When it comes to Switzerland, imagination brings to mind pacify picture without rush or over-hastiness. In a country, where time has stopped, they build a machine to accelerate the pace. I visited the world’s largest particle collider – Large Hadron Collider – just before it has restarted since long pause.
The tram number 18 drive me slowly from the main train station to CERN, situated 8km west of Geneva. It takes around half an hour to get to European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Most probably we cross 27km circular tunnel, where they accelerates protons. It lay 50 to 175 meters beneath Franco-Swiss border and pass through gardens, houses and shops. Strange to realize that somewhere down there millions of particles tear along in Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to crash into each other.
I booked the excursion (free of charge) to LHC a month before my trip on the official site. But there were no already any place left for English tour, so I choose one in French language. Luckily someone didn’t come, so in the visitor center they allow me to switch into English group. Otherwise I wouldn’t understand a thing in a field that I don’t understand at all.
More than 20 visitors are placed in a room, where the guide with strong Italian accent give an introduction of CERN. He is actually a scientist with great work experience. After a short video we heading as closest as we can get to the Large Hadron Collider. Operations centre looks unexpectedly small and empty. Only one worker is siting among numerous computers and … watching some movie. When we came, he hide his Ipad and move down legs from the table.
The biggest detector – Atlas – is 46 meters long construction, covered with 3000 km of cable. Computer network fix the details of crash of particles. The data being analyzed in 140 computing centers in 35 countries. Scientists interested in finding some unknown particles coming out collide. Like Higgs boson, that was discovered in 2012. This research can widen the knowledge about our universe. Of course visitors can’t see the detector, but the room, where they show us 3D film, is situated very close to Atlas.
The last part of excursion takes place in the historic area of CERN, just across the road. Its here, where the European Organization for Nuclear Research was founded in 1954. European scientists choose picturesque part of Switzerland close to Lake Geneva for rebuilding science after the war. And the first important achievement of the labatory was creating the World Wide Web in in 1989. We are heading inside a room to have a look at prototype of LHC. Here it is.
After 2-hours long excursion we came back to Geneva. From now on this city assosiate with everything else, but tranquility.