Category Archives: Outreach


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Conference picture taken from

This week, I had the pleasure of participating in the 7th edition of the Large Hadron Collider Physics Conference (LHCP) in Puebla, Mexico.

Besides talking about latest updates on “Searches for long-lived particles in ATLAS” and “Particle Physics Outreach as a Strategic Pillar for Society: A report from IPPOG”, as well as presenting posters on “Communicating ATLAS: adapting to an ever-changing media landscape” and “ATLAS Outreach: on the dissemination of High Energy Physics and Computer Sciences“, I also had the chance to see a – way too tiny – bit of Mexico during the week.

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 …

Continue reading LHCP2019

Visiting ATLAS

With loads of data – collected during the past four years of Run 2 – in our pockets, ATLAS managed to produce a multitude of very interesting results and has now started Long Shutdown 2 (LS2), a two-year-long maintenance and upgrade phase to prepare ATLAS for the future. The latter includes both Run 3, coming up in 2021, and the high luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) scheduled for 2026. We’ll be covering all the upgrade activities on the ATLAS website over the coming months.

With the LHC turned off, LS2 will also be a great chance for anybody to visit ATLAS (starting from May this year). Last week I managed to renew my underground training and therefore had the chance to see our beauty myself (see pictures) after quite some time.
Besides the visits there is also lot’s of other things happening this year … CERN Open Days, a new ATLAS Visitor Centre, lots of new results … just to name a few.

ATLAS Visitor Centre reborn

In case you happen to run an exhibition design company, why don’t you have a look at my first ever European CERN price enquiry for the “Design and Construction of the new ATLAS Visitor Centre“, released just a few minutes ago (deadline 19 November 2018).

ATLAS has been thinking about a new ATLAS Visitor Centre (current version seen in the picture above) for a couple of years already, but it seems we are finally getting close. I had the pleasure of learning how to prepare the relevant documents and the politics behind them (thanks to those that helped me) and will continue to lead this effort from the ATLAS side. We hope to have a new Visitor Centre by summer 2019, well enough in time for next year’s CERN Open Days (14/15 September 2019).

I’m very much looking forward to what people will come up with and many more things to learn in the process …

IPPOG meeting,
ATLAS Week, Open Day

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.

From 8 to 12 October I was at CERN for the ATLAS Collaboration Week as well as lots of other meetings. In an intensive though productive outreach session, we dedicated a large fraction of the time to the status of and future plans for ATLAS Open Data. On Thursday we had 39 students from LMU Munich over for a full-day visit to CERN, in particular the  Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) Control Room, the CERN Control Centre, the magnet-test facility (SM18) as well as the ATLAS Visitor Centre. And … hohoho … I witnessed a very special VIP (white-bearded guy dressed in red) visit to ATLAS last week ;)

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.