Exhibition: Fibre optics, the future is at hand

Until 20 June, the Pont de la Machine in Geneva will host an exhibition on fibre optics, sponsored by SIG. CERN, a major user of this technology, was invited to take part with a presentation of some of its scintillating fibre detectors.


The CERN module, designed for the SIG's fibre optics exhibition. Visitors can discover a cosmic ray detector (on the right) and its oscilloscope (on the left), as well as one of the ALFA detector modules (at the back).

The Services industriels genevois (SIG), who are in the process of deploying an optical fibre network in Geneva, have decided to showcase this technology with an exhibition entitled “Fibre optique – Le futur à portée de main.” The exhibition, which will be open to the public from 26 April to 20 June, is being held at the Espace ExpoSIG, at the Pont de la Machine in the centre of Geneva.

“CERN’s Physics Department was approached by SIG at the start of this year to design one of the five modules that make up the exhibition,” explains François Vasey of PH. “The Department’s PH-DT and PH-ESE Groups decided to build a cosmic ray detector with detection electronics, a photomultiplier and an oscilloscope, specially for this occasion. In this way, people can witness cosmic rays being detected, live, as they visit the Pont de la Machine, showing them that those rays are constantly passing through all of us!” The date was well chosen: exactly one hundred years ago, the Austrian American physicist Viktor Francis Hess discovered cosmic rays.

Fibre optics are in very wide use at CERN, not just for transferring data but also for particle detection. “This exhibition gives us a chance to demonstrate CERN’s expertise in developing and applying fibre optics in particle physics,” adds François Vasey. “That’s why we decided to show one of the modules of the ALFA detector (Absolute Luminosity for ATLAS), which is also based on this technology. After the exhibition, it will revert to its role as a spare module."

Espace ExpoSIG
Pont de la Machine 1
1204 Genève
0844 800 808

Monday to Friday 9 am to 6 pm
Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm

Admission free

by Anaïs Schaeffer