Irène Jacob visits CERN

French actress Irène Jacob, the daughter of physicist Maurice Jacob, visited the ATLAS and CMS control rooms on Monday 17 May together with Italian theatre actor-director Pippo Delbono, in search of inspiration for a short film. The film will be screened at the “nuit des particules” event accompanying this year’s ICHEP.


Pippo Delbono et Irène Jacob discussing their project.

La nuit des particules” (night of the particles) is an event open to the general public that is being organised for the evening of Tuesday, 27 July, to accompany the 35th International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP). ICHEP is a major highlight in every physicist’s calendar, and this year’s edition is being held in Paris from 22 to 28 July.

The short film will be screened during the evening, which will include a lecture and a show at the legendary Parisian cinema Le Grand Rex, with a colossal seating capacity of 2 700 spectators (not necessarily all physicists!). With such a venue at their disposal, the organisers naturally looked for a way to combine the two themes of science and cinema. They approached Irène Jacob with a proposal to produce a short film about CERN, and she took it to Pippo Delbono. “Our idea is to make a ten-minute film, which will be about sensations, not explanations," she explains. “We didn’t want to create a documentary—after all, the evening will be attended by a great number of scientists—but rather a celebration.”

With this in mind, the two film personalities came to CERN to get a feel for the place. Irène, of course, already knows CERN very well and has many fond memories of it. “For me, CERN is a very familiar place. The way some people remember their father’s study when they were children, I remember blackboards covered in formulas. I was there during the LEP days, wearing the T-shirt that said 'LEP’s do it!’ I've always indirectly shared the physicists' enthusiasm for research," she recalls. These perceptions will be echoed in the film. “The important thing will be to bring the research to life, in a way that is appealing and personal," she explains. “The film will be very lyrical. I wrote the text together with Pippo, and will read it out accompanied by a guitar.”

Shooting for the film is currently in progress. You won’t want to miss it, if you have an opportunity to attend the nuit des particules.

For more information:


by CERN Bulletin