I hope everyone who attended the Flamsteed trip to CERN in Geneva enjoyed themselves this weekend. Hopefully you will all have a safe journey home (I’ve just arrived back).
It would be great if you could share your experiences on the forum, for the benefit of other members.
From my own perspective, though it was my second trip inside 9 months, I still thoroughly enjoyed the visit. A shame that, once again, we couldn’t get underground (though I hadn’t expected to be defeated by out-of-order lifts!), but the facilities that we did visit were fascinating.
Dinner at the Cafe du Soleil was very pleasant. Thanks to all who came along, and for being such good company.
A few people have asked about future society trips… to venues other than CERN. Post your ideas here!!
A few photos from the CERN trip:
Higher-resolution pictures are on my Flickr page:
In short, Katie and I really enjoyed the visit. We both learned a lot, though I won’t pretend I’m any the wiser about what ‘super-symmetry’ is. I suspect it means that a beer is just as expensive in the bar as it is from the hotel room mini-bar but I might be wrong.
Here’s a photograph that really amazed us: it’s the first page of Tim Berners-Lee’s 1989 proposal for what would become the world wide web. Note the hand-written annotation at the top: “Vague but exciting … ”
Hmm. I obviously know even less about Flickr than I do about super-symmetry. I’ll figure this out later today and get this and other photos uploaded properly when I have more time…
Hi Andy, so glad that you enjoyed the trip… despite the cost of beer!
I’ve edited your picture link above… when using Flickr, you need to link to the static version of the image (BBCode)… otherwise, you just get linked to the main Flickr page.
Right. I think I’ve cracked the Flickr thing now. Deleting ‘_s’ at the end of the URL seems to do the trick. So – back at CERN, our guide uses shadow puppets to explain about the discovery of the Higgs Boson
Meanwhile, over in the Universe of Particles exhibition, a strange creature seems to be coming to life.
Anyone looking to treat themselves to a good read after the CERN trip could do a lot worse than the book I bought at the gift shop – The Large Hadron Collider: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Universe by Martin Beech. It’s available on Amazon, of course.
I’ve been dipping in and out of it since Saturday afternoon. It’s pretty comprehensive in terms of covering the history and the science – and the history of the science (Planck, Rutherford, Bohr, etc) – as well as the astronomical relevance. The diagrams and text are certainly not dumbed down, but are presented in a way that is still very accessible by someone such as me, whose high school physics was a very, very long time ago (though my GCSE Astronomy is still pretty fresh in my mind). There’s even an interesting anecdote about a court case in Hawaii brought by some people who wanted the launch of the LHC to be cancelled in case it created a black hole that killed us all.
The only downside to the book is it was written in 2010, so it predates the discovery of the Higgs particle but it clearly sets out the ground for it. However, that’s a trivial omission in the context of a book that I think does a great job mapping the particle physics research with the astronomical research (the hunt for dark energy, etc) and the quest for a theory of everything.
Although it maybe so late to give a comment after 11 days, it’s still fresh for me, so especial thanks to Mike Meynell for sorting out and his leadership on such a great and unforgettable trip, at the first.
For the future society trips, I suggest the following:
0) CERN Underground where was off that day as the rest of our trip,
1) Another six LCH places which have, some how, different actions,
2) European Space Agency in Paris (ESA) where controls Planck (spacecraft) mission (search Cosmos 13.6 billion years ago),
3) International Bureau of Weight & Measures (Paris) where sets Coordinated Universal Time (UTC),
For our society, I hope that;
1) We can have a Cosmology group as soon as possible,
2) We have an e-mail server with domain name of our Society / Observatory to give the members an ID,
Thanks to all.
Thanks for your kind comments about the organisation of the trip. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
Thanks also for your suggestions regarding future trips. As regards CERN, the long shut down period is on schedule, so the LHC will begin power-up tests in August. This means that access underground will, once again, be restricted. In addition, I couldn’t guarantee that we wouldn’t visit the same facilities again. The next “long shut down” is planned for 2018… and my gut feel is that we concentrate on other locations for trips until that long distant date!
A trip to ESA sounds fascinating… I hadn’t thought of that one! I’ll certainly look into this. As regards the weights & measures trip, I’m not aware that the BIPM allow tours, but I could be wrong.
Thanks for your other points regarding the society. Additional special interest groups have been discussed, but we are already doing a vast amount as a society, and it is difficult to envisage how we can find the time and resources to run another group at present. By the end of this season, we would have organised 70 events (September to August). However, if we get volunteers to run this group and we can find time in the programme, then it could be done.
We’d have to discuss further the email question. I’m not certain what advantages it gives the society or its members. Perhaps you could clarify.
BBC story today about recent findings and the imminent restart of the LHC at CERN…
For such a massive project, it is impressive that they seem to be right on schedule for their planned restart. For the project planning geeks, there is a nice page on the CERN website detailing the plans for the “Long Shutdown 1“.
It looks like the power up tests start in August this year, as I previously mentioned.
Long Shutdown 2 is planned from July 2018 and will last for 18 months. Then Long Shutdown 3, that will see the implementation of the “High luminosity” LHC, is planned to start in 2023 and last for 30 months. This increases the rate of collisions by a factor of 10 beyond its original design value.
A report of our trip to CERN, with a couple of accompanying videos, is now online:
After re-apologising for coming back late here, Many thanks to you for considering my all suggestions or in fact, dreams -;)). About the CERN underground, yes of course, you are right and it was the reason I had pointed with “0” number :D. Hope we can go to all scientific places suggested by Observatory and its members.
About my points,
1) since I was a Cosmology student in this country, I do try to get involved and help as far as I can. Decision depends on the Society for its opening time. I will send another suggestions to you later.
2) about our unique e-mail (domain), the advantage is: when some of us want to publish any kind of paper/report to an Astronomical journal/magazine/seminar … this unique domain shows our community to the public and causes our credit raise up. Exactly the same situation as all universities where each department has its own domain name.
These are only initial ideas which I have considered the possibility of them, only.
I have some CERN pics but I don’t know how I can put it here. I sent them to you but, they were rejected ! If you don’t mind, I can send again.
Hi Seyed. Thanks for your post. To upload photos to here you have to…
(1) Use a Flickr account to upload your photos.
(2) From Flickr, click on ‘Share this photo’ and, in the pop-up box, select BBCode. Then also select the size you want to use (one of the ‘medium’ settings is usually about right).
(3) The box below that will have several URLs strung together in one line. Select the part inside that string that looks like this and copy it: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5475/14433783302_c2ebb6ed0a.jpg (You’re copying from https://farm through to .jpg)
(4) Go into the Forum and start making a post.
(5) Click on the ‘img’ button at the top of the posting box.
(6) Paste in the URL you copied from Flickr.
(7) Enter a short description of the photo if you want to.
(8) Click ‘OK’
It’s not easy the first couple of times, but you soon get the hang of it!