Origins 2013 and CERN Open Days

What a weekend, what a weekend! I am dead, but it was great!

After driving the institute car from Copenhagen to Berlin (Monday), from Berlin to Frankfurt (Tuesday) and from Frankfurt to Geneva (Wednesday); I finally arrived at CERN on Wednesday afternoon last week. It took two and a half days, until Friday evening, to set up an amazing tent for the CERN Open Days 2013. On about 50 square meters I had three large tables covered by roughly 30 kilograms of random LEGO pieces, both ATLAS LEGO models on display, various posters about the models and physics on the walls and an amazing 2×2 46″ video wall showing the model-vs-detector-timelapse video and more.

2013-09-27 16-58-18 CERN Open Days Panorama

Friday evening I took part in the Origins 2013 physics speed dating event. While all the people that had originally booked a date with me did not show up (the central organisation made it slightly difficult to find the right tent), I had some nice ad hoc speed dates with various people on all sorts of topics. I guess, the idea was quite nice, maybe the implementation was not entirely perfect. Maybe next time.

Finally on Saturday, after another night of only little sleep, the Open Days started. Apparently CERN had between 70,000 and 80,000 visitors with 20,000 people visiting the underground experiments (preliminary numbers), such as ATLAS or CMS. I had thousands of people passing through the tent and 300 participants for the Build Your Own Particle Detector competition. In between all the LEGO activities, I luckily also managed to give three tours to ATLAS, where on one of those I was wearing a helmet camera. So if all worked well, I might have a video of the tour soon.

After a long day, I spent the Sunday exploring various CERN sites together with my sister, Richard and Andrea (greetz). I had managed to book a tour for the ALICE experiment and in addition we got tickets for both ATLAS and LHCb as well. We probably could have managed to see CMS as well and repeat our 2008 Open Days trip, but we were simply too exhausted to continue.

Now I just want to sleep …