist, the technological feats strike me more then the physics ones. It’s safe to say I have crossed a must-see off of my list in visiting CERN!