Experience ATLAS on the surface

The new high-tech ATLAS Visitor Centre was officially inaugurated on 23 February. Located next to the ATLAS control centre at Point 1, it boasts some technology to rival its neighbour.

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The centre is overflowing with fun, interactive activities.

Juliette Davenne, left, who designed the new centre, demonstrates some of the high-tech facilities.

There is an impressive array of touch sensitive screens, projectors and displays in Building 3162 at Point 1, but this isn’t the ATLAS control room, it is next door in the brand new ATLAS Visitor Centre.

The glass divide between the control centre and the visitor centre will allow tours to see how the detector is really monitored and controlled. They will then get the chance to hunt for their own Higgs particle, turn themselves into antimatter or try and beat the ATLAS trigger.

"The success of a tour depends on the enthusiasm of the tour guide," said Peter Jenni, the spokesperson of ATLAS, as he introduced the new centre and congratulated Juliette Davenne on her design and realization. "We hope that with this new centre it will be impossible not to be enthusiastic."

Since last year public tours have not been able to visit the cavern itself, so the visitor centre has been designed to recreate the amazing experience. There is a motion sensitive screen where tour guides can take their visitors on a virtual tour of the cavern and upstairs there is a 3D film of the making of ATLAS.

Training will be given to the tour guides on how to get the most out of the new facilities, and tours will start visiting the centre immediately.