CERN: the star of the Automnales

View of the CERN stand at the Automnales. (Image: Daniel Dominguez/CERN)

Grab your friends and neighbours and take a wander around the Automnales. In between tasting longeole sausage and watching a demonstration of amazing kitchen gadgets, introduce them to CERN. This year, CERN is the guest of honour at Geneva’s huge local fair, which will take place at Palexpo from 10 to 19 November. It’s an opportunity for us to present CERN to people who would never have thought of visiting the Laboratory otherwise.

The CERN stand, whose structure represents a particle collision, will consist of 1000 square metres of exhibits and activities. Your friends and family will have the chance to find out all about the particle physics adventure and to meet researchers and other CERN personnel. All aspects of fundamental research and its applications will be presented using exhibits, activities, films, quizzes and even virtual reality headsets.

Everyone, regardless of their age or previous knowledge, will find activities to suit them. No fewer than 160 volunteers from CERN have offered to give their time to introduce the Laboratory to the 150 000 people expected to visit the fair.

The theme of this year’s Automnales is “Passionately!” That’s very appropriate, since scientific research is a fascinating field driven by passionate people. Come and share that passion at our stand!

The Automnales will take place at Palexpo from 10 to 19 November and will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Admission will be free of charge after 7 p.m.

A limited number of invitations will be available for pick-up from Thursday 9 November at the Reception in building 33.
Maximum 5 per person, while stock lasts.

The CERN stand will be located in Hall 1 and will offer a wide range of activities.

Activities available throughout

  • Virtual reality tours - Duration: about 5 minutes.
    Virtual reality headsets will offer visitors the chance to see the LHC accelerator, a detector and the Data Centre up close.
  • Proton football - Duration: about 5 minutes.
    How can we make a Higgs at the Automnales? By playing proton football! Take a shot and try to make the protons collide with as much energy as possible.  
  • HEAL: protons fror health - Duration: about 5 minutes.
    A game designed to teach people about the role of accelerators in medicine.  
  • Info screens, posters, objects, etc. - Duration: a few minutes for each item.
    Multimedia screens, informative posters and various objects take visitors on a journey into CERN’s world.

Shows

  • Quiz and "CERN in 15 minutes" - Duration: 20 minutes. For ages 12 and up. In French.
    After taking part in a quiz to test what you know (or think you know) about the Laboratory, learn about CERN in five steps. This is followed by a public question and answer session.
  • Fun With Physics - Duration: 45 minutes. For ages 7 and up. In French.
    The surprising properties of liquid nitrogen: smash a rubber tube using a hammer or make a train levitate - it’s not magic, it’s science!  
  • The electric show - Hosted by the University of Geneva’s Physiscope - Duration: 45 minutes. For ages 10 and up. In French.
    What goes on inside the electrical circuits that power lamps or TVs? Is there any electricity in the air? Does the human body conduct electricity? Find out the answers to all these questions with the Electric Show!  
  • Virtual guided tours - Duration: 45 minutes. For ages 12 and up. In French.
    See the control rooms of the ATLAS, CMS and LHCb detectors in real time, and take the opportunity to ask the researchers about their daily work.  
  • Particle tracking - Duration: 45 minutes. For ages 12 and up. In French.
    Find out how we can use a pixel detector, just like those used in the LHC experiments, along with a normal tablet to observe some of the particles surrounding us.  

Activities for young audiences

  • Code science - Duration: 45 minutes. For ages 7 and up (minors must be accompanied by an adult). Places limited. Children will be taught how to programme a robotic arm or a touch screen, two technologies used every day at CERN.
  • Cloud chambers - Duration: 45 minutes. For ages 12 and up (minors must be accompanied by an adult). Places limited.
    Participants will have the chance to build their own particle detector and then use it, just a few minutes later, to observe the particles that are all around us, some of which come from space.
  • Physics at home - Duration: 15 minutes. For ages 6 and up (minors must be accompanied by an adult). Places limited.
    Fun experiments using household objects will demonstrate the principles on which CERN’s accelerators rely.

Film screenings (The programme will be shown on-screen. Free of charge, no reservation required.)

  • Bienvenue au CERN - Every 15 minutes. In French. A physicist presents all aspects of CERN.
  • Big science – Big data - Duration: 15 minutes. For ages 10 and up. In French. A short film about CERN’s incredible computing infrastructure, which is capable of collecting and storing tens of millions of gigabytes of data every year. 
  • Big science – Big Bang - Duration: 15 minutes. For ages 10 and up. In French. A short film about the LHC, the biggest particle accelerator in the world. 
  • Sur les routes de la science: le côté sombre de l'Univers - Duration: 47 minutes. For ages 12 and up. In French. The “ordinary” matter that we know about makes up only 15% of the matter in the Universe. The rest, referred to as “dark matter”, remains a mystery. Two journalists investigate.
  • Taming the quantum world - Duration: 46 minutes. For ages 14 and up. In English with French subtitles. The relationship between computing and quantum physics.
  • BBC horizon: Inside CERN - Duration: 59 minutes. For ages 12 and up. In English with French subtitles. The ups and downs of fundamental research, from the excitement of a possible discovery to the disappointment when the signals fade away.

 

(Video: Daniel Dominguez/CERN)