The CERN Open Days are already fading away, even though it was an adventure that already started in July 2018. I had the pleasure of coordinating the ATLAS activities for this 75k-visitors event together with Anna Sfyrla, Laetitia Bardo and a great team of about a dozen ATLAS members that helped us by coordinating one of our activities.
During the Open Days, which started with an underground-only family day on Friday afternoon and lasted until Sunday evening, almost 300 ATLAS members joined as volunteers to make the ATLAS activities – as far as I am concerned – a huge success.
Unfortunately, due to the cancellation of my original flight to Mexico and the resulting late arrival, an extremely persistent jet lag waking we up at around 3am each day, and the fact that I already had to leave on Friday, there wasn’t really any time to explore much of Mexico. So I could only see a bit of Puebla’s city centre and – through the conference excursion – the archeological site of Teotihuacan.
Quite an intense week with lots of physics (see timetable), little sleep, lots of Mexican food and many people to meet. If only Mexico wasn’t a twelve-hour flight away …
March is spring-conference time and ATLAS has presented some very nice results at the Moriond meeting in La Thuile over the past couple of days (and so have other experiments). Along with these results and the related publications we’ve been putting out several Physics Briefings highlighting some of the most interesting results and a summary piece.
In parallel, I’m at the spring meeting of the German Physical Society in Aachen this week. Our annual week with hundreds of talks and updates on particle physics in Germany and in general, this year enriched by talks on didactics and artificial intelligence.
On Tuesday I gave an invited-talk on “Searches for long-lived particles as signs of new physics at the LHC”, trying to convince a more people to join the hunt for long-lived particles ;)
The past ten days have been somewhat crazy (unfortunately the upcoming ones don’t seem to be calmer) …
From 4 to 6 October I joined the autumn meeting of the International Particle Physics Outreach Group (IPPOG) at CERN as the representative of the ATLAS Collaboration, listening to and discussing about worldwide efforts in particle physics science education and communication. IPPOG – a global network of scientists, science educators and communication specialists – welcomed four new members at the end of the meeting: Austria, Denmark, the LHCb Collaboration and the ALICE Collaboration. Amongst other things we had brainstorm session on possible new exhibits to improve and extend the IPPOG resource database and how to communicate the knowledge transfer from particle physics to society.
Last but not least, on 13 October we had our annual Open Day in Garching, this time incorporated into the 150 years TUM celebrations (who shouldn’t get any credits, because they didn’t print our activity in the official programme … buh!). Similar to last year’s event, we had the ground floor of the Institute for Advanced Studies and showed the ATLAS LEGO model, hosted a Build Your Own Particle Detector event/competition and had a little particle physics exhibition with live event displays from CERN, short movies about ATLAS and CERN, the Netzwerk Teilchenwelt button machine and loads of discussions. Finally we hosted a screening of ‘BBC Horizon – Inside CERN‘, a documentary about the ‘famous’ 750 GeV bump in 2015 LHC data, as well as an extensive question-and-answer sessions afterwards.
‘A New Supernova over Munich’, that’s the slogan of the ESO planetarium and visitor centre that opened recently. It’s not exactly above Munich, as Garching is a bit of a subway ride outside of town, but it’s certainly worth the trip!
They have a very nice permanent exhibition called “The Living Universe” which covers about everything from where we are to what we know about our Universe. There’s temporary exhibitions as well as a fantastic planetarium, with lots of different shows, on top of that. I’ve seen the “Phantom of the Universe” as well as “Two Small Pieces of Glass — The Amazing Telescope“, and they are both great movies. Obviously the former of the two has to be, as it features the ATLAS experiment and was in part done by ATLAS people (thanks for that).
The best part is, that both the exhibitions and the planetarium shows are (still) free of charge. So there’s really no excuse for not passing by!!
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