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CERN inaugurates its new permanent "Universe of Particles" exhibition

Geneva, 15 June 2010. CERN1 has recently started operating the LHC, one of the most sophisticated scientific tools ever built to explore new territories of knowledge. To share this exciting adventure with the general public, CERN is opening a visitor centre that is as high-tech and futuristic as its accelerator.

The "Universe of Particles" exhibition, installed in the Globe of Science and Innovation, will be previewed to the media on 25 June.

The entire Universe is made up of particles. But where do they come from? What laws govern their behaviour? The purpose of the "Universe of particles" exhibition is for visitors to confront the great questions of contemporary physics, currently being explored by the CERN via the LHC and other accelerators.

CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer underlines: "It's vital for us to reach out to society and explain our research aims and the associated spinoffs. This visitor centre, built with the generous support of Rolex, is an essential part of our outreach and education strategy."

Bruno Meier, CEO of Rolex SA, said: “At Rolex we believe in the importance of supporting excellence in research and high-level creative endeavours. We are proud, as part of our philanthropy programme, to play a part in supporting the extraordinary work of CERN and bringing it to a wider public both in Switzerland and around the world.”

The exhibition's innovative design plunges the visitor into the fascinating world of particles, from the infinitesimally large to the infinitesimally small, from the Big Bang to the present day. The bewildering environment is designed to force visitors to abandon conventional ideas and contemplate a field of research beyond their common experience.

They will traverse luminous spheres representing the Universe of particles, each one containing an interactive kiosk illustrating CERN's quest for knowledge and recounting the international cooperation and technological advances which underpin this incredible research venture. At regular intervals, spectacular video shows recount the history of the Universe.

Knowledge sharing is one of CERN's prime objectives. Every year the Laboratory plays host to more than 35,000 visitors and gives training courses to hundreds of students and teachers. CERN's new emblem, the Globe of Science and Innovation is a crossroads where science and society meet.

"Thanks to this new exhibition, the Globe will play an even greater role in CERN's communication to the general public," explains Rolf Landua, Head of CERN's Education, Visits and Exhibitions group. "In parallel, the Globe will become the starting point for CERN visits."

Rolex SA is the project's sole sponsor.

Schedule for the inauguration of the "Universe of Particles" exhibition

  • Friday 25 June 2010 at 10.00 a.m.: "Universe of Particles" will be previewed to the media. Please register by sending an e-mail to press.office@cern.ch, indicating your name and that of your media.
  • Monday 28 June at 3.00 p.m.: Official inauguration by the CERN Director-General and the CEO of Rolex SA.
  • Thursday 1 July at 10.00 a.m.: Open to the public. Open Mondays to Saturdays from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Entrance free.


CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. It has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Romania is a candidate for accession. Israel is an Associate Member in the pre-stage to Membership. India, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have Observer status.