Open Days Guide for the CERN-savvy

Do you think you know your Laboratory? Been there, done that? Well then prepare to be proven wrong! The CERN sites are hosting some spectacular tours, demonstrations and events to surprise even the most well-versed of CERNois. Take a look.


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If you’re heading straight for the Main Building on arrival, make sure to take a detour through the CERN Workshop (Map: B1). But be warned: this will be a long detour! Spread across six distinct areas, the CERN Workshop is the first-stop shop for accelerator and experiment prototypes. Welding, drilling, precision measurements, mechanical tests and even element design: it’s all done here. Technicians will be at work on dozens of machines and will be ready to answer your questions. It’s your chance to see detector components while they're still works-in-progress ( let us know if you spot any CLIC pieces! ) and to satisfy your inner “Bob the Builder”.

Head over to the Low Energy Ion Ring (LEIR) (Map: D2) if you’re looking for an unusual (and un-ticketed) accelerator visit. This is the home of the LHC’s heavy ions and is also the site of the historic LEAR accelerator. CERN history buffs will also want to visit the just-opened Synchrocyclotron (SC) (Map: B2): the Laboratory’s first accelerator. This special "antique" is making its debut for the Open Days, after which it will become a permanent exhibition point, but if you want to get in while the paint’s still wet, go now!

The Low Energy Ion Ring (LEIR). (Map: D2).

If you’re just looking for a break from accelerators, we’ve still got you covered. Visit the International Village (Map: A7) and take a tour of a veritable alphabet-soup of organisations: from ESA to UNOG to the ITU, representatives from 10 organisations will be on hand to introduce their activities and answer your questions. At the heart of the village, you’ll find a lecture hall. Expand your horizons with talks from afar ("Live and Work in Space"), nearby (“The UN: a credible actor in a globalized world?”), and close to home (“CERN Digital libraries in developing countries”).

Interested in pursuing an activity well beyond the Open Days? Then you’ll want to check out the CERN Clubs site in Prévessin (Map: G2). Club members will be on hand to pitch their hobbies to fellow CERNois and to provide live demonstrations. The CERN Jazz and Music clubs are going all-out with a two-day Music Festival (Map: G4). This open-air event will see both professional and amateur musicians take to the stage performing a mix of classical music, jazz, folk and rock. There’ll be something for everyone.

Last but not least: take a Formula 1 tour in a Ferrari. Yes, you read that right. Head over to the Transport & Handling site (Map: B6) for your chance to get in the jump seat with a professional driver.

There’s a lot going on, so make sure to explore! Share your favourite or most unexpected Open Days experiences with us via We’ll include the best stories in the next issue of the Bulletin.

by Katarina Anthony