Science by night – it's magic!

The control rooms of the LHC and its experiments threw open their doors to 150 youngsters on European Researchers Night and the place was buzzing with excitement all evening! 

It's just possible that a few scientists' vocations were born last Friday night, as the sixth European Researchers Night took place across Europe. CERN was taking part for the first time and invited young people aged from 12 to 19 into the control rooms of the LHC machine and five experiments. From 5.00 in the afternoon until 1.00 in the morning, 150 youngsters and physics teachers got the opportunity to sit with scientists at the controls of the accelerator and experiments. This meeting of minds went down very well for all concerned, the scientists being only too happy to wax lyrical about their passion. The youngsters were thrilled with their visit and amazed at being allowed so close to the controls of these mighty machines. The night-time setting added an extra touch of magic to the whole event. Some just couldn't tear themselves away, some wanted to know what studies to follow in order to become a physicist, and others went home boasting they had found the Higgs boson (in a simulator, of course)!

A lucky few were interviewed on Swiss TV (TSR) or by the CERN video team for the webcast taking place in parallel at the Globe of Science and Innovation. CERN was connected not only to the LHC control rooms but to other laboratories and organisations around the world, including Frascati Scienza in Italy and the Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands. During an 8-hour show, in French and English, spectators connecting via the web were able to hear from Nobel Prize-winner George Smoot in Paris, visit the Ice Cube experiment at the South Pole and enjoy many other treats, including a guided tour of the world's laboratories, which helped make it a truly magical evening.

 For more photos of the European Researchers Night at CERN, click on each photo.

by CERN Bulletin